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Missing Indiana woman found dead on sandbar, not far from unsolved teen murder site

by Ellen Killoran

The teens’ presumed killer is still on the loose

A missing Indiana woman was found dead on a sandbar in a river less than a two hour drive from where two teenage girls were found dead of an apparent homicide last month.

Jacqueline Watts, 33, had been preparing to go on a trip with her husband to visit her sister on Friday when she suddenly disappeared, according to the Indy Star. She was last seen dropping her pets off at her parents’ home.

“She dropped their dogs off at my parents’ house and rabbit off at her parents’ house and no one heard from her afterward,” her sister Jen Watts Barrie reportedly wrote on Facebook.

Watts’s family reported her missing on Friday, shortly after police found her parked car still running, just a few blocks from her parents’ home, with the hazard lights on.

And on Saturday morning, police made the tragic discovery of the young woman’s body on a sandbar in the Flatrock River, about half a mile from where her car was found in Columbus.

Although Columbus Police reportedly characterized her disappearance as “suspicious,” they have not classified the death as a homicide or released any details about the possible cause of death, telling the Indy Star that they are awaiting the results of the autopsy, which is expected to be conducted on Monday.

Watts was found less than a two-hour drive from where Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, were found dead on February 14. The teen girls had gone for a hike at a nature reserve and Delphi the day before. Their bodies were discovered along a railroad bridge near Deer Creek.

The killer has not been found, though investigators are searching for a man captured on Liberty’s phone. Liberty is believed to have take a photo of a man walking along a bridge, in addition to a video recording in which a man with a deep voice can be heard saying “Down the hill.” Police believe the photo and voice recording may belong to the same man and that he was involved in the killings.

 

Photo: Handout

Ellen is a seasoned journalist and former media & entertainment reporter with a taste for true crime. Formerly a senior editor at IBTimes, her work has appeared in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Maxim, NYMag, Indiewire, and more. She co-produced the HBO documentary "Youth Knows No Pain" and appeared in a documentary series that aired alongside the Lifetime movie "Manson's Lost Girls."