Searchers look for clues in SW Missouri woman’s disappearance
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — More than 100 volunteers searched more than 90 acres of rural Cape Girardeau County for a southeast Missouri woman who has not been seen since leaving her estranged husband’s home on June 1.
Jacque Waller, 39, a mother of triplets, was last seen near the home of her estranged husband, Clay Waller, in Jackson. Clay Waller told police he and his wife argued but has denied having anything to do with her disappearance. He is considered a person of interest in the case, but no charges have been filed.
Some of the searches over the weekend concentrated on an area where Jacque Waller’s business cards were found last week. No new clues were found by the volunteers, which included members of the Cue Center for Missing Persons from North Carolina.
“It was a big turnout,” said Laura Helbig, a search volunteer. “Most of these people didn’t know Jacque, they just want to help. It’s really fortifying, and it gives us more adrenaline to keep going, knowing that there’s so much support.”
Recent national media attention hasn’t resulted in any new leads, said Jackson police chief James Humphreys.
“It’s been extremely busy trying to keep up with all the media attention,” Humphreys said. “But it is a help to be able to get the message out. It may land on the ears we need it to.”
Waller’s vehicle, a blue Honda Pilot, was found abandoned near the Fruitland exit off Interstate 55 hours after she was reported missing.
Family members last saw her in Ste. Genevieve, where Waller was staying with her sister. She went to Cape Girardeau and Jackson on June 1 to complete divorce proceedings and pick up her son from Clay Waller’s former home.
Waller’s family has said in several television interviews they have “no doubt” about what happened to their daughter.
“We know exactly what happened,” her father, Stan Rawson, said in interview on NBC. “The FBI forensics team was in that house for several days, and they can tell you exactly what happened. They probably won’t, but they should.”
Clay Waller has been a person of interest in the case since shortly after his wife disappeared. He has declined interviews but his attorney, Scott Reynolds, issued a statement last week saying his client had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance.
“Clay Waller misses his wife and hopes she is found OK,” Reynolds said in the statement.
Waller’s family is offering a $3,500 reward for information that leads to their loved one.
Information from the Southeast Missourian