By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office continues to look for a Centralia mother of three who went missing on Saturday, with plans to review surveillance videos from businesses as well as search the Cowlitz River and its banks.
The sheriff’s office said a makeup bag identified as belonging to Elizabeth A. Pham was turned in to the Castle Rock Police Department on Sunday by a fisherman who located it downstream from where Pham was last seen.
Also, a witness reported seeing a woman matching her description sitting beneath the overpass at exit 59 staring into the Cowlitz River, according to the sheriff’s office.
The 33-year-old woman’s car was found on southbound Interstate 5 near Vader’s exit 59, unlocked with the keys in it by a trooper on Saturday evening.
“At this time, we do not know what happened to Elizabeth; there are a lot of possibilities that need to be examined,” Chief Deputy Bruce Kimsey stated in a news release around noon today. “Elizabeth may have gotten a ride out of the area, and be gone on her own volition, we just don’t know at this time.”
Chief Deputy Stacy Brown indicated today Pham’s family says she may be suffering from postpartum depression.
They are still asking for anyone who has seen her, or has information, to call them.
Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza said he has four detectives assigned to the case, and they have set aside everything else.
“My hope is, it’s just a young female who wanted to get away for awhile,” Snaza said.
Detectives believe Pham left her vehicle along the freeway on Saturday morning and walked to Gee Cees truck stop, where she tried to get a ride with a truck driver who was headed to Redding, California. A Gee Cee’s employee stopped Pham from getting into the truck and called a taxi for her, according to Brown.
Detectives have learned Pham asked the taxi driver to take her to Olympia, but they stopped by her vehicle to get some personal items and then she was dropped off at the Shell station off exit 59, according to Brown.
The taxi driver described her behavior as unusual and confused.
She went into the store and stayed for about 20 minutes without buying anything, and then witnesses say she walked over to the nearby Beasley’s Restaurant and placed an order, according to Brown.
It was after that someone saw the woman under the overpass, according to Brown.
Pham was reported missing at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
When last seen, she was wearing purple pajama bottoms, a pinkish red shirt and socks but no shoes. Pham is described as 5-feet 6-inches tall and weighing 122 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact sheriff’s detective Jeremy Almond at 360-748-9286 or email@example.com
For background, read “News brief: Missing woman’s car found abandoned near Vader” from Monday October 12, 2015, here