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Twenty-year-old Allyson Watterson was last seen near North Plains on Dec. 22, 2019.

COURTESY PHOTO: WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Washington County sheriff's deputies responded Saturday, June 20, to a report of human remains discovered in a rural area near North Plains. Investigators said Saturday night they believe the remains to be those of Allyson Watterson, missing since December 2019.A six-month search for a missing Hillsboro woman may be at an end.

Washington County sheriff's deputies were called to the 15800 block of Northwest Corey Road near North Plains Saturday afternoon, June 20, after a property-owner reportedly found human remains while clearing brush.

On Saturday night, the Washington County Sheriff's Office announced it suspects the remains are those of Allyson Watterson, a 20-year-old Hillsboro resident who disappeared near North Plains in December 2019.

COURTESY PHOTO - Allyson WattersonWatterson was last seen near North Plains with her boyfriend, Benjamin Garland, on Dec. 22, 2019. She was reported missing the following day.

At the time, a multi-day search yielded no trace of Watterson, although family members vowed to continue searching until she was located.

The identity of the remains has not yet been confirmed as of Saturday night. The Sheriff's Office said the county medical examiner will attempt to identify them, although evidence leads them to believe they belonged to Watterson.

The Sheriff's Office did not return a call for comment Saturday night, but it released a statement on the discovery of the remains. KPTV Channel 12 was the first to report on the discovery.

An investigation is ongoing.

Garland was arrested shortly after Watterson's disappearance on unrelated charges. He ultimately pleaded guilty to theft and fraud charges and was sentenced in April to three years in prison.

By Mark Miller
Washington County Editor
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