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Jacque Waller disappeared from Jackson a year ago today

Friday, June 1, 2012

(Photo)
Stan and Ruby Rawson show drawings of their family tree made by one of Jacque Waller's triplets Tuesday in their home near Bonne Terre, Mo. A video excerpt of the interview with the Rawsons is at semissourian.com.
(Fred Lynch) [Order this photo]
Emotions are still raw for friends and family of Jacque Waller one year after the mother of triplets disappeared.

Although her body has never been found, in April prosecutors filed a murder charge against her estranged husband, Clay Waller.

Anybody who has had a loved one die unexpectedly can empathize with her family's loss, said Stan Rawson, Jacque Waller's father.

"You miss the heck out of them. You can't stand it," Rawson said. "... I don't know if it will ever be better. It has to be or I couldn't last, I don't think."

Authorities have said that Clay Waller was the last to see Jacque Waller alive a year ago today. He was charged with first-degree murder in Jacque Waller's disappearance April 23.

According to a probable-cause statement, Jacque Waller had been living in Ste. Genevieve County since March 2011, while Clay Waller had been living in Jackson. The statement said Jacque had also started seeing someone while the couple were separated. Clay Waller also had a girlfriend, who lived in Illinois, according to the statement.

On the day Jacque Waller disappeared, the Wallers had met with an attorney about divorce proceedings. At the meeting, the couple argued about financial problems, according to the document prepared by Jackson police chief James Humphreys.

Jacque Waller's blue Honda Pilot was seen at the house where Clay Waller was staying into the evening on the day she went missing, though there is no account of her whereabouts for several hours that afternoon and evening. Her family last heard from her when she said she was going to meet Clay Waller to get one of their children from him.

Clay Waller has denied any wrongdoing related to Jacque Waller's disappearance.

Changed lives

Ruby Rawson, Jacque Waller's mother, said helping raise the triplets, who live with Jacque's sister Cheryl Brenneke, has helped the Rawsons survive the past year.

But watching the children, now 6, grow up without their mother is difficult, she said. For example, it saddens her to think about the funny things they do that Jacque Waller has missed.

"It's changed their whole lives," Ruby Rawson said. "We can't even watch news programs when they're in the room because we're always afraid something will come on the television. I had the kids here one day last week and they wanted to turn on the radio and I turned it to a local station to listen to music and the news came on. One of the children came in and said, 'They just mentioned my mommy on the radio.'

"I don't think she paid attention, she just heard her mommy's name. We've really got to watch that. We really don't want them to know anything right now."

Stan Rawson said the family is trying to shield the triplets from inadvertently learning their father is accused of killing their mother.

"We want them to be kids as long as they can be kids," he said. "I don't like the idea of growing up that quick. The day they hear that their dad is charged with killing their mom, they will grow up immediately, no doubt."

The family is careful never to say anything bad about Clay Waller within earshot of the children, he said. The children don't talk about their father but often ask the Rawsons to tell them about their mother.

Ruby Rawson said her heart sank when one of them came to her and said, "Daddy did a bad thing." She asked what their daddy did. "Daddy litters," was the reply.

An arraignment for Clay Waller on the murder charge is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday in Jackson. During the arraignment, officials will determine whether Waller will have a private attorney or a public defender and establish a date for a preliminary appearance, which usually takes place within 30 days, officials said.

Scott Reynolds, who has represented Clay Waller in other matters, wouldn't comment on whether he's representing him in the murder case. As of 11 a.m. Thursday, Reynolds had not made an appearance in court representing Waller, according to online records.

Clay Waller remained in a federal prison in Oakdale, La. He pleaded guilty to charges of making an Internet threat against Brenneke in the days following the disappearance and was sentenced to five years in prison in January.

"I can't say when we're going to pick him up for security reasons," said Cape Girardeau County sheriff's spokesman Lt. David James.

Remembering Jacque

A remembrance of Jacque Waller is scheduled for 8 p.m. today in the Leadington Free Will Baptist Church, 218 Woodlawn Drive in Flat River, Mo.

Friends and co-workers have scheduled a 5K run/walk in her memory for 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Shawnee Park Sports Complex concession stand on Rust Avenue in Cape Girardeau. A one-mile family walk will begin at 9 a.m., said Bridgid Sample, a former co-worker of Jacque Waller's. Proceeds from the events are to go to the Jacque Waller Family Fund, at US Bank.

"It's been a very difficult year, especially with her not being found. When this all happened a year ago, I never thought we'd be sitting here without her having a proper burial," Sample said. "I remember, especially in the first couple of days, every time the phone would ring or there would be breaking news, we'd rush to see if they found her. It never came."

4,000 acres

Searchers have combed more than 4,000 acres during searches for Jacque Waller's body, said Bobby Sherill, a physical therapist who became a search organizer.

"It's been a herculean effort. I work on it 15 to 20 hours a week after my job," Sherill said. "The last search we did, we covered over 100 acres."

All the searches are based on leads generated through James' investigation, Sherill said.

Investigators receive information every week that leads them to new places to search, James said.

"We can't search everywhere. We are trying to narrow it down," James said. "We've always been hoping that mushroom hunters or turkey hunters would find something unusual out in the woods. The possibilities are endless. She could have been put in the river somewhere."

Ruby Rawson said there is only one sure way investigators are going to find Jacque Waller's body: by the person responsible for her disappearance revealing where she is.

"There's just too big of an area. You can't find a small spot even though they've searched very diligently," she said. "They feel like they've already been to where she's located, but finding that exact spot is going to be hard to do without someone telling them exactly where she is."

jgamm@semissourian.com

573-388-3635

Pertinent address:

218 Woodlawn Drive, Flat River, MO

100 Court St. Jackson, MO


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Comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on semissourian.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Heartful thoughts and prayers go out to this family on this day filled with sorrow. We are forever behind you, Dear Rawsons.

-- Posted by Hot Dog on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 12:10 AM

How many anniversary fund raisers and celebrations are these folks going to have? Something has always smelled fishy about this case.

-- Posted by whom on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 5:26 AM

Baby boo, there are no "celebrations" being held. Your use of the word highlights your lack of knowledge. Your statement that "something has always smelled fishy" is undoubtedly due to your getting a whiff of yourself. Your post smells to high heaven.

-- Posted by frenchie on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 7:44 AM

Well put Frenchie,

-- Posted by TheOneDude on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 9:24 AM

Baby Boo, You are a cold miserable person... If you dont have anything nice to say about a family grieving over a beautiful daughter, Mother, friend then just keep you big mouth shut!

-- Posted by Jim P on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 9:40 AM

How many anniversary fund raisers and celebrations are these folks going to have? Something has always smelled fishy about this case.

-- Posted by baby boo on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 5:26 AM

AS MANY AS THEY DANG WELL PLEASE UNTIL THEY HAVE THERE CLOSURE, WOW, YOU ARE SIMPLY A HORRIFIC PERSON FOR SAYING THAT

-- Posted by judgment82 on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 9:47 AM

I agree with Baby Boo thoughts. And I too am sick of reading about this case and see the Rawson's in the media. A little common sense, there is not enough evidence to convict Clay.

Jacque could have abandoned her kids; it happens every day. Rawson's could be in on it, given they immediately started having endless fund raisers within the first week or two of her disappearance.

A very plausible scenario. Has law enforcement used a forensic accountant to follow the Rawson's money trail?

-- Posted by improvisational on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 10:03 AM

Gossip a few more slanderous accusations, and you could find yourself in a libel suit.

-- Posted by frenchie on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 10:42 AM

Frenchie, I read nothing slanderous or libel in gossip's post. Unless you can convince me otherwise. I pray for all involved in this case and for some closure for Jacque's Family and children. I would also agree with gossip's opinion

concerning circumstantial evidence and a conviction on 1st degree murder. JMO

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 11:16 AM

An attempt to link the family with the disappearance and a money motive seems libelous to me. But a court would determine that.''

-- Posted by frenchie on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 11:33 AM

Gossip's reference was in the form of a question and not a statement!.... "Has law enforcement used a forensic accountant to follow the Rawson's money trail?

Again, nothing there frenchie.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 11:40 AM

A civil court would be the judge of that.

-- Posted by frenchie on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 12:21 PM

Would never be heard by a civil court as there is no slander or libel at all in gossip's post. Sorry to disappoint.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 12:27 PM

baby boo is precisely the reason the Southeast Missourian needs to do away with these comments. Who cares what your opinion is.

-- Posted by Hot Dog on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 5:31 PM

Let me get this straight, it is okay to convict Clay Waller in the medi. But it is not okay to ask if the Rawson's financials have been looked at, given all the fund raising that has taken place, given no body has been found. Asking if and why the investigation has not been well rounded, seems appropriate to me.

-- Posted by improvisational on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 6:07 PM

frenchie, If you are a family member or friend, you need to deal with the fact that not everyone agrees with the story the family has been promoting over the last 12 months.

This is America and others have a right to their opinion and the right to question the investigation. Some of us want law enforcement to find the truth, which means a well rounded investigation needed to take place.

Your libel threats are laughable. The family has made themselves public figures, ie national coverage, constant media attention and fund raising. Three public threats could be debated as a form of harassment.

-- Posted by improvisational on Fri, Jun 1, 2012, at 6:41 PM

you know....if you know people make comments just to get under your skin and you give them attention, they win. If you ignore people like baby boo, they dont get the attention they are seeking, give it a whirl, ignore the comments, they will move on, and everbody wins

-- Posted by harveyjoe on Sat, Jun 2, 2012, at 10:06 PM

Like most people locally I've followed this story very closely. I've never seen any inkling that the Rawson family is anything but devestated by the loss of their daughter/sister/mother. I seem to recall that the fundraisers were all about the search for Jacque in the beginning, and then switched to a fund for her 3 children. I think in many high profile cases similar things have happened because people --most people anyway-- want to help in some way and money is one way they can contribute.

-- Posted by Catbert on Sun, Jun 3, 2012, at 1:07 AM

A quick google found the following partial list of fundraising events, not to mention the items offered for sell at each of the search events and vigils.

The story has been promoted on Nancy Grace, America's Most wanted, ABC News` Good Morning America, The Today Show, Fox News, Dr. Phil and more.

The fundraising began just two weeks after Jacque disappearred.

*Family taking donations to help children... Wednesday, June 15, 2011

*June 21, 2011 (Farmington) Organizers of Tuesday's bake sale at Walmart

*July 9, 2011 yard sale at Calvary United Pentecostal Church in Jackson

*Stay updated on fundraisers for Waller on the Justice for Jacque Fund Raiser Committee page and the Find Jacque S. Waller page on Facebook. http://www.semissourian.com/story/173762...

*CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A fundraiser breakfast for Jacque Waller will be Saturday, *July 16.[2011] The breakfast will be at Beef 'O' Brady's from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

*Aug 1, 2011 Jaque Waller's friends and family honor with candlelight vigil "Community members bought Justice for Jaque T-shirts, key chains, and bracelets, while picking up a candle for the vigil. They supported the family, and each other while people close to Jaque like her father, spoke about how proud Jaque would be of the community support." Kfvs

*Jacque Waller searches, vigils organized for Saturday(09/30/11)

*Oct 1 prayer vigil Mineral area college

Poker run donations --Wednesday, October 5, 2011

*Silent Auction date? Following items were donated

* Plaza Tire Service: Gift Certificate (1 set of (4) Nokian eNTYRE tires, $400.00 value)

* Dino's Pizza: Gift Certificate $20.00

* Danielle: Brighton-Wallet valued at $100.00

* Cape Bicycle:-Serfas Floor Tire Pump value $25.00

* Zickfield's Jewelry & Gifts: (1) Cherished Teddies figurine "Sweet Dreams My Little One" value $15.00-(1) Precious Moments figurine "Perfect Harmony" value $55.00

* Jan 7, 2012 Benefit pageant Shawnee Center

*Stooges, Jackson (could not find the date)

*Gordonville Grill, Feb 7, 2012

April 19--This Saturday is the Rummage and Bake Sale

*Freewill Babtist church --June 1, 2012 Family and friends held a candlelight vigil remembering Jacque

*1st Annual Jacque Waller 5K Run/Walk and 1 mile Family Walk will be held on Saturday, June 2, [2012] in Cape

-- Posted by Gnarls on Sun, Jun 3, 2012, at 4:12 AM

Just add three elementary age kids to any household and see how the expenses soar.

While I am tired of news articles with no new news, I understand the need for the fundraisers. Have there been to many? It's like a Hollywood sequel, it's not to many until the public stops supporting them.JMO

-- Posted by malan on Sun, Jun 3, 2012, at 8:13 AM


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LOCAL VIDEO: Rawsons: Jacque Waller's parents one year later
Stan and Ruby Rawson are coping one year after the disappearance of their daughter, Jacque Waller, in this interview May 29, 2012.
Map of pertinent addresses