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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

One year ago this Spanaway woman disappeared. Volunteers continue to search for her

By Puneet Bsanti The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

When Brian Boyd is missing his daughter, he grabs her favorite perfume that sits in her bedroom to smell it. He is reminded of the good memories he had with her before she disappeared.

It has been one year since Rio Boyd went missing in Spanaway after leaving her home. Rio Boyd was 21 when she left about 6 p.m. to walk to her friend’s house on Oct. 17, 2022. Rio Boyd’s cellphone was found on the side of the road near Field Road and Mountain Highway later that night, according to a Pierce County Sheriff’s Department news release.

Sgt. Darren Moss, spokesperson for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, said Rio Boyd’s disappearance is an active investigation and the department does not have new information to share to the public.

Jeannette DeWater never met Rio Boyd but makes a two hour and half hour trip to Spanaway from Port Angeles every Sunday with five other volunteers to search for her. DeWater said her cousin went missing in California and through that she receives information on unrelated missing person’s cases. When she saw Rio Boyd’s missing person’s information come up and realized the case took place two and half hours away from her home, she decided to help.

“We got about five of us searching for Rio, and we’ve been doing it for eight months,” she said.

DeWater said they spoke to the friend Rio Boyd was supposed to meet a year ago who confirmed she arrived that evening. The friend told volunteers that Rio Boyd showed off her new phone, the same phone that was found after her disappearance.

DeWater said the group follows any leads it receives and talks to people on the street near Rio Boyd’s home. They send any information or tips to police.

Moss said they do get the emails from volunteers and family members, but it is a lot and the information is “convoluted.”

Brian Boyd said the family checks on leads, but they are usually a dead end. Rio Boyd’s mother, who lives in Oregon, often speaks with Brian about their daughter’s case.

“We like to maintain the possibility that she’s going to walk in the door one day, that she just had a trouble patch and she’s just waiting for a moment to come back,” Brian Boyd said.

Brian Boyd said he is thankful for the work the detective on his daughter’s case has done. He said detectives have been doing a lot of work.

“Things will never be the same without her and if she sees this I hope she knows that she is loved very much by her parents,” he said.

Brian Boyd said he misses his daughter’s unique dry humor and how she lit up every room she walked into.

A GoFundMe was created by Rio Boyd’s family to raise money for a private investigator.

Rio Boyd is a white female with blue eyes and brown hair. She is 5 foot 5 and weighs 205 pounds. Police say she has a scar on her left forearm and a mole above her lip.

Anyone with information on Rio Boyd’s disappearance can contact the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department at (253) 798-3278, according to Washington State Patrol.