Prosecutor: Missouri man admitted killing missing wife
Thursday, September 8, 2011
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A federal prosecutor said Thursday that a southeast Missouri man who authorities have said is a suspect in his estranged wife’s disappearance confessed to his father that he killed her.
Jacque Waller, a 39-year-old mother of 5-year-old triplets from the southeast Missouri town of Cape Girardeau, has been missing since June 1. Her husband, Clay Waller, has not been charged in his wife’s disappearance but is facing federal charges of making Internet threats against one of his wife’s relatives.
Clay Waller was in U.S. District Court Thursday for a hearing in the threat case. During the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Ferrell said Clay Waller confessed to the killing to his father.
Waller’s attorney, public defender Scott Tilsen, confirmed to The Associated Press what Ferrell said in court. Tilsen also said Ferrell’s comments were the first time he had heard about the alleged confession. Tilsen declined further comment.
Waller remains jailed without bond at the jail in Pemiscot County.
Calls seeking comment from Ferrell were not returned.
A Cape Girardeau County prosecutor has called Waller a suspect in his wife’s disappearance. Waller has denied wrongdoing and accused authorities of a “witch hunt” against him.
Waller was the last person known to have seen his wife. He told police she left his home in Jackson on foot on the afternoon of June 1. The couple was in the process of divorcing.
In an interview with the Southeast Missourian in July, Waller said he suspected his wife was abducted off of Interstate 55, where her blue Honda Pilot was found abandoned hours after she was reported missing. But Jackson Police Chief James Humphreys said investigators do not believe Jacque Waller was abducted.
Authorities and hundreds of volunteers have joined in the search for her, a search that has included ponds, woods, even construction areas where Clay Waller worked.
The hearing Thursday was to consider whether Waller should remain jailed without bond. The judge was expected to rule in the next few days.