'High level' of concern as missing woman's backpack found

'High level' of concern as missing woman's backpack found
PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. - A search of a Port Townsend parking lot and bus stop has turned up a missing Sequim woman's backpack but no sign of what happened to her.

“Our level of concern is pretty high,” said Officer Patrick Fudally, Port Townsend Police Department spokesman.

Lauryn R. Garrett, 23, was last seen at 7:30 p.m. May 1 at the Haines Place Park and Ride in Port Townsend, where she was to catch a bus to a family home near Sequim.

Garrett borrowed a bystander's cellphone to call home and walked across the parking lot to the nearby Port Townsend Safeway, Police Chief Conner Daily said.

She left both of her backpacks at the park and ride, and the witness never saw her return for them, Daily said.

Safeway employees reported that Garrett attempted to cash a check in the store but didn't have proper identification and left, Daily said.

Garrett hasn't been seen since.

Family and friends searched the park and ride, the nearby park and parking lots Wednesday.

Mother finds pack

Garrett's mother, Eleana Livingston-Christianson of Sequim, discovered one of the two bags belonging to Garrett in bushes just a few hundred feet from where she was last seen, said Fred Garrett of Sequim, the missing woman's father.

The second bag was not found, Daily said.

Officers spread around Port Townsend to areas where they thought Lauryn Garrett might have gone, including shelters, but no one has reported seeing the young woman, he said.

Posters also were distributed, and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office has been informed of Garrett's disappearance.

Garrett is 5 feet, 7 inches tall; weighs between 120 and 130 pounds; and has brown hair and hazel eyes.

She has a tattoo behind the left ear of a bird and a tattoo on her right wrist of Washington state.

She was traveling from Sedro-Woolley to Sequim on May 1 and was expected home that night by family members, said Fred Garrett .

Called home

He had told Port Townsend police that his daughter had called home from the Port Townsend Safeway to say she was on her way.

At the time, she had no more than $25 in cash, and her only other funding option was a check that had not been cashed as of Wednesday, he said.

He declined to discuss his daughter's disappearance Thursday.

The Port Townsend Police Department has turned the case over to the Clallam County Sheriff's Office because the jurisdiction belongs to the location Garrett's disappearance was reported from — where she was headed, Fudally said.

However, the Police Department continues to seek information from within Port Townsend.

Active role

“We have taken an active role since Day One,” he said.

It was unknown at what point between Port Townsend and Sequim that Lauryn Garrett left her planned path, he said.

Since she was last heard from while in Port Townsend, the Police Department has been working the case from any angle that is found in its jurisdiction, while the Sheriff's Office has followed leads in the Sequim area.

Many of the leads that have developed have directed investigators to talk to Garrett's friends in Clallam County, said Ron Cameron, chief criminal deputy for the Clallam County Sheriff's Office.

A person of interest in the case, who has not been identified by law enforcement, is from the Sequim area, Cameron said.

Anyone who sees Garrett or knows of her whereabouts is asked to phone the Port Townsend Police Department at 360-385-2322 or the Clallam County Sheriff's Office at 360-417-2459.

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The Peninsula Daily News is a media partner of KOMO News. Read the original Daily news story »