Found Deceased OR - Michael Watts, 37, Portland, 1 May 2021

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by JMapes, May 9, 2021.

  1. JMapes

    JMapes Well-Known Member

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    Michael Watts, who was visiting from Eugene, was last seen outside of his downtown Portland hotel on May 1st.

    At around 10 p.m. that night, he was speaking to his girlfriend on the phone and told her “Someone is chasing me and they’re right behind me.”

    His phone was later found in the street. Michael has not been heard from since.


    Eugene man goes missing in downtown Portland
     

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  2. JMapes

    JMapes Well-Known Member

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    Friends have started a group on FB to help find Michael. 'Freddy Hollywood' is his stage name.

    Find Freddy Hollywood (Michael Watts)

    A post from the group reads in part:

    An icon of the local Queer community Michael Watts aka Freddie Hollywood has gone missing, under strange circumstances, after returning home to PDX for a visit.

    Michael may have been caught up in the civil unrest that was happening near his hotel, or possibly the victim of a bias crime.

    When he's not performing, Michael works as an armed security guard at a Eugene hospital. Michael is very reliable, and stable. This is the first time he hasn't reported for duty.

    For Michael to run away from conflict is very out of character, so the threat had to to be something significant.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2021
  3. JMapes

    JMapes Well-Known Member

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    Updated poster. The photo on the far right was taken the day he went missing.
     

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  4. Mistree

    Mistree Well-Known Member

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    This is local for me. Not very much being put out about it other than what’s already been posted.
    I wonder if this could be a voluntary disappearance?
     
  5. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    MAY 10, 2021
    Reward offered for Eugene man missing under ‘strange circumstances’ (kezi.com)
    Friends and loved-ones of Michael Watts, 37, are offering a $10,000 reward for information to help find the security guard and male dancer who went missing near his hotel in downtown Portland this month.

    According to accounts by friends and loved-ones, Watts was visiting Portland from Eugene on May 1. He was reportedly staying at the AC Marriott hotel on Southwest 3rd Avenue and Southwest Taylor Street.

    [...]

    “We're not really sure what happened at this point, but all his belongings were in the hotel room,” said AD, a friend of Watts' girlfriend.

    Watts' phone was found on the street by a stranger, and AD said his car was near the hotel.

    [...]

    Portland Police Bureau’s Missing Persons Unit is investigating the disappearance. Anyone with information on Watts' location is asked to call 911.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  6. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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    MAY 10, 2021
    Family, friends search for Michael Watts missing from downtown Portland, Oregon for nearly two weeks (nbcnews.com)

    [​IMG]

    [...]

    KD told Dateline her brother checked into a hotel on Friday night and then on Saturday, he used his debit card at an ATM and at the CC Slaughters Nightclub, where he bought drinks. There hasn’t been any bank activity since.

    On the evening of Saturday, May 1, around 10:30 p.m., Michael was walking near his hotel while he talked to his fiancée on FaceTime. He told her that he was walking to his hotel, but according to KD, Michael’s fiancée could see his location on her “Find my Friends” app and told him he was going the wrong way.

    [​IMG]
    Michael Watts on the day he went missing.

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

    KD told Dateline that Michael’s fiancée got in touch with a friend Michael had been hanging out with that day. The friend walked the path from the bars to the hotel and claimed she found the phone in the street. Michael’s car was still parked at the hotel, but there were no signs of him.

    [...]

    “Nursing school was the next goal he was working toward,” KD said. “He had plans. He wasn’t suicidal. He wasn’t going to run off somewhere.”

    She added that he is very stable and reliable and that his disappearance is out of character.

    [...]
     
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  7. annpats

    annpats On Time Out

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    So the friend he met was another woman.

    She found the phone in the street, (between bars and the hotel) and it was still lying there on the ground (after at least, what, an half an hour? maybe more ?) and miraculously no-one else had seen it or picked it up.
     
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  8. JMapes

    JMapes Well-Known Member

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    I've seen some conflicting news reports about who found the phone and when (one article says it was found by a stranger, another says it was found by a friend the next morning).

    The hotel he was staying in is about 3 blocks North of the center of last summer's protests in front of the Justice Center, which early reports by friends worried may have put him at risk. There are militant, right-wing hate groups lurking around Portland who have a contemptuous relationship with the gay community- of which, MW is a 'local icon' as a Freddie Mercury impersonator and dancer.

    I'm not sure what bars he was visiting, but many are just starting to reopen again after a recent impromptu weekend covid shutdown. However, some areas of downtown are still ghost-town-level empty, even in daytime, so it doesn't surprise me his phone was found abandoned some time later.

    The emptiness of the streets also allows for nefarious individuals or groups to stalk and harass folks, with little chance of being caught, as police are using all their resources at the JC.

    I don't think I'm alone in worrying, that with his last statements to his fianceé over the phone, he was targeted because of his persona and status in the gay community (even though he's engaged to a woman, right).

    MOO.

    I hope he's found soon. (tiny map attached for reference)
     

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    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  9. PommyMommy

    PommyMommy #ShinelikeShanann

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  10. dub

    dub Well-Known Member

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    Weird. I haven’t spent much time in downtown Portland in recent years but it is pretty safe overall, but the area around CC Slaughters is one of the ones where you’re somewhat more likely to find trouble. More so if the “wrong direction” he was going (assuming he was still close to the bar) was some combination of north and/or east.

    Ive bumbled around old town wasted many times and never had problems, but I wouldn’t want to end up at the train station or under the burnside bridge in the middle of the night.

    But even then, people don’t disappear off the face of the earth around there, more like they get robbed or occasionally stabbed.

    Also downtown Portland is pretty hard to get lost in if you have even a basic familiarity with the area (which I’m guessing he did), because there are so many obvious points of reference.

    This is a pretty strange one.
     
  11. Hdengland81

    Hdengland81 Well-Known Member

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    Wait, am I misunderstanding something, or did the girlfriend say he was going the wrong direction, but then the friend claims to have found the phone between the bar and hotel......I don’t understand how it was found by walking from the bar to the hotel if he was going the wrong way when he dropped the phone. I would assume that he went the opposite direction of his hotel when he left the bar, but maybe I’m assuming wrong?!?! I know someone said there are conflicting reports over who found the phone so maybe the whole friend finding the phone thing isn’t even what really happened at all. Idk, maybe I need to go to bed, and quit thinking out loud until I’ve had some sleep lol.

    MOO
     
  12. annpats

    annpats On Time Out

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    Whaaat? Well, I never knew that!
    I always imagined that Pacific Northwest area to be ultra-tolerant, happy-clappy and very tranquil.

    I thought those groups existed in Texas and the mid-west, never Portland.

    Well, you learn something new every day!
     
  13. dub

    dub Well-Known Member

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    Portland is as you describe to an extent, but it’s always had a weird racist, extremist undercurrent as well. I grew up there, and while it was rare to see any signs of it, even as a kid I was very much aware of it.

    Most of those people don’t actually live in Portland (at least nowadays), they are mostly in the outer burbs and in Salem, but it definitely bleeds into the city.
     
  14. moonriverfarm

    moonriverfarm Well-Known Member

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    Michael is a straight performer, correct? With a female fiancee? Just trying to understand, if he was not performing as FM why he would be a target of a bias crime.
     
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  15. azure

    azure Well-Known Member

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    Regardless, I don't think that an 180-lb guy coming out of a gay bar is at risk for a crime that would harm him and hide his body. It's strange that his family is going to that explanation.

    It sounds like he was intoxicated and confused at his last contact. I don't think someone slipped something in his drink for the simple fact that if they did, they'd keep an eye on and use the drugs to control their target. They wouldn't let the target stagger out alone and go, "Bye! Have a nice evening!"

    This is why I disagree with drugs slipped in a drink as a cause of intoxication in most cases where the victim is intoxicated and alone. The drugs are (unfortunately) used as a means to an end, so why let your prospective victim go when you've successfully drugged them?
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
  16. dub

    dub Well-Known Member

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    Info is up on the FB page now with a more specific location of where MW was when contact was lost.

    Apparently was around 12th and Salmon, which is very strange given the location of the bar and the hotel. From the hotel, the bar is roughly 10 blocks north. 12th and Salmon is the same distance from the hotel but WEST.

    If you look at the three locations on a map they basically make a right triangle, with the hotel at the right angle. Also there is very little that I know of that could have been of interest to MW at that hour at 12th and Salmon, it’s almost entirely apartment complexes.

    So I’m inclined to think he was going there to meet somebody for one reason or another.
     
  17. dub

    dub Well-Known Member

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    Also for what it’s worth, I’ve HEARD (haven’t actually been there recently) that since covid started the area directly across 405 from 12th and salmon has gotten ruuuugged. My understanding is now it’s supposedly about the last place you’d want to end up on the entire west side (and for that matter probably most of the near east side). I can’t speak on 12th and salmon specifically though.

    But it used to be totally fine, even relatively recently, so whether MW would have been aware of that I’m not sure.
     
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  18. JMapes

    JMapes Well-Known Member

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    @dub (sorry my copy/paste feature borked) For what it's worth, it appears the reported location of his phone being on Salmon St. may be speculation as well. Mike's sister posted in the group earlier today to say:

    What was given to Dateline is the truth and facts. At this time that is the only information the family and police would like shared as this is a open police investigation. What is being passed around on Facebook is part truth, partly rumors and a lot of speculation.​

    All of Portland is having a rough go- nothing is being done to meet the housing needs of all residents and our mental healthcare system is dismal. Things have definitely been worse since the pandemic started. The camps seem to move around, not staying in one place too long. (cleanup efforts come through and sweep camps, but don't have any resources to provide for stable housing, so the folks are just left to relocate elsewhere in town).

    That definitely can bring additional dangers- I've seen recent posts on NextDoor warning neighbors about being chased and attacked in Jamison Square park, less than a mile from CC Slaughters (but in another completely wrong direction from where MW should've been), fwiw. It's definitely something I'd take into consideration being alone in that part of town at night. MOO.
     
  19. dub

    dub Well-Known Member

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    No worries. Maybe the location is speculation. But a guy (who seemed to be one of the ones running the group) also posted on there that MW was on the phone call for 26 minutes before it cut out.

    Since you’re a local I don’t exactly need to tell you this haha but just doing the rough math if it’s a 12-14min walk from CC Slaughters to the hotel, and 12th and Salmon is the same distance from the hotel, it’s plausible that, assuming he made the call right after leaving the bar, he would be right around 12th and Salmon after 26 minutes.

    This is not to say it’s true (and also we obviously don’t know where he was when he placed the call) but logistically it makes sense.

    Seems as if the problems in Portland these days are present most places to a degree (I know they are where I’m at now) but for whatever reason it sounds like it might be on another level there. I’m usually there a few times a year but haven’t been back since covid, so I dunno. Bums me out though.
     
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  20. MissUnderstood

    MissUnderstood Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if there is any water along his route? Leaving nightclub, going the wrong way, IMO says drunk/drugs, telling his gf he was being chased could be paranoia from a bad trip! I get the feeling this is another young man in the water
    Moo
     

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