Search of Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park planned in investigation of Sequim woman's disappearance

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Law enforcement officials are planning to search a Port Townsend city park as part of the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of a Sequim woman last seen in the city two weeks ago.

Officer Patrick Fudally, Port Townsend police spokesman, said Wednesday that members of a multi-agency task force formed to look for Lauryn R. Garrett are planning a search of the city's Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park, just east of where the 23-year-old woman was last seen.

“I was told it is being arranged and it will be done,” Fudally said, adding that he did not yet have a firm time and date for the search.

The task force formed earlier this week comprises Port Townsend police detectives, members of the Clallam and Jefferson county sheriff's offices, and an FBI agent from the Poulsbo office.

A witness saw Garrett at about 7:47 p.m. May 1 at the Haines Place Park and Ride, next to the nature park, near the Safeway supermarket on Sims Way.

She was seen just after that on Safeway surveillance video buying a bottle of vodka and a bottle of soda, according to Fudally.

Fudally said detectives Wednesday were following up on some leads but declined to release any additional information because the investigation is ongoing.

“We've had a couple tips come in, and just like every one we've gotten since Day One, we're investigating [them] and seeing where it goes,” Fudally said.

Investigators were brought back to square one earlier this week after they learned a woman who police were told tried to cash a check of Garrett's on May 5 at the Port Townsend Safeway was in fact trying to cash a check of her own.

The woman had nothing to do with Garrett's disappearance, police said.

Fred Garrett of Sequim had told police his daughter was in Port Townsend planning to catch a bus to Sequim on May 1 when she called him with a borrowed cellphone.

He told investigators Lauryn Garrett had a $37 check with her.

“We have no information that the check has been cashed,” Fudally said Wednesday.

Reports last week had erroneously stated that Garrett had tried to cash the check herself May 1.

She was headed back a day early from a rehabilitation clinic in Skagit County, according to her father.

The man whose phone Garrett borrowed to call her father told police he saw her walking toward the Safeway after she left two duffel bags in a tree-lined area near the park and ride, police said.

The missing woman's mother, Eleana Livingston-Christianson of Sequim, found one of the two duffel bags in bushes near the park and ride May 7.

The other bag has not been found, police said.

Police found Garrett's personal items and a receipt for the Safeway purchase in the recovered bag, Fudally said.

Garrett is 5 feet, 7 inches tall; weighs between 120 and 130 pounds; and 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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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 14. 2014 7:27PM
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