Two years ago this Saturday, Jacque Sue Waller disappeared after visiting with her estranged husband. The long search for the mother of three came to a sad conclusion this week.
The Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney's Office announced yesterday that law enforcement agents recovered the body of Waller. They provided no information on how or where the remains were located.
The man authorities charged with her murder, husband Clay Waller, is already in Cape Girardeau County Jail and has been since August of last year.
See also: - Jacque Sue Waller: Mother Goes Missing; Estranged Husband Investigated - Clay Waller: Suspect in Wife's Disappearance Pleads Guilty to Threatening In-Law - Feds Say Clay Waller Admitted Killing His Wife; Want Him Held Without Bail
Although Waller's body was just found, authorities treated her case as a murder investigation from the jump. According to the probable cause statement, on June 1, 2011, the Wallers went to a meeting with an attorney to finalize their divorce, then Jacque drove to Clay's new home in Jackson to pick up their son, one of the couple's triplets. She told her sister and her boyfriend she would be home as soon as possible. She was never heard from again.
Authorities recovered her car, pieces of her purse and fragments of her cell phone along a highway, but no body. In a diary recovered in the car, Jacque wrote, "He told me a divorce would be my death sentence."
Authorities described Clay Waller as uncooperative and even "intentionally obstructive." He told police Jacque left his home on foot after a fight and returned later for her car. When investigators recovered sections of carpet hidden in a crawlspace that were covered in Jacque's blood, Clay said she'd tripped and fallen just before their fight. Read the whole probable cause statement here.
Clay Waller pleaded guilty in October 2011 to threatening to kill Jacque's sister in a message he posted online, and is currently serving a five-year sentence. The murder charge whisked him away from his federal cell in Louisiana and into the custody of the Cape Girardeau Sheriff.
Although his lead defense attorney Chris Davis tells Daily RFT in an e-mail he can't comment on the case, Jacque's sister Cheryl Brenneke told the Southeast Missourian that they'd been expecting Clay to make a plea soon. They did not, however, expect this discovery.
"You anticipate how you're going to feel for two years," Brenneke told the paper. "You just can't prepare yourself, really. You just can't."
Here is the message posted to the "Find Jacque S Waller" Facebook page yesterday afternoon:
It is with a heavy heart I deliver this message. Our daughter, mother, sister and friend has been found. God has planned everything well to place us in this very moment. God guided the law enforcement officials, searchers, K9s and most of all the prayers being sent to the prison to weigh heavily on clays mind. We thank everyone of you who has supported us and assisted us in this terrible nightmare. We have no arrangements as of yet but we will be able to lay our Jacque Sue to rest....finally. God Bless you all!
Brenneke also told SEMO that she told Waller's triplets -- now seven years old -- that their mother is dead, calling it the "hardest thing I've ever done in my life."
Here's hoping for swift justice and better days ahead for the Waller kids.