Frantic family seeks more leads to missing Sequim woman's whereabouts, treks to Shoreline
By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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“It's been three weeks, and no one has heard from her, and that's not normal,” said Fred Garrett.
Lauryn Garrett, 23, was last seen at about 8 p.m. on video surveillance footage from the Port Townsend Safeway buying a bottle of vodka and a bottle of soda.
Minutes earlier, she had borrowed a cellphone from a man at the nearby Haines Place Park and Ride to call her father in Sequim.
She had arrived a day earlier than her father expected after her return from the Pioneer Center North rehabilitation clinic in Sedro-Woolley.
He got off the phone thinking she would catch a bus to Sequim from Port Townsend.
She has not been seen or heard from since.
“We're not sure if she's OK or not,” Fred Garrett said Saturday.
He said his daughter has extended family and many caring friends in the Sequim area.
“It just doesn't make sense she would go three weeks and not contact any of these people,” he said.
With this worry in their hearts, Fred Garrett; Lauryn's mother, Eleana Christianson; and Eleana's husband, Bret Christianson, have taken matters into their own hands.
Their investigation has taken them to the King County city of Shoreline — on May 18 and again last Wednesday and Thursday — to talk to people who said they had seen her there.
Eleana Christianson, her husband and her daughter's father decided that each sighting was either a case of mistaken identity or not credible.
Bret Christianson said the trio plastered Shoreline, where Lauryn Garrett had lived from the end of 2012 to October 2013, with fliers and canvassed neighborhoods asking whether people have seen her.
Shoreline is located about 9 miles north of downtown Seattle, bordering the northern Seattle city limits. It has a population of about 54,000.
“We are depending on the public to be our eyes,” Bret Christianson said.
He said he has seen nothing to lead him to believe that Lauryn Garrett has left Port Townsend.
“There is no evidence of her physically leaving Port Townsend, period,” Bret Christianson said.
Port Townsend police said last week that they believe she left Port Townsend voluntarily.
Officer Patrick Fudally, police spokesman, said Saturday that a Port Townsend detective and an agent from the FBI office in Poulsbo assisting in the case had traveled to the Shoreline area May 13 after Fred Garrett shared a lead with police.
This lead was one Fred Garrett and Eleana and Bret Christianson said they had looked into and found to be not credible.
Fudally said based on an interview with the man in Shoreline who said he saw and spoke with Lauryn Garrett, police suspect she may be in Shoreline.
He said Saturday he was not familiar with the information that has led Lauryn Garrett's parents to believe the Shoreline lead was not credible.
Fudally said investigators do not have any information to suggest foul play is a factor in Lauryn Garrett's disappearance.
“If we had anything that would indicate foul play, we would investigate it, but we don't,” Fudally said, adding that he understands the family's concerns.
Eleana Christianson said: “It's a frustrating place to be in. I understand there's no evidence of foul play, but to me, no [sign of her] at all is evidence of foul play.”
The missing woman's father said she had a $55.50 check with her when she left the clinic.
Eleana Christianson said Saturday this check has not been cashed.
Soon after she called her father, Lauryn Garrett was seen leaving two duffel bags near Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park, which lies just next to the park and ride.
Lauryn's mother said she found one of the bags just off the start of one of the trails running through the nature park May 7.
The other has not been recovered.
Jefferson County Search and Rescue volunteers searched the trails and lagoon banks of the 80-acre nature park May 16 and found no clues to the disappearance.
Investigators have collected hundreds of hours of video surveillance from Jefferson Transit buses, Fudally said, and are seeking similar footage from the Port Townsend ferry terminal.
A task force — composed of Port Townsend police detectives, officials from Clallam and Jefferson County sheriff's offices, and an FBI agent out of the Poulsbo office — that was formed to investigate Lauryn Garrett's disappearance will meet and review information and decide what to do, Fudally said.
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 on Lauryn Garrett's whereabouts should phone police at 360-385-3831, ext. 1, or, if it's an emergency matter, 9-1-1.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last modified: May 25. 2014 10:23AM