DA: Physical evidence supports Michael Wolfe charges

Crime

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Yamhill District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday says physical evidence supports murder charges against Michael Wolfe.

Probable cause documents also released Tuesday revealed new details about the case of missing mom Karissa Fretwell and her son Billy. The physical evidence was not listed in the documents, however. 

“The evidence that has been gathered is all leading to a consistent conclusion that they’ve been murdered,” DA Brad Berry said. 

“There is a lot of other evidence and other information that investigators have put together which aid in the conclusion here that we believe that they’ve been killed.” 

Wolfe made an initial appearance in Yamhill County court on Tuesday, where he is being held without bail. His next appearance is June 7. 

The probable cause documents describe the days after Karissa Fretwell went missing and her relationship with Wolfe, who was her son Billy’s father. They also describe how police watched surveillance footage of Wolfe on the night of May 13, the night the Fretwells allegedly went missing. 

The documents also show that Wolfe and Fretwell’s cellphones pinged in the same areas that night. Police interviewed Wolfe on May 18 and 20, where he said he hadn’t seen them since April 15. 

Fretwell, 25, and her 3-year-old son were reported missing May 17.  Wolfe was arrested at Blue Star Donuts in downtown Portland on May 24. 


‘That ain’t his character’ 

One man who worked with 52-year-old Wolfe at Cascade Steel said that the accusations against Wolfe don’t line up with the person he’d known for 2 years. 

“I’m still in awe because that ain’t his character,” said Tim Shipley. “You know, the way he was at work — you could just talk to him.” 

Shipley said Wolfe was friendly and worked as an EMT in addition to his security position at the mill. 

“Real nice guy. He had a lot of ability to care for people that would be out there working that would get hurt. He would be the first one there to help them out.” 

Search continues

While Wolfe remains locked in the Yamhill County jail, the search continues for Fretwell and her son.

Search and rescue teams have been scouring Janzen Farms near Amity. The owner and operator of the property told KOIN 6 News on Tuesday a cellphone ping brought investigators to the location. 

Shipley said he plans on keeping tabs on the developments as they play out in court. 

“See what the evidence really is; who knows, maybe [Fretwell] just up in the middle of the night went to Mexico and no one knows where she’s at.” 

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