'Surprising and scary': Documents shed new light on "person of interest" in Watts' disappearance

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Friday, August 4, 2023
Documents shed new light on "person of interest" in Watts' case
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Documents obtained by ABC11 show missing NC woman Allisha Watts' boyfriend had a protective order filed against him in Durham in May.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Documents obtained by ABC11 show Allisha Watts' boyfriend, James Dunmore -- who investigators say was the last person she was seen alive with -- had a protective order filed against him in Durham in May.

That complaint, filed by a woman who is listed as Dunmore's spouse, describes a physical assault and abduction allegedly committed by Dunmore in May, and lists "prior acts of violence including choking, punching, and verbal attacks".

It's not clear why the documents were filed in Durham, as the complainant and Dunmore both have listed addresses in Charlotte.

"Surprising and scary, you know, it's terrifying...Which me and a lot of my neighbors now are terrified because we're like, 'who were we living beside?'" said Gwen Utley, Watts' cousin.

She said she saw Dunmore with another woman previously but had no idea that he was married.

"When I met him, he told me that he was not married. He told me- the lady that he was with when I moved here. And he told me that, that was his girlfriend," she said.

SEE ALSO | Family of missing Moore County woman speaks about disappearance

So far, investigators have stopped short of naming Dunmore as a suspect in the case, but an incident report filed shortly after Watts went missing acknowledges his history of domestic violence and refers to him as a person of interest.

Watts' sister is also speaking out about Dunmore, writing an open letter in which she addresses him, saying:

"Now it's your turn to help her family, friends, and community processes whatever has happened to Allisha."

A relative of Dunmore declined to comment on Thursday night.

RELATED: Police investigate 'crime of murder' in case of missing Moore Co. woman Allisha Watts: Warrants