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Answers sought as mom found dead, 2 kids drown

– Officials in southern Indiana say two children found dead alongside their mother in a creek drowned, but the mother’s cause of death is still undetermined.

The bodies of 35-year-old Jamie Clutter, 10-year-old Brandon Clutter and 6-month-old Katelyn Clutter were unclothed when found Wednesday evening in a New Albany creek, Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson told a news conference Friday. A Bible was found near the creek along with a harness to carry a baby, WAVE-TV in Louisville, Ky., reported.

Henderson said no notes were left behind and there is no reason to believe a killer is on the loose posing a threat to the public. All possible motives are being examined.

The Clutter family moved to New Albany from Washington state in December.

Greater Faith Church pastor J. Todd Nichols said the woman’s husband, 47-year-old Michael Clutter, is shocked and devastated by the deaths. Clutter returned home from work Wednesday evening and found his wife and children missing but their car and apartment keys inside the unit, Nichols said.

Clutter’s wife and children were home before he left for work at 4:50 a.m. Wednesday, Nichols said.

“The mother was feeding the baby. His boy had heard them up and ran in there and wanted to tell his dad goodbye, he hugged him and kissed him,” Nichols said. “The wife followed him to the door and he told her, ‘Don’t forget to lock the door.’ ”

Michael Clutter is cooperating with investigators, Henderson said.

Nichols said he has known the family since July 2009 when they visited his church for an event ministering to poor communities in the area. For the next few years while the family was living in Washington, they would visit the Indiana church every six or seven months.

“They were wonderful people. I don’t say that with any kind of embellishment,” Nichols said. “In the three months that I pastored them, I never saw the husband and wife disagree.”

Part of the family’s motivation for moving to Indiana, where members of Michael’s family also lives, was their desire to be part of Greater Faith Church, Nichols said. They would pray together in the sanctuary daily and usually attended two services on Sundays.

Nichols also said it was unusual for Jamie Clutter to leave their home without telling Michael where she was going.

“She had never done that before without calling or texting him letting him know that she’s going to be gone for a while and where she’s going,” Nichols said.

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