Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published July 11, 2013 at 9:00 PM | Page modified July 12, 2013 at 6:36 AM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (2)
  • Print

Deaths of former Aberdeen woman, 2 kids ruled accidental

The deaths of a woman and her two children in Indiana shortly after the family had moved from Aberdeen were caused by hypothermia, according to a grand jury.

The Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
From The Huffington Post New Albany Police Chief Sherri Knight said during a news... MORE
This is important for insurance purposes. KLV MORE

advertising

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — An Indiana grand jury investigating the deaths of a woman and her two children whose naked bodies were found in a shallow creek in March says disorientation caused by hypothermia played a key role in what a prosecutor called a “bizarre” tragedy.

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said the grand jury met for five days and heard from 17 witnesses before determining this week that the deaths of 35-year-old Jaime Clutter, 10-year-old Brandon Clutter and 6-month-old Katelyn Clutter were accidental.

After a passer-by found the nude bodies in a New Albany creek on March 13, questions swirled about whether Jaime Clutter might have killed her children, then herself, as part of a religious ritual. Police said they found a baby harness and a Bible nearby.

Clutter’s husband, Michael Clutter, was at work the day his family died. Henderson said the grand jury found no wrongdoing on his part. The family had moved to Indiana from Aberdeen in December.

“The grand jury has spoken through the findings that they do not believe Jaime Clutter killed her two children,” Henderson said at a news conference in New Albany, about a mile north of Louisville, Ky. “They don’t believe Jaime Clutter committed suicide.”

Instead, Henderson said, evidence shows the deaths were caused by drowning, with hypothermia a contributing factor.

Henderson said Jaime Clutter was known as a deeply spiritual person who dressed conservatively but said there was no evidence to suggest she had gone to the creek and disrobed as part of any religious rite.

“This was totally contrary to her and her faith,” he said.

The grand-jury review also turned up no indications of a struggle involving another person, Henderson said. A man who called 911 after finding the bodies told dispatchers the woman’s body appeared battered. The Kentucky medical examiner’s office indicated the injuries were consistent with those caused by rocks in a creek, Henderson said.

An expert testified that people can become confused, disoriented and even disrobe in cases of hypothermia, Henderson said. The temperature was about 30 degrees with a wind chill of 18 when the bodies were found.

“We believe that hypothermia played the major role in the actions of Jaime Clutter on that morning with the extreme cold temperatures,” he said.

Henderson said there were no signs of anything out of the ordinary with the Clutters until Jaime Clutter abruptly took her children from their apartment the day of their deaths, leaving behind coats.

“What happened that morning, we’re not certain,” the prosecutor said. “At the end of this, it is a bizarre set of circumstances.”

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Meet the winemakers

Meet the winemakers

View video interviews, conducted by The Seattle Times wine writer Andy Perdue, profiling five of our state's top winemakers.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►