Mother desperate for word from missing son
The last time Cherie Doering saw and spoke to her son was July 2017 at her home in Gresham. It was a conversation filled with tears and questions.
Her 27-year-old son, Jaime Henry Doering Jr., had battled addiction and homelessness for most of his life, but that afternoon he was just a child speaking with a parent. He was upset because he felt like his mom had given up on him, like so many others before.
"I told him I loved him, and that I didn't blame him," Cherie said.
Now almost a year later, Cherie is desperate for any word from her son. A missing person's report was filed, law enforcement looked because of outstanding warrants, and loved ones have scoured everywhere they could think. But other than a few unsubstantiated claims, no one has seen Jaime.
"He is a good person, a great kid, but he has a drug problem," Cherie said. "My fear is that he could be dead out there."
A mom just wants her son to call home.
Growing up, Jaime was a good kid with a big heart, his mom said, with the family always doing things together. But his drug addiction made it difficult for people to be around him. He first became mixed up with drugs in eighth grade, falling into a bad crowd, and has bounced in and out of rehab ever since.
The serious issues began when Jaime got hooked on methamphetamines and heroin.
His addictions caused a lot of heartache in the family, especially for Cherie, who struggled while watching her son's downward spiral. But she did everything she could, supporting him throughout his trips to clinics and jail.
"It wasn't his fault," Cherie said, "he is sick."
Three years ago, Cherie took a restraining order out on her son because the drug problems had become too difficult and he was acting aggressive. He and his friends had been stealing from the rest of the family to fuel their destructive habits, and so Cherie made a difficult choice.
On the advice of Jaime's parole officer and others, she attempted 'tough love' to try and steer her son back on track. Her now ex-husband, Jaime Doering Sr., took similar measures.
While his mother eventually removed the restraining order, the one filed by his father remained in place. Jaime became homeless about two years ago, unable to hold onto any stable living conditions and wearing out his welcome with those willing to let him crash on a couch. But he continued to speak and check in with his mother up until that final conversation last year.
Shortly after Cherie did her best to remind Jaime he was loved; her son was arrested for violating the restraining order and trespassing at his dad's house. After a stint in jail, and some time bouncing around the community, Jaime disappeared. According to his mother, he was last seen leaving the Coda Gresham Recovery Center in August.
The Gresham Police Department received a missing person report filed by Jaime Doering Sr.'s girlfriend. The report followed the same information Cherie had — that his family hasn't seen Jaime since July 2017, but he had been in and out of rehab and jail since then.
According to the report, Jaime is not suicidal and has no medical conditions or anything else that would make him endangered. He currently has warrants for his arrest, including being in contempt of court. Because of the legal issues, police speculate he may have fled the region.
"He may not want to be found, but I feel in my heart there is foul play involved," Cherie said.
Cherie has been actively posting on community Facebook pages, calling law enforcement and rehab centers, and reaching out to friends and family to try and glean any information she can about her son. It's been difficult, because as an adult her son's personal information is protected.
She believes her son may be in hiding, falsely thinking he is unwanted by family. Jaime also has warrants, some for being in contempt of court, that would cause him to want to avoid coming into contact with law enforcement.
Other theories are much more tragic.
Through her actions on social media, Cherie has come in contact with disturbing responses. One person claimed Jaime had overdosed, while another commented on a post that her son had been captured by human traffickers. Both responses are unfounded and had no evidence or factual backing. Some of Cherie's friends assured her they were just people trying to mess with a grieving parent.
Cherie has fielded calls from many friends who have claimed to have seen her son. People have said they saw Jaime walking all across Portland and Gresham. One said he was pushing a cart with cans in East Portland, while another claimed to have seen him living at an addiction treatment home in Troutdale. Sightings have been reported on 160th Avenue, 82nd Avenue, and a local Rite Aid store. One woman said she almost hit Jaime while driving on a dark and rainy winter evening.
"People say they spot him all the time," said Cherie, who has been unable to verify anything.
Cherie doesn't want to turn her son into law enforcement, and she is not angry or mad at him. All she wants is to have a phone conversation.
"I'm so lost without him. I just want to hear his voice," she said.
"I love Jaime," she said, "and always will."