Task force seeks ferry surveillance video in search for missing Sequim woman

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — A task force investigating the five-week disappearance of a 23-year-old Sequim woman is attempting to review state ferry surveillance footage.

Police have requested surveillance footage from the two state ferries that travel between Port Townsend and Whidbey Island to see if she traveled that way and left Port Townsend after she was last seen at about 8 p.m. May 1, said Port Townsend Police Department spokesman Patrick Fudally.

“It's hard to get access to the footage because it's recorded in one place and stored somewhere else,” Fudally said.

“I don't know when we'll be able to have a look at that.”

Lauryn Garrett was last seen on video surveillance footage at the Port Townsend Safeway as she purchased vodka and soda.

Just before she crossed the street to the Port Townsend Safeway, Garrett borrowed a cellphone from a man at the Haines Place Park and Ride to call her father, Fred Garrett, in Sequim.

She had arrived a day earlier than her father expected 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. No buses were running to Sequim that time of night.

Both the police and Garrett's family are distributing newly-assembled flyers that contain images they hope will juggle someone's memory.

Fred Garrett and the missing woman's mother, Eleana Christianson, also of Sequim, are working together to get the word out about their daughter.

They have expanded the search beyond the North Olympic Peninsula while not ruling out that she might still be in Port Townsend.

Last week, they distributed 452 bagged lunches, 350 in Seattle and the remainder in Port Townsend, in places where the homeless congregate.

The lunches, as well as packets of hand-rolled cigarettes, included pictures of Garrett along with contact information for anyone to call with information.

As of Wednesday, no concrete leads were collected, Christianson said.

She had received tips about two sightings but they were in different places at the same time.

Christianson said the lunches contained a peanut butter sandwich, an apple and a homemade cookie.

The lunches were distributed between Capitol Hill and Coleman Dock, centering on places where homeless people congregated.

“They were happy to get the lunches. I think they will help if they see her,” Christianson said.

“We showed that we gave a crap about them, so maybe they will give a crap about us.”

Fred Garrett said he was encouraged by the reaction from the expanded search, saying that he'd been contacted by someone with a wide Facebook network who intends to post the picture.

“We need to have more people out looking for her,” he said.

“If we can do that, maybe we can find her,” he added.

Port Townsend Police Chief Conner Daily said he wished his department could get information to “give the family some hope.

“This is one of the most frustrating cases I have ever been involved in,” Daily said.

A task force — which includes representatives of the Port Townsend Police Department, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the Clallam County Sheriff's Office and the Poulsbo FBI office — has investigated several leads, including visiting Shoreline, where Lauryn Garrett had lived from the end of 2012 to October 2013.

Last month, Fred Garrett, Christianson and her husband, Brett Christianson, plastered Shoreline with fliers and canvassed neighborhoods asking whether people have seen.

Family members said that they followed up on leads there and found that each was either a case of mistaken identity or not credible.

She had a $55.50 check with her when she left the clinic in Sedro-Woolley.

That has not yet been cashed.

The last day she was seen, a witness said she left two duffel bags at the park and ride.

Her mother found one of the bags May 7 near a trail through nearby Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park. The other bag has not been recovered.

Jefferson County Search and Rescue volunteers searched the 80-acre nature park May 16 and found no clues to the disappearance.

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.

________

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: June 04. 2014 7:40PM
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