Port Townsend resident Kimberly McHone, 54, who was reported as a missing person in mid-April, has been located in California,according to the Port Townsend Police Department, which says the circumstances of the report and “all-clear” are as-yet-unexplained.
McHone’s daughter,Taylor Barnes, reported her mother is “safe and living in California,” according to Port Townsend Police Public Information Officer Keppie Keplinger. McHone, who lived in the North Beach area, had been reported missing April 18 and flyers had been widely posted in Port Townsend, seeking information on her whereabouts.
Barnes told police she received an email from McHone May 8. By the next day, the GoFundMe and Facebook pages that McHone’s friends had set up to try and find her were taken down.
Sgt. Garin Williams, the Port Townsend Police officer who was in charge of the investigation, also confirmed that McHone’s name had been removed from the Washington State Patrol’s Missing Persons List.
John Greenland, a friend of McHone’s mother, Suzanne, who acted as the family’s spokesman during McHone’s absence, told the press that Suzanne received a set of text messages after she last saw her daughter, the first requesting she send money to a credit card number, and a subsequent message apparently about a meeting.
Greenland credited police with tracking McHone’s cell phone to Indio, California, where it began pinging cell phone towers roughly 30 hours after McHone was last seen. Greenland noted that McHone had lived in that area “for a short amount of time,” and still has family there.
Greenland’s assessment of the case as “really odd” during McHone’s absence was echoed by Williams after the case was concluded. Williams explained that Barnes told police McHone had contacted Suzanne, but he found it curious that Suzanne did not contact the police herself, before Barnes did.
Williams declined to speculate regarding the “underlying issues” that might be at play in this case, but he did offer advice for others if they ever find a friend, family member or other loved one has gone missing.
“It’s very important, when you’re reporting a missing person, that all the details come out at the start, because they’ll all come out eventually,” Williams said. “You should divulge everything at the beginning, and tell your story honestly, no matter how good or awful it may be. Does this person have a history of going missing? Details like these make all the difference in laying a foundation for solving the case. All clues are good clues.”
Neither the Port Townsend Police Department nor the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office expect to have any involvement with this case going forward.
“These types of cases do not usually come to my office,” Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney James Kennedy said. “Not until police believe a crime has been committed, and have submitted a referral. We do work with police when it comes to drafting warrants, but I don’t believe that we had any involvement in this case.”