PORT ORCHARD, Wash. - Detectives with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office are actively investigating the disappearance of 19-year-old Tyrone Sero from Port Orchard.
On Friday morning, investigators said a 19-year-old Gig Harbor man turned himself in Thursday night and a 20-year-old South Kitsap man was arrested in connection with Sero's disappearance.
According to the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office, the Gig Harbor man admitted to killing Sero Wednesday morning. He was booked into the Kitsap County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and the South Kitsap man was also booked on suspicion of first-degree murder.
Sero's whereabouts are still in unknown.
His family said they believe he was abducted from a gas station in Port Orchard near the intersection of Southeast Lund Avenue and Jackson Avenue Southeast. His loved ones filed a missing person report to the Port Orchard Police Department on Oct. 20, and he was entered into the national and statewide databases as a missing person. After further review, the sheriff’s office began leading the investigation.
"I am very thankful for the efforts of our detectives and the partnership we share with the community and outside agencies that have been instrumental in this investigation. This is a tragic incident. Our investigators are working hard to identify those people responsible and hold them accountable," said Sheriff John Gese.
On Thursday, Sero’s family and friends met to search for Sero. His aunt, Lorie Waltrip, made flyers and posted to social media to raise awareness about his disappearance.
"We will find him and we will bring him home no matter what," said Waltrip. "I’m just fully in investigation mode because that’s what I do. That’s who I am."
Sero is described to be 5 feet 4 inches tall, with orange/red colored hair and has freckles. The teen’s loved ones said he was last seen on surveillance cameras at the gas station wearing a red hat and black sweatshirt. They said they have been calling and texting him, but no response.
"He doesn’t leave his phone for anything. He can’t get off the couch and walk across the room without his phone in his hand," said Dianna Anderson, a friend of Sero’s.
Family and friends said Sero’s phone pinged at several locations in the county, with the last spot near a Safeway grocery store in Belfair. That’s where they gathered Thursday morning to start looking for him.
"I haven’t heard anything. I think that’s why we’re all so stumped on it. I know that we’ll find out more details as the days go by or as today goes by and we find him," said Anderson.
On her social media pages, Waltrip posted a picture of a car at the gas station where Sero was last seen. She said she believes her nephew was abducted and the car may be involved. Sgt. Dickinson said it is too early in the investigation to make a connection to the car, but detectives are looking into every tip including surveillance video.
"It helps us put together some timelines, it helps us to validate the person was at a location or not, it helps to validate any vehicles that might be involved or descriptions of other people," said Dickinson.
While detectives continue investigating, Sero’s family and friends are passing out flyers and putting boots to the ground to find him.
"I want these people to know that they are surrounded. That I will not stop. You will see his face everywhere until he is found," said Waltrip.
This is an active and ongoing investigation.
Anyone who may have seen or heard something about his whereabouts can contact Detective Joe Hedstrom at JHedstro@co.kitsap.wa.us or (360) 337-5615 or Detective Dave Meyer at DMeyer@co.kitsap.wa.us or (360) 337-5617. Those who wish to remain anonymous can also submit a tip by visiting the Crime Stoppers website or using the P3Tips app on their mobile devices.
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