‘Allisha would never leave on her own,’ says missing woman’s family

CHARLOTTE — The family of Allisha Watts spoke for the first time Friday since Charlotte-Mecklenburg police publicly addressed her disappearance.

Channel 9’s Jonathan Lowe spoke with Watts’ cousin, Gwen Utley, who said her family disagrees with some of what police said.

Utley reported Watts missing and has been a driving force in the search for her. Utley said she wholeheartedly disagrees with police saying there is evidence that Watts left on her own.

“That’s not true, Allisha would never leave on her own,” Utley said.


“Always been in good spirits, always, all the way up to the last time I seen her,” she said.

“Has she ever been suicidal, or ‘I just want to get away from it all?’” Lowe asked.

“Never, never, she didn’t have problems,” Utley said. “She was just now coming up, my cousin was just now rising. She was just now becoming the woman that she wanted to be.”

It’s a case that has left family members as confused as they are worried. Utley said that’s because of a lack of steady updates from detectives.

“I’m not going to say they haven’t communicated at all, but it hasn’t been on a regular basis -- not to me, not enough to keep you from not worrying,” she said.

“I’m sorry to those people that feel like we haven’t communicated directly,” CMPD Capt. Joel McNelly said Wednesday.


Part of Utley’s worry has to do with Allisha Watts’ boyfriend, James Dunmore. Detectives have searched his home twice, as well as a black Audi SUV sources say is his in the driveway.

We asked McNelly if they have had any contact with Dunmore.

“Due to the medical issues, we have not been able to successfully talk to him,” he had said.

Our cameras have captured the SUV, both at the home and then gone, several times this week.

Watts’ family out in Moore County told Lowe they have planned another prayer gathering for Saturday at 3 p.m. It will be at Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church in Uptown Charlotte.

(WATCH BELOW: Channel 9 speaks with CMPD about the disappearance of Allisha Watts)

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

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