Active investigation in Port Townsend nearing finish in search for Sequim woman

By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News

THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED — Police think missing woman left Peninsula on own, now along I-5 corridor: http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140520/NEWS/305209970

PORT TOWNSEND –– The investigation into the disappearance of a 23-year-old Sequim woman is shifting into a reactionary mode.

Investigators have yet to find a solid lead on Lauryn Garrett, missing since May 1.

“At this point, it's a matter of following up new leads as they come in,” Port Townsend Police spokesman Luke Bogues said Monday.

“But by and large, the active investigation is wrapping up, and now it's a matter of waiting and listening and hoping for the best.”

Garrett was last seen in the Port Townsend Safeway May 1, buying a bottle of vodka and soda shortly after calling her father from a borrowed cell phone at the Haines Place Park and Ride.

She was trying to return to Sequim after leaving Pioneer Center North rehabilitation clinic in Sedro-Woolley on May 1.

Her father, Fred Garrett, said he expected to pick her up at the Port Townsend ferry dock on May 2 but that Lauryn had arrived a day earlier than expected.

Police Chief Conner Daily said a tip that Garrett had been spotted on a bus in Shoreline late last week did not yield any new information about her whereabouts.

Bogues said police will continue to follow up leads as they come in and will pay close attention to see if banks receive a $55.50 check Garret was said to have on her at the time of her disappearance.

“We keep watching for her to cash that check, but so far it hasn't turned up anywhere,” Bogues said.

A special task force of Port Townsend police detectives, officials from Clallam and Jefferson county sheriff's offices and an FBI agent out of the Poulsbo office has been formed to investigate the disappearance.

Bogues continued to urge anyone who may have information or insight into Garrett's disappearance to contact police.

“We've had a lot of people call in with new angles they think we should look at,” he said.

“And we still want people to call us with any reasonable stone they think we may have left unturned.”

Police have contacted the Sedro-Woolley clinic to talk to friends and acquaintances the missing woman may have made while there, but said health privacy laws have limited the amount of information the clinic can disclose.

She was seen leaving two duffel bags near the park and ride before walking to Safeway the night she disappeared, police said.

One of the bags was found in the bushes near the Kah Tai Lagoon park on May 7 by the missing woman's mother, Eleana Livingston-Christanson of Sequim.

Jefferson County Search and Rescue volunteers searched around the 80-acre Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park near Safeway and next to the bus depot on May 15 with county sheriff's deputies and a police detective. Searchers in kayaks also checked the banks of the lagoon.

The other bag still has not been found.

Film crews from the Investigation Discovery network show “Disappeared” arrived in Sequim last Wednesday evening and are planning to feature Garrett's story in a future episode of the show.

Producers told the Peninsula Daily News last week they were unsure when the episode will air.

Lauryn Garrett is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs between 120 and 130 pounds. She has brown hair and hazel eyes.

She has a tattoo of a bird behind her left ear and a tattoo of Washington state on her right wrist.

Anyone with information about Garrett's whereabouts should phone police at 360-385-3831, ext. 1, or, if it's an emergency matter, 9-1-1.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 20. 2014 7:30PM
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