The Latest: Body of missing Indianapolis woman found

12:30 p.m. update

An autopsy for Jacqueline (Kleine) Watts is tentatively scheduled for Monday at an undisclosed location, Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting said. Further details may be released by the coroner’s office later today. Nolting said a cause and manner of death will be released following the autopsy.

11:15 a.m. update

The body of Jacqueline (Kleine) Watts has been removed from the sandbar in the Flat Rock River, and was transported from the scene in Noblitt Park by the Bartholomew County Coroner’s office.

The circumstances of Watts’ death are unknown at this time.

10:50 a.m. update

The ground search that began this morning for Jacqueline (Kleine) Watts, also known to many as Jackie, led to the discovery of her body, the Columbus Police Department said at a news conference this morning.

Watts was found about a half-mile from where her abandoned car was discovered Friday. The area has residential homes that back up to the Flat Rock River.

The circumstances of Watts’ death are unknown at this time, police said.

10:38 a.m. Saturday update

The Columbus Police Department said this morning that a body identified as that of Jacqueline (Kleine) Watts, 33, Indianapolis, was found at 8:30 a.m. on a sandbar in the Flat Rock River.

Police are not releasing any additional information at this time, and said the cause of death would be determined by Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting.

Original story Friday

Columbus police officers are searching for a woman reported missing by her family earlier this afternoon.

Jacqueline (Kleine) Watts
Jacqueline (Kleine) Watts

Missing is Jacqueline (Kleine) Watts, 33, Indianapolis, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

Watts’ car was found running, with the flashers on at 2300 Riverside Drive, which is near the intersection of Washington and 25th streets in Columbus, at about 5 p.m. today. Witnesses said the car door on the passenger side was found open.

Watts is described as 5’5″ tall and weighs 110 pounds. She has blonde hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing black stretch pants and a gray shirt.

Watts and her husband are originally from Columbus — her mother-in-law Sandy Watts recently retired as a Parkside School teacher. Watts is a 2002 Columbus East High School graduate.

Jenn Watts Barrie, Jacqueline’s sister-in-law, posted on social media that Jacqueline and her husband Michael were planning to fly to Washington D.C. Friday night for a visit but Jacqueline did not return home to Indianapolis to meet her husband and go to the airport.

Barrie said on social media that Jacqueline dropped the family’s dogs off with her mother-in-law and a rabbit at her parents’ house in Columbus, but no one saw her after that.

The missing woman’s cell phone and purse were inside the vehicle with the passenger door open when the vehicle was found, Barrie said. The car has been towed from the scene.

Anyone is with information in regards to Jacqueline’s whereabouts is urged to contact police dispatch at 812-379-1689.

Law enforcement officers and police K-9’s are currently searching the immediate area. A helicopter is also being used in the search. The public is asked to avoid the area at this time, Harris said.

For more on this story, check back here at the Republic website.

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.