Coroner: Former Aberdeen children drown, mother’s cause of death unknown

The two former Aberdeen children discovered in an Indiana creek Wednesday died from drowning, according to the Floyd County, Ind., Coroner. The cause of death for their mother, also found in the creek, is still undetermined pending a toxicology report.

Jaime Clutter, 35, and her children, Brandon, 10, and Katelyn, 6 months, were found at New Albany, Ind., in Binford Park Wednesday by a passer-by. The creek was about 12-18 inches deep, according to local news. Their names were released Thursday. Cause of death for all three will not be final for several weeks.

The family had lived in South Aberdeen until December, when the father, Michael Clutter, found work in Indiana. According to local news outlets, Michael Clutter, 47, reported his family missing after returning home from work about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The coroner indicated the children likely died between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Wednesday. All three were naked when discovered, their clothing strewn nearby and a Bible sitting in a baby harness hanging from a tree. The weather that day was in the 30-degree range.

Police have not named any suspects, but at a press conference Friday, Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said, “I have no reason to believe we have an individual on the loose, if you will, that would cause the public alarm or harm.”

He added that Michael Clutter had been cooperative, and allowed searches of his vehicle and the family’s apartment near the park where they were found. Joyce Smith, wife of Bishop Ronald Smith, knew Jaime Clutter most of her life. She grew up in Aberdeen and attended The World of Praise United Pentecostal Church until the family’s move to Indiana, Smith said.

“She was very sweet, she ran our projector,” she said of Jaime Clutter.

Ronald Smith had been Jaime Clutter’s pastor for most of her life, but when he was elevated to bishop last August, her father, Bill Pink, became the church’s pastor.

Jaime and Michael met at a singles convention, and he moved here from Indiana to be with her when they married, Smith said.

Smith remembered the family’s recent joy when they discovered they were expecting baby Katelyn.

“They prayed for a baby girl and they got one,” Smith said with a smile.

Recently, Brandon Clutter had called the Smiths to share his excitement over his growth in his faith at his new church.

“He was a very special boy. Curly hair, handsome little guy,” she said.