Blood evidence was found at Clay Waller's house, father says

Friday, July 22, 2011
Paula Martin of Jackson hikes through a wooded area northeast of Cape Girardeau Sunday, June 26, 2011 in search of her friend Jacque Waller. Around 30 friends and family members led the search for Waller who has been missing since June 1. (Laura Simon)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Attorney Scott Reynolds said a paraphrase that used the word "proves" was misappropriated to a statement he made that his client, Clay Waller, had nothing to do with Jacque's disappearance. Reynolds said he has evidence that does not prove, but rather supports, that Clay Waller was not involved in her disappearance. Reynolds' direct quote was as follows: "I have substantial evidence Clay was not involved in the disappearance."

There have been mumblings for weeks that blood was found somewhere in the house where Clay Waller was staying at the time of his wife's disappearance.

On Thursday, Jacque Sue Waller's father said rumors of blood are true.

"I've seen it," said Stan Rawson, a former deputy sheriff and police officer in the St. Louis area. "But that's all I'm going to confirm. There's a ton of evidence. ... Just suffice to say there is blood evidence. I saw the evidence bags."

When prodded, Rawson -- who met with law enforcement again Wednesday to discuss the case -- also acknowledged that the blood was found in the Jackson house where Waller was staying. Rawson wouldn't elaborate further, he said, for fear of compromising the investigation into his daughter's June 1 disappearance.

The 39-year-old mother of triplets was last seen at the house in Jackson where her husband, Clay Waller, was staying, though he has since moved. Her SUV was found abandoned near Fruitland along Interstate 55 with a flat tire. On July 13, an area resident found her business cards near a mailbox along Highway 177, fewer than 10 miles from where her vehicle was found.

Police have called Clay Waller a person of interest in the disappearance and said that they suspect foul play.

Waller's lawyer, Scott Reynolds, wouldn't say whether he had any knowledge of blood evidence. But even if there was, Reynolds said, it doesn't prove anything.

"If that's true, why are police still stating that Clay is not a suspect?" Reynolds said. "If they have that evidence, it's amazing he's still not listed as a suspect. Police have also said that they have no evidence that a crime has been committed."

If the evidence does exist, it may or may not be relevant, Reynolds said, adding that just knowing that there was blood raises more questions than it answers: "How much blood? Whose blood? How long had it been there? A few drops? A couple pints? And why would someone not clean it up if a crime had been committed?"

And Reynolds said they have "substantial" evidence of their own -- evidence that proves that his client had nothing to do with Jacque's disappearance.

"My heart goes out to the Rawsons, they're good people," Reynolds said. "But I'm very confident with the evidence we have that shows Clay had nothing to do with it. We are still hoping for Jacque's safe return."

Law enforcement officials said they would not comment on any of the evidence collected as part of the investigation, including blood evidence.

"We don't want to jeopardize the case in any way," Jackson police chief James Humphreys said. "We're not willing to discuss that."

But Humphreys did say that they have around 260 leads in the investigation that officers are tirelessly running them down "until they turn into something or they don't."

Investigators have sent some potential evidence to the state crime lab and the FBI is investigating others, Humphreys said. It may seem to some like the wait has been lengthy, but Humphreys said that this is not the only case that the labs are concerned with.

"We're not the only missing person case or homicide case in our state," he said. "It's obviously a priority to us, but we're in line behind other cases and those cases are a priority to them. But we're still waiting on those lab results that may lead us in another direction."

The story of Jacque Sue Waller's disappearance has garnered national attention, with stories running on ABC's "Good Morning America," Fox News and most recently, a brief segment on Wednesday night's edition of Nancy Grace that included Humphreys and Jacque Waller's sister.

Humphreys is still confident that Waller will be found.

Family and friends of the missing woman have organized numerous searches since she disappeared.

"We're still searching," he said. "We hope we find her soon."

smoyers@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

Woodland Drive and Neal Street, Jackson, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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