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Crime & Courts

Prosecutor: Estranged Husband Confessed to Killing Missing Missouri Mother

  • James Clay Waller

    James "Clay" Waller. (Jackson Police Department)

  • Jacque Sue Waller with kids

    This picture, provided by the Southeast Missourian, shows 39-year-old Jacque Sue Waller, center, who was reported missing June 1. Police say they suspect foul play and have named the woman's estranged husband, James "Clay" Waller, a "person of interest" in her disappearance. (Southeast Missourian)

  • missing Missouri mother Waller

    Authorities say they found Jacque Sue Waller's vehicle abandoned about three miles from her estranged husband's home. Her business cards were later found along a separate state highway about eight miles from where her car was recovered ( (

The estranged husband of a missing Missouri mother of triplets has confessed to killing her, a prosecutor reportedly said Thursday.

The prosecutor said James "Clay" Waller allegedly told his father that he killed Jacque Sue Waller, 39, according to the Southeast Missourian. 

Jacque, a mother of 5-year-old triplets, was first reported missing shortly after apparently visiting her husband at his home June 1 in Jackson, Mo.

Clay Waller had been named a "person of interest" in the case, but the prosecutor's remarks in court Thursday were reportedly the first evidence made public that link him to a crime. 

Jacque's car was found abandoned in June alongside a state highway in what police suspect may have been a scene staged to look like an abduction. Jacque Waller had just attended a divorce hearing, according to police, and drove to her husband's home at around 4:00 p.m. to pick up her 5-year-old son, Maddox.

But the child was not at the home when Jacque Waller arrived, and family members had said they believed her husband, a former police officer, lured her to the home to kill her.

"It was just his bait to get her to the house so he could kill her," Cheryl Brenneke, the woman's sister, told in June. 

Clay Waller told investigators that he and his wife had an argument at his home before Jacque "walked away mad," according to authorities.

Police found Jacque Waller's car abandoned along Interstate 55 in Missouri the morning after she was reported missing. Her purse, keys and cellphone were not found inside the vehicle, and authorities said there has been no activity on her credit cards and phone since her disappearance.

Brenneke said Clay Waller threatened to kill his wife if she filed for divorce and harassed her with repeated phone calls and text messages after she moved out of the couple's home in March.


SLIDESHOW: Where is Jacque Sue Waller?  

Click to read more on this story from the Southeast Missourian 

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