Jacqueline Watts, a 33-year-old Indianapolis woman, went missing under suspicious conditions on Friday. The young wife had made plans to travel to Washington D.C. with her husband on Friday afternoon, even dropping off the couple’s pets with her parents in Columbus early on Friday before their flight later in the day. After dropping the pair’s rabbit and dogs off, however, Jacqueline Watts never made it back home to meet her husband for their drive to the airport.
Her family reported her missing at about 4:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, reports The Republic.
— Pepe Catastrophe (@PepeCatastrophe) March 4, 2017
Later Friday, the vehicle belonging to the missing Indianapolis woman was found in a wooded area near Columbus, an hour away from Indianapolis. Suspiciously, the car was found with it’s passenger door open and emergency flashers on. Police say that a phone and handbag belonging to Jacqueline Watts were found inside the suspiciously abandoned car.
Daily Mail reported that police continued their search for the missing Indianapolis woman throughout Friday night, focusing their search efforts on the area near where Jacqueline Watts’ car was found. The search continued overnight, and then ramped back up on Saturday morning at about 7:30. Less than an hour later, Columbus Police made a tragic, gruesome discovery in the case of the missing Indianapolis woman. They quickly held a press conference to announce what they had found.
What they had found was the body of missing Jacqueline Watts. They found the Indianapolis woman’s remains on a sandbar along a stretch of the Flatrock River, west of where they had been searching the night before and not far from where the missing young wife’s car had been found on Friday.
In their press conference addressing the tragic end to the search for the previously missing Jacqueline Watts, investigators warned the public that they are dealing with an open case, calling on the media and members of the local community to avoid jumping to conclusions and/or perpetuating baseless rumors. Specifically, Columbus law enforcement begged the public to avoid sharing rumors about the Indianapolis woman’s death on social media, citing a false claim about a bloodied woman in the woods.
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There is no evidence that such a thing was ever actually witness, and the story is reportedly causing panic and concern among locals in the case of Jacqueline Watts.
The public has also drawn parallels between the case of missing Indianapolis woman Jacqueline Watts and two murdered Indiana teens found near Deer Creek in Delphi. Those girls, 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams, disappeared for just hours in February while out for a hike. Their bodies were discovered the next day, and no arrests have been made in that case which occurred roughly one hour away from Indianapolis.
@HuffingtonPost Rest in Peace dear lady.
— gaynorroberts (@gaynorroberts6) March 5, 2017
@CBSNews the decay of our society another American tragedy
— outloawguitar1@.com (@ride1hour) March 4, 2017
Because both cases involving dead women occurred in wooded areas near water, some are concerned that they may involve the same perpetrator.
However, as People reports, police investigating the death of missing Indianapolis woman Jaqueline Watts aren’t yet calling her death a murder or even a crime. Rather, they are calling the death “suspicious,” and “under investigation.” Columbus police have yet to release the cause of Jacqueline Watts’ death, citing a pending autopsy.
“At this point we’re not sure. We’re going to follow where the facts lead us.”
Police say Jacqueline Watts' vehicle was towed away. Now have k9's and a helicopter aiding in the search. pic.twitter.com/Czj7AJPpyn
— Haley Bull (@HaleyBullNews) March 4, 2017
That autopsy is reportedly scheduled for Monday, and law enforcement officials have vowed to release more information to the public once it has been completed. In the meantime, in addition to asking the public to stop spreading rumors, Columbus police have requested that the media and public respect the privacy of Jacqueline Watts’ family at this difficult time.
“Our focus right now is supporting the family and making sure that we’re doing everything right. With an investigation of this course you have to get it right the first time.”
Police investigating the death of missing Indianapolis woman Jacqueline Watts have asked anyone with information in the case to submit their tips anonymously at 812-376-2100.
[Featured Image by Columbus Police/Twitter]