James Dunmore, Watts’s boyfriend, was taken into custody and arrested for murder, authorities said.
“I can’t imagine how somebody could be so wicked and evil,” said Bridget Cotts, a friend of Watts’ family.
Montgomery County Sheriff Pete Herron held a news conference regarding the situation Thursday at 4 p.m.
The full news conference can be watched below:
Watts, 39, of Southern Pines, was last seen July 16 at Dunmore’s home in Charlotte on Pamela Lorraine Drive; two days later, Dunmore was found in Watts’ car in Anson County.
“We just have to do the very best we can and move forward and lift Ms. Watts’s name up,” another Montgomery County official said. “There will be a day of reckoning for this individual that was arrested.”
According to warrants, Dunmore made an apparent suicide attempt before troopers discovered him at the Anson County DMV parking lot. He was reportedly treated, but his whereabouts have been unknown since.
CMPD said as a result of the investigation into Watts’ disappearance and a collaborative effort with other agencies, including the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the case was no longer a missing persons investigation.
In a series of interviews with media earlier this month, CMPD pushed back on any assertion that they have not been forthcoming with family about the case, saying they have been in contact daily with Watts’ close family members.
“There have been hundreds of hours that have gone into this,” Capt. Joel McNelly told Queen City News two weeks ago.