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March 15, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Aberdeen neighbors remember woman, kids found slain in Indiana

By Brionna Friedrich / The Daily World, Aberdeen

The bodies of a former South Aberdeen woman and her two children were found in a shallow creek in Indiana Wednesday. According to neighbors in Aberdeen, they had moved there in December when the father found work.

Jaime Clutter, 35, and her children, Brandon, 10, and Katelyn, 6 months, were found at New Albany, Ind., in Binford Park Wednesday. Their names were released Thursday.

A relative who asked that her name be withheld remembered Jaime Clutter Thursday night as a loving woman protective of her children and devoted to her faith.

“I just cannot say enough; sweet, heart of gold,” she said. “I just hope whoever did this gets caught quickly. Someone who would kill a baby on the street is dangerous.”

The park remains closed as police investigate, according to the Jeffersonville Evening News and the Tribune. A cause of death has not been released, but police are investigating the case as a homicide. Autopsies were performed Thursday, and the father, Michael Clutter, 47, was interviewed by police and released, according to local news outlets.

No suspects have been named, according to the website of the The Courier-Journal.

The Courier-Journal reported that the family’s pastor told the newspaper that as Michael Clutter was going to police to report his wife and children missing, officers were responding to the discovery of their bodies.

Clutter said he went to the police station after returning home from work about 5 p.m. Wednesday to find them missing, according to the Rev. J. Todd Nichols, pastor of Greater Faith Church, the paper reported.

Michael Clutter “was devastated” when he was told, Nichols said, adding that he spent hours with him at the police station. “And he’s had about 30 minutes of sleep since he left for work” at 4:50 a.m. Wednesday.

The park where the bodies were found is about a quarter-mile from the Clutters’ apartment.

A South Aberdeen neighbor whose son played with Brandon Clutter described the boy as quiet and “to himself,” but enthusiastic about his church, often inviting neighbors. He said Brandon Clutter had been home-schooled while living in Aberdeen. The family is believed to have attended services at a local Pentecostal church several times a week.

The neighbor said the family was private, but “I never noticed anything out of the ordinary.”

He had remained in touch with the family after their move, calling them after a break-in to the Clutters’ home in January. The home is currently vacant. Days before the bodies were discovered, he said he had intended to call the family.

“I just had a weird feeling,” he said.

Before the family moved, the neighbor said, Michael Clutter had asked him to buy a few items he had for sale, sharing for the first time he had been out of work since being laid off from the Westport Shipyards more than a year earlier. The family still owns a home in Aberdeen.

“That’s how they kept to themselves — I didn’t even know,” the man said.

Most of the neighbors did not want to be quoted by name for this story.

The family moved after Michael Clutter found work in Indiana, nearer to his family, according to neighbors.

Several neighbors said the boy wasn’t often seen on the street, although another often saw him playing with his father in their backyard.

Herb Norquist, another neighbor, said he only knew the family in passing. Jaime Clutter had once come over to ask if it was all right for her family to paint their house like his.

“They seemed like nice people,” he said

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