Family, friends, strangers keep alive search for missing Pierce County woman

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GRAHAM, Wash. -- The search for Nicole White enters day 9 as family, friends and even strangers look for signs of the missing mother of two.

White’s family said their continued search wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of friends and strangers.

Gas cards, bottled water and snacks, local businesses and strangers donated almost everything at a makeshift command post in Graham.

“This is our community -- we live here, we work here, when someone goes missing here, it’s all of our responsibility to look,” said Carrie Willenbring.

Willenbring doesn’t know White's family, but she joins dozens of strangers stepping up to help in any way they can. Willenbring brought a stack of pre-paid gas cards.

“I can’t help search, my hubby can’t, but we can do what we can,” she said.

“It grabs our hearts,” said White family friend Marjorie Bounpraseuth.

She said while volunteers search for signs of White, the family’s resources are running dry.

“We’re all tapping out. We’re spending everything we have,” said Bounpraseuth. “We gotta keep them hydrated, we gotta keep them fed.”

“I don’t know them at all,” said Julz Kelley, volunteer.

Kelley said she wasn’t familiar with White's family before her disappearance, but when she saw her community in need, she took to Facebook organizing volunteers to help search for clues.

“We gotta bring her home and give this family some peace,” said Kelley.

While police evaluate their next location to search, White's family, friends and complete strangers take to the brush to help her family find answers.

“We just have to keep going,” said Bounpraseuth, “We can’t stop, we have to find Nicole."

Meanwhile, a man who the Pierce County Sheriff's Department has called "a person of interest" in White's disappearance faced a federal judge in Tacoma on an unrelated, possible federal charge Monday.

Jonathan Harris, 29, of Graham, was seen with White, 28, at the Jeepers bar in Spanaway the night of June 6, the sheriff's department said.

White was reported missing by her family the next morning, and White's car was found abandoned and partially hidden near Graham. The keys were still in the ignition.

Harris, a felon previously convicted of assault, is facing a possible charge in federal court of illegal possession of 80 rounds of ammunition that were found in a search of his home after White's disappearance.

It is illegal for a felon to possess guns or ammunition.

He’s being held in custody until his next court hearing on Thursday.

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3 comments

  • Cherie Beale

    can you please update this story? wasnt the person of interest supposed to go to court sometime this week? why arent the police communicating more with the family?
    they are still at the base camp at the church daily and family and friends are searching daily.
    thank you

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