CMPD: Boyfriend of missing Allisha Watts ‘important’ to the investigation

There have been many twists, turns and questions in this case.
The North Carolina woman hasn't been seen since July 16 in Charlotte.
Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 4:27 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 9, 2023 at 5:14 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police gave new information about the search for missing woman Allisha Watts.

Watts, who is from Moore County, vanished while visiting her boyfriend in Charlotte more than three weeks ago.

CMPD says Watts’ boyfriend, James Dunmore, is “important” to the investigation but would not go as far as to say he is a person of interest in her disappearance.

“We can’t jump to charging somebody for something that we don’t know has happened,” McNelly said. “We have a responsibility of really gathering the right amount of important information that would get us to that place. If we get to that place, we’ll charge someone. Right now we’re not at that place.”

WBTV asked if police know where Dunmore is and was told they don’t.

Capt. McNelly would not comment when WBTV asked if CMPD is optimistic about finding Watts alive.

There have been many twists, turns and questions in this case.

“This case has gotten a tremendous amount of attention from us,” Capt. McNelly said. “Just because we haven’t communicated every single step of that out to the public, doesn’t mean our foks haven’t been working their fingers to the bone. Because they have.”

Related: Police: Animal complaint leads to entry into missing woman Allisha Watts’ home

Two days after Watts’ disappearance, court documents show troopers found her boyfriend unresponsive in her SUV that was parked at a DMV in Anson County.

That is where family, friends, and advocates met Tuesday night to pray to bring her home safely.

“We are missing her tremendously. We are heartbroken for her. Being here is sort of following in a track or path she has been. If not she, then he,” friend Dorothy Brower said.

“There is always a sense of feeling because I’m one of the few that got to sit and ride in her with her,” cousin Tea Hines said.

WBTV also asked why CMPD waited to ask for public assistance in the case until July 24, even after finding Watts’ car without her inside on July 18.

“We don’t put everything in the world out, because it’s really important for us to maintain the integrity of our investigation,” Capt. Joel McNelly said. “Because if something does turn south, if it doesn’t have the outcome that we all hope that it has, it’s really important that we have a good, tight, solid case going forward in the future.”

Another prayer vigil is planned for Saturday Aug. 12 in Charlotte at Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church.

WBTV’s Cam Gaskins spoke one-on-one with the lead investigator on the case. He will be live at 5 with more on those breaking new details.

Watch continuing live coverage here: