Man missing for nearly two weeks from downtown Portland, Oregon found dead in Willamette River

·2 min read

A man who went missing from downtown Portland, Oregon nearly two weeks ago has been found dead in the Willamette River near the Fremont Bridge, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said Thursday.

Michael Watts, 37, of Eugene, Oregon, was last seen on the evening of May 1, 2021. Michael, who goes by the stage name “Freddie Hollywood,” was in downtown Portland to discuss upcoming performances with a local venue.

Around 10 p.m. that night, Michael and his fiancée had been talking on FaceTime while he was walking to his hotel the night he disappeared, his sister Karlee Dash told Dateline earlier this week.

During the conversation, Michael appeared to be out of breath and his fiancée asked him what was wrong. He mumbled something and then dropped the phone. The call was cut off and no one could get in touch with him after that.

Michael’s loved ones have spent the last two weeks searching the Portland area and passing out fliers to help find him. They also offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts.

Michael’s sister, Karlee Dash, spoke to Dateline’s “Missing in America” with a plea for anyone with information on his whereabouts to come forward. It wasn’t long before they received word of Michael’s fate.

In the news release sent out on Thursday evening, Portland Police said river patrol deputies with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office recovered the body from the Willamette River on Tuesday.

An examination by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s office confirmed the body was Michal and his family was notified. The police bureau said the cause and manner of death are still being determined.

Michael’s sister, Karlee, posted to her Facebook page Thursday:

“It is with a devastated heart that the family has to announce that Michael Watts has passed away. We do not have a lot of answers right now. We will keep everyone posted once we get more answers. We want to thank all of his friends and family that searched for him and the Portland Police that found his remains. Heartbroken and shocked doesn’t begin to cover it.”

Anyone who may have seen Michael Watts the night he went missing or has information about this case is asked to email missing@portlandoregon.gov.

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