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March 15, 2013

Prosecutor: 2 children drowned

Investigation ongoing in 3 New Albany deaths; investigators have not ruled out murder-suicide

NEW ALBANY — While Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said the investigation is ongoing, he did provide more details into the deaths of a mother and her two children at a Friday afternoon press conference in his office.

The bodies of 35-year-old Jamie Clutter and her two children, 10-year-old Brandon Clutter and 6-month-old Katelyn Clutter, were found in New Albany’s Binford Park at about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday. The bodies were found in Falling Run Creek, which runs through the park.

Henderson said autopsies performed Thursday determined the two children drowned. However, it is still undetermined how Jamie Clutter died. All three bodies were unclothed when found in the creek, which was several feet deep. Henderson said clothing was found scattered around the creek bed and a harness used to carry a baby along with a Bible were found hanging from a tree.

“This is difficult,” Henderson said of the investigation. “We have a mother and two children found dead in our community. It’s troubling anytime you have children involved.”

Henderson said it could be up to two weeks before investigators have more definitive information on the case. He said it may take weeks to get the toxicology report back on the three victims.

“We have completed the first phase of the investigation,” he said. “We will build on the medical examiner’s report as well as the interviews we have completed to date to try and find a conclusion.”

Henderson did not rule out a murder-suicide. He said no notes were found. However, he said the public should not be alarmed that there is a murderer on the loose.

He also said Mike Clutter, the husband and father of the two children, has been cooperative with investigators. Mike Clutter apparently arrived home from work Wednesday at about 5 p.m. and noticed his family was not at their Sheffield Square apartment and became alarmed.

Henderson said he then went out looking for the three and ran across the investigation at Binford Park and told officers of his concern. His car, along with his wife’s vehicle, have both been collected by investigators. Mike Clutter was not present at the Friday press conference.

“He has provided everything we have asked of him to this point,” Henderson said of Mike Clutter. “There is no evidence to date that the father was at the scene [prior to the bodies being discovered].”

The family moved to New Albany in December from the Seattle area. Henderson said they apparently liked the area and made several friends.

Henderson said the mother and two children were seen around 7 or 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. He said investigators are trying to fill in the gap as to what happened between then and the time the bodies were found.

“All motives or opportunities are being looked at ... we are not going to make a final conclusion until we have looked at all the evidence and collected the facts to back it up,” Henderson said. “We hope to get the final answer soon.”

For updates on this story, go to newsandtribune.com

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Aikas Speed, 12, Charlestown, takes a photo of a bloody handprint on the countertop while Detective Donnie Bowyer watches over during a mock crime scene investigation at the Charlestown Public Library Wednesday.

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