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Boyfriend arrested in murder of missing North Carolina woman, police say they believe they found remains

Allisha Watts had been missing since July 16.

August 25, 2023, 11:14 AM

Authorities said they believe they've found the remains of 39-year-old Allisha Watts, a North Carolina woman who has been missing for over a month.

Watts' boyfriend, James Dunmore, was arrested Thursday for murder, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.

PHOTO: James Dunmore was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend Allisha Watts. Site Editor ID:
James Dunmore was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend Allisha Watts. Site Editor ID:
Montgomery County Sheriff's Office

"This is not the outcome that we had been hoping for, but by finding Allisha today ... I hope and I pray it brings some closure to family and friends moving forward," Sheriff Pete Herron said at a news conference.

Watts was last seen in Charlotte on July 16. Two days later, police said Watts' Mercedes was found in Anson County, southeast of Charlotte.

PHOTO: An undated photo of Allisha Watts who has been missing since July 16, 2023 is seen here.
An undated photo of Allisha Watts who has been missing since July 16, 2023 is seen here.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department

Watts' sister, Stephanie Johnson, told ABC News the 39-year-old was last seen on July 16 with Dunmore, her boyfriend of one year. The couple met when Watts, who lives in Moore County, North Carolina, would drive to Charlotte to visit her cousin, who is Dunmore's neighbor, Johnson said.

Johnson described her sister, who worked in the mental health field, as a "hard-working, independent, reliable, resourceful, loving, kind, attentive person."

It was not immediately clear where in Montgomery County the remains were found. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Thursday that the "case is no longer considered a missing person investigation."

Dunmore, 51, is being held without bond and is set to make his first court appearance on Monday.

"This is not what we prayed for," Watts' friend, Dorothy Brower, told reporters on Thursday. "She was found, but it was not how we wanted to find her. She doesn't deserve what her fate became. Just to dispose of someone who is just one of the best persons you could meet."

Brower said Dunmore's "life would've been enhanced being with her -- but it came to this. ... I'm furious."

"We miss her so much," she said. "There's a void."