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July 11, 2013

Deaths of mother, children determined to be an accident

Grand jury finds hypothermia caused deaths

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY —

However, the grand jury found no evidence to blame mental illness as the reason for the deaths. 

“We don’t know her state of confusion or disorientation. We know she went to a friend’s home around 7 a.m. and was not dressed properly for the cold,” Henderson said. “I think it’s speculation to make a mental health diagnosis on someone who is deceased. 

“We have to protect the integrity of the deceased,” he added. “There were no mental health records and none of her friends think they existed.”

Henderson said the facts state that Michael Clutter left for work around 5 a.m. on March 13, and that Jaime Clutter was last seen around 7 a.m. 

There are no other witnesses from that point until the bodies were found around 5 p.m. He said the witness who spoke to Jaime Clutter said the mother of two seemed to be disturbed and upset about something. Not only did she leave her apartment without coats, but also without her eyeglasses.

“Something caused her great concern because of the abruptness in which she left the apartment,” Henderson said. “It’s a bizarre set of circumstances. It’s difficult for the family and community to comprehend. That is one of the reasons I felt compelled to assemble a grand jury. In the end the grand jury does not believe Jaime Clutter killed her two children and does not believe she committed suicide.” 

He said the grand jury does not believe the mother was performing some sort or religious ritual in the creek. Police say a Bible was found near the creek.

“People who suffer from extreme cold can become very disoriented,” Henderson said.

Jaime Clutter’s body had marks on it, but Henderson said they were consistent with being in a rushing creek.

Henderson said friends and family members have said 10-year-old Brandon was of above-average intelligence and a “very loving child.” He said Brandon’s body showed no signs of a struggle and that hypothermia led to his eventual drowning.

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