BREAKING: Indiana woman may have died trying to save a dog

“We lost a very special person”

Columbus, Indiana, police gave a news conference on Monday to discuss the death investigation of Jacqueline Watts, who was found dead on a sandbar in a river this weekend.

At the news conference, Columbus Police Lt. Matt Harris reiterated an earlier police statement that investigators did not suspect foul play the death of the 33-year-old woman, who was deeply committed to animal rescue causes. He said that while her cell phone, wallet and keys were found in her running car on Friday, and the passenger door was found partially open, there were so signs of struggle in or around the car.

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

Multiple witnesses had reported seeing a woman matching Watts’ description chasing a small white dog wearing a sweater. One witness reported seeing the woman near Flatrock River, where her body was later discovered.

The body of a small white dog wearing a sweater was also found in the area. Lt. Harris said the dog matched the description of a lost dog notice posted on social media that day.

He said that police were waiting on the coroner’s report to determine a cause of death.

“We lost a very special person,” Lt. Harris said. “To hear that she was trying to save a lost dog and may have lost her life doing so does not seem out of character at all.”

The officer provided a timeline of Watts’ last hours which a reporter for the Indy Star shared on Twitter.

We will update this story as more information becomes available.


Photo: Police handout