The remains of Moore County woman Allisha Watts were found Thursday afternoon, the Montgomery County sheriff’s office confirmed. Her boyfriend, James Dunmore, has been taken into custody and arrested on a murder charge, they said.
Dunmore arrived at the Montgomery County jail around 4:30 p.m. Thursday in handcuffs. Channel 9′s Genevieve Curtis asked him what happened to Watts, but he didn’t have anything to say.
Allisha Watts, 39, from Moore County, was last seen leaving the home where Dunmore lived in Charlotte’s University City neighborhood on July 16. The home is on Pamela Lorraine Drive.
Dunmore has a history of domestic violence and served time in prison for kidnapping. Watts’ car was found in Anson County on July 18, two days after she was last seen, with her boyfriend inside it. He appeared to have survived a suicide attempt, investigators said, and Watts was not in the car.
As previously reported, CMPD searched Dunmore’s home for evidence of murder about a month ago, but they never officially called him a suspect.
Now, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said it is the lead investigative agency in Watts’ death.
Chopper 9 Skyzoom was live over a police scene around 12:30 p.m. Thursday on Cemetery Road, which is in a rural area of Montgomery County near the Richmond County line. Sources previously told Channel 9 a body found there was being investigated in connection with Watts’ disappearance.
(Photos: Search in Montgomery County connected with Allisha Watts)
In a tweet Thursday afternoon, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said they are no longer considering the case to be a missing person investigation.
Investigators said Thursday that a task force consisting of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Foxfire Police Department, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Moore County Sheriff’s Office, Anson County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were out at the scene.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to Allisha Watts’ family,” Sheriff Pete Herron said while beginning a brief news conference Thursday.
“This is not the outcome that we had been hoping for,” he added. “But by finding Allisha today, it can bring some closure — I hope and I pray, bring some closure to family and friends moving forward.”
The area is only 30 minutes from where Dunmore was found in her car in Anson County, and to our knowledge, the area had not been previously searched.
While on his way to jail, Curtis asked Dunmore what happened to Watts and if he had anything to say to her family or his own.
He wouldn’t say.
It’s still unclear when Watts was killed or where, or even how. It’s also unclear what led investigators to the cemetery Thursday or where exactly her body was found.
Curtis learned that after she had been missing for three weeks, CMPD asked the FBI for technical assistance, but that’s all the FBI could confirm.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.