Clay Waller charged in Jacque Waller's murder

9:34 PM, Apr 23, 2012   |    comments
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Cape Girardeau, MO (KSDK) - Clay Waller, the estranged husband of a missing mother of triplets, has been charged with murder in connection to her disappearance.

Click here to read the charges and probable cause statement

Morley Swingle, the Prosecuting Attorney for Cape Girardeau County, filed first-degree murder charges against Clay Waller regarding the disappearance of his wife, Jacque.  Prosecutors also charged Clay Waller with two counts of evidence tampering.

Swingle said his office will not seek the death penalty in the case.

Clay Waller, 41, is being held on a $1 million bond.

Jacque Waller, 39, was last seen leaving Clay Waller's residence in Jackson on June 1, 2011.  Her body has not been found.

Jacque Waller's vehicle, a Honda Pilot, was later found abandoned near the Fruitland, Missouri exit on I-55.  The vehicle was locked, but her keys, purse and cell phones could not be located.

According to court documents, the Wallers had been married 17 years and had three five-year-old children, but were going through divorce proceedings at the time of Jacque's disappearance.  Jacque had primary custody of the children and Clay Waller received visitation rights.

On June 1, Jacque and Clay Waller both attended a meeting at a Cape Girardeau attorney's office to go over filing paperwork to move ahead with the divorce.  The attorney told investigators that Clay Waller became agitated during discussions on child custody, tax deduction filings and the settling of a retirement account to be held by Jacque.

Over the course of the meeting with the attorney, Clay Waller and Jacque decided they would speak with a bankruptcy lawyer before filing the divorce paperwork in order to avoid future complications.

The court documents go on to state that Jacque called her sister at 3:50 p.m. and said she was going to pick up her son, who was staying with Clay Waller, and then she'd return home.  Jacque called her boyfriend minutes later to talk about the meeting with the attorney, and hung up when she arrived at Clay Waller's house.

When Jacque did not return home, her family became concerned for her safety.  Jacque had told previously told friends and family that Clay Waller repeatedly threatened to kill her and their children if she attempted to leave him.

Prosecutors allege Clay Waller's whereabouts over the course of the late afternoon and evening of June 1 are largely unaccounted for.  Clay Waller's girlfriend, who was watching one of the Wallers' sons at the time, told police that she was to have dinner with Clay and the young boy.  However, Clay met her and said he could not have dinner with them and asked her to watch his son a while longer.

Clay Waller eventually had his girlfriend drop his son off to him after 10 p.m.

A friend of Jacque Waller's contacted the Jackson Police Department at approximately 11:25 p.m. to report her missing.  Clay Waller contacted police shortly after midnight and also reported Jacque missing.

Jackson police contacted Clay Waller in person shortly after 2:30 a.m. on June 2.  Clay said that Jacque left his home on foot after an argument.  Clay told police he later left his home and when he came back, Jacque had taken her car and gone.

On June 3, Clay Waller, who'd been living at the residence for six weeks since separating from his wife, was asked to move out by the people renting the property to him.  Clay contacted his girlfriend and asked her to help him clean and clear out the home.

On June 5, the renter contacted investigators and told them he noticed small amounts of what appeared to be blood on the hallway bathroom floor, as well as markings indicating an effort to clean the walls.

Police returned to the residence on June 6 and conducted a more thorough search of the property.  They discovered blood splatter patterns in the hallway, as well as the door trim and the top of the door jamb.  Samples were collected and sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Lab.

Analysis confirmed the samples contained what prosecutors call the "same DNA profile as Jacque Waller."  The testing further indicated the frequency of such a DNA profile appearing in the Caucasian population is 1 in 7.062 quadrillion people.

On June 8, investigators found carpeting hidden in a basement crawlspace.  The carpeting had been cut into several pieces and had apparent blood stains, prosecutors said.

That blood was tested in and came back as having the "same DNA profile as Jacque Waller."  According to law enforcement, the frequency of such a DNA profile appearing in the Caucasian population with this particular simple is 1 in 87.49 trillion people.

Prosecutors said Clay Waller told investigators that Jacque's nose began to bleed while she was visiting and that she tripped in the hallway while heading toward the bathroom.  He added that Jacque sneezed while in the bathroom, spraying blood about the room.

When Jacque tried to leave, Clay Waller told police he would not give her her car keys and instead threw the keys into a nearby tree.  Jacque said she would walk to a friend's house and come back later.  Clay Waller said he retrieved Jacque's car keys after she left and put them on her windshield.

Clay Waller told police he drove around for the next several hours, occasionally stopping along the road to read or do crossword puzzles.

Clay went on to tell prosecutors that he cut up and hid the carpeting because he did not want the renters to think something bad had happened.

On November 3, 2011, a MoDOT worker found a camera bag in a ravine along I-55 in the area where Jacque's Honda Pilot had been discovered.  Investigators found Jacque's purse, cell phone parts, her driver's license, credit cards and other items thought to have come from her purse.

Jacque Waller's laptop was found in her vehicle.  A personal diary was kept on that computer.  Prosecutors said Jacque detailed threats dating back to June 2010, when Clay Waller allegedly said he'd kill her if she divorced him.

Prosecutors and investigators said Jacque Waller has not accessed her bank accounts since June 1, 2011, nor has she made any contact with her family.

At present, Clay Waller is serving a five-year prison sentence in Louisiana unrelated to Jacque's disappearance. He pleaded guilty in October 2011 to posting threats online saying he wanted to kill Jacque's sister, who has been watching the children.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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