Neighbors speak out after missing Columbus woman found dead

(WISH Photo)

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) — Although Columbus Police Department gave an update on the case, there are more questions than answers surrounding the death of Jackie Watts.

Police say a search party found her body on a sand bar in the middle of the Flat Rock River Saturday morning.

On Friday evening Watts was reported missing. Authorities believe Watts was dropping off pets at a relative’s house and hadn’t been heard from since.

Police found Watts’ car near the 2300 block of Riverside Drive in Columbus. The passenger door was open, the car’s hazard lights were blinking and the car engine was on idling. Watt’s cell phone and purse were inside the car when police found it.

Jeff Cornn lives in the neighborhood just east of where police discovered the body.

“Very odd to find an abandoned car, nobody around and here’s this attractive young lady, and she’s just gone — very odd,” said Cornn.

Bip Sutton also lives on the block. He said he heard police helicopters all night.

“So where the trees are deep down, it’s all river when it’s high in I’ll be right there,” said Sutton.

Neighbors also told 24-Hour News 8 that the park and trails near the shore are near an area you wouldn’t want to be in late at night.

“The park is very secluded. It’s very dark. There are no houses close by,” said Cornn.

“It does take a toll, the number of officers that were out all night working,” said Columbus police Lt. Matt Harris.

“Our goal is supporting the family and making sure that we’re doing everything right, and with an investigation of this of course you have to get it right the first time, and we have a number of seasoned investigators that are working on the case right now. Like I said, we have to go out and do our job; that’s what we get paid to do,” Harris continued.

Police have not yet said if foul play is suspected. They also haven’t released any suspect information.

The Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office says they will perform the autopsy on Monday. That’s when we may know the cause of death.

If you have any information in connection with this case, you’re encouraged to call 812-379-1689.

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