Remains Found in Search for Missing Mom of 2, Ex Arrested for Allegedly Attacking Her Before She Vanished

Perrie Mason’s last known location was not immediately clear, but Meriden police said she had been missing since Friday.
Meriden Police

Human remains have been found by law enforcement searching for a missing Connecticut mother of two whose ex-boyfriend was taken into police custody for allegedly assaulting her before she disappeared.

Perrie Mason’s last known location was not immediately clear, but Meriden police said she had been missing since Friday. 

The 31-year-old mother of two boys, ages 11 and 12, was reported missing on Sunday by her sister, Vao Horlback, after being unable to reach her for two days, she told WTIC-TV.

“My sister and I talk every day, three times a day, we are very close,” Horlback told the television station. 

Concerned, Horlback used her sister’s password to check her phone and said she saw the last call was made to 911. 

“She called 911 twice and both calls lasted for less than one minute,” Horlback said. 

Authorities said they were unable to hear anything on the call and that they tried calling back, but again they could not hear the person on the line, Horlback told KHON2.

Police obtained a search warrant and were scouring Mason’s apartment for any clues as to what happened, said Horlback, who had flown from her home in Georgia to Connecticut to be closer to her nephews. 

“They are there with a forensics team with their gloves on and going through the trash cans and everything outside,” she told the television station Tuesday. 

That same day, police arrested Mason’s ex-boyfriend, Jason Watson, for allegedly attacking her before she vanished.

Watson allegedly choked Mason until she blacked out, an arrest warrant affidavit for Watson obtained by the Hartford Courant said. 

Mason had texted Watson pictures of her injuries from the attack he is accused of carrying out on her, the court document said.

“You almost killed me,” Mason wrote to Watson days before she went missing, the Courant said.

Mason moved last year to Connecticut from Hawaii, where she had grown up. She worked as a court monitor recording court proceedings. 

In Connecticut, she began dating Watson, a truck driver and Meriden native who has a long criminal history dating to 2000, including for convictions for sexual assault and in domestic violence cases, authorities said.

Mason’s sister told police the couple had recently broken up after having “heated fights,” including one that was physical, but that they had remained living together in a West Main Street apartment, the warrant said. 

Horlback told investigators her sister never called police because she didn’t want anyone to get in trouble for the incident, according to the warrant.  

Watson was charged with second-degree strangulation, third-degree assault, first-degree unlawful restraint and disorderly conduct, officials said. He was arraigned Wednesday, but did not enter a plea. 

He was being held on $650,000 bond and is expected to next appear in court Sept. 12. 

During his court appearance, a state’s attorney reportedly called Watson a suspect in Mason’s disappearance, while the judge presiding over the case said he was a prime suspect. 

Watson reportedly called police Sunday saying Mason “might be missing,” but that “she was mad at him” and might be at a friend’s house. Police did not open a missing person case at that point, beginning their investigation when Mason’s sister called. 

Then on Monday, Watson spoke to his probation officer about Mason’s disappearance, the warrant said. “Crying hysterically,”

Watson told his probation officer he called the police because Mason was missing. Though the probation officer reportedly said she saw the text exchange between Mason and Watson about the alleged attack, Watson denied harming her, saying she was “too small.” 

The search for Mason turned to Waterbury on Wednesday, where Meriden and state police searched a commercial building in an industrial park that up for sale. It was not long after they announced they had located human remains. 

“At this time no positive identification has been made of the remains,” Lt. John Mennone with the Meriden police said. “The identification process can take a few weeks. “We are working with Ms. Mason's family and anticipate further updates in the future.”

Mason’s sons have been placed in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families. Friends and family created a GoFundMe page to aid in the search for Mason and help her sister obtain custody of her nephews. 

“Perrie is a responsible and loving mom who would want the best for her kids,” the page noted. As on Thursday, it had raised more than $2,500. 

Mason is 4-foot-11 and 130 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information regarding Mason that may help police in their investigation is asked to call Meriden Police at 203-630-6219.

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