Indiana woman seen chasing lost dog before death

Posted at 11:25 AM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-06 16:42:52-05

An Indianapolis woman found dead by a sandbar in a Columbus river was seen chasing a dog before she died, police said Monday afternoon.

Jacquelyn Watts, 33, had driven to Columbus Friday to drop off her animals at her parents' house. She was found dead Sunday morning.

Police say foul play is not suspected in the incident.

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Two people saw Watts chasing a small, lost dog before she was reported missing by her family on Friday. 

"There was a lot of  speculation into what occurred," Columbus Police Lt. Matt Harris said. "The bottom line is, we lost a very special person."

Dr. John Quick read a statement from Watts' family.

"It has lifted up our hearts to see that Jackie has touched so many lives," the statement read. "Jackie's compassion for others was evident throughout her life. ... She was an inspiration to those who knew her, always placing others before herself. She lived and loved with great humility.

"Oh, that we would be filled with enough passion to give our lives for what we believe in."

Harris said Watts' death is "like a large puzzle" for detectives. 

"We were able to put together many of the pieces, but the work is not finished," he said.

Harris gave a detailed timeline of Watts' disappearance.


  • 1:30 p.m.: Jacquelyn drops off two dogs and a rabbit in Columbus
  • 1:54 p.m.: Jacquelyn seen on home security camera leaving residence and heading toward Washington Street
  • 2 p.m.: Witness sees woman matching Jacquelyn's description chasing small dog near 23rd and Washington streets
  • 2:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. Two witnesses find abandoned vehicle on Riverside Drive
  • 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Witness sees woman matching Jacquelyn's description seen next to Flatrock River trying to catch a small dog that was wearing a sweater
  • 4:51 p.m.: Officers respond to report of missing person


  • 7:45 a.m.: Ground search continues
  • 8:01 a.m.: Watts' body found
  • 8:09 p.m.: Tip received about missing dog wearing a sweater


  • 12:29 p.m.: Police continue search of Flatrock River
  • 2:11 p.m.: Missing dog, Ringo, found on bank of the river
  • 3:20 p.m.: Investigators talk with witnesses who saw Watts chasing the dog. They confirmed the dog she was chasing was Ringo, based on photos of it