Heartland community held out hope to find Jacque Waller - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland community held out hope to find Jacque Waller

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Jacque S. Waller had been missing for nearly 2 years. Jacque S. Waller had been missing for nearly 2 years.
Jacque's parents, Stan and Ruby Rawson, spoke with Heartland News on Thursday. Jacque's parents, Stan and Ruby Rawson, spoke with Heartland News on Thursday.
Countless people had searched for the missing mother of triplets. Countless people had searched for the missing mother of triplets.
Jacque Waller's estranged husband, Clay Waller, is awaiting trial for murder charges related to her disappearance. Jacque Waller's estranged husband, Clay Waller, is awaiting trial for murder charges related to her disappearance.
The community and friends never gave up hope of finding Jacque Waller. The community and friends never gave up hope of finding Jacque Waller.
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Friends, family and strangers said they never gave up hope that they would eventually find Jacque.

Patti Davis, the owner of Tans R Us in Cape Girardeau first put up a “Justice for Jacque” sign in her business window two years ago when Jacque Waller went missing. She still had the “J4J” sign up this week when authorities found her remains.

Davis said Jacque was a client at the tanning salon, and said everyone loved her. Davis never took down the sign and always held out hope.

"We put it up there and we decided we weren't going to take it down until she was found, so I've had people criticize me and say when are you taking that down, it looks terrible and I'm like nope, I'm not taking it down till they find her,” said Davis.

The prosecutor's office confirms that the remains of Jacque Waller was recovered by law enforcement on Wednesday, May 29. They are not releasing where the body was found at this time. Sources do tell Heartland News Jacque Waller was found in the Devil's Island area of southern Illinois.

Jacque Waller had not been seen or heard from since June 1, 2011.

Find past stories on the search for Jacque Waller here.

Jacque Waller's estranged husband, Clay Waller, is awaiting trial for murder charges related to her disappearance.

Investigators say Jacque Waller and Clay Waller got into a fight at a home he was staying in on June 1, 2011.

The homeowner and a neighbor told police they saw Jacque's Honda Pilot where Clay Waller was staying, and later saw Clay leave in his truck pulling a boat.

Jacque's SUV was later found abandoned on Interstate 55 just south of Fruitland the next day.

Law enforcement, friends, and volunteers have organized many searches for Jacque's body, but had found little clues about where her body was.

Jacque's triplets have been living with her sister and brother-in-law.

"It's something you've prayed for, for two years and all of a sudden it's here and you are going … I'm overwhelmed," said Ruby Rawson, Jacque's mother. "I've said we've waited on God, and that's what its been all this time. I said, it's in His time and not ours, but it's so hard when you are going through it at that time."

"When you pray for rain, you ought to carry an umbrella," said Stan Rawson, Jacque's father. "And, no wonder. We didn't have enough faith I guess. He does things at his own time."

"Emotionally, it's just been a roller coaster," added Ruby Rawson. "It was hard. So hard. Even though it was a relief, in one way. Knowing what we are going to have to go through with the kids, it's just a emotional roller coaster right now."

Stan and Ruby Rawson want to thank those who have supported them, prayed for them and searched for their daughter.

"You can't ask for any better cooperation, than what we've had," added Stan Rawson. "And, none of them are glory-hounds, in fact most of them wanted to operate in the dark. People like Bobby Sherill, with the dogs. This guy put countless hours in on this, and no telling how much money. He didn't ask for a dime. These are good people. I don't know what I can do-I wish I could, but I can't."

Jacque Waller leaves behind triplets, now 7-years-old. They were just told the news about their mother on Thursday.

The family is planning a funeral and burial for Jacque sometime next week.

The family wants to thank the community for their support over the past two years calling it, "unbelievable and they are simply overwhelmed."

Timeline of Events in Jacque Waller case

• June 1, 2011 - Jacque Waller reported missing

• June 2, 2011 - Jacque Waller's 2006 Honda Pilot found on I-55

• October 2011 - Clay Waller pleads guilty to Internet threat charge against Jacque's sister; Clay Waller later sentenced to 5-years in federal prison.

• April 2012 - Clay Waller charged with murder in connection to Jacque's disappearance.

• August 2012 - Clay Waller pleads not guilty to murder charges.

• Clay Waller is set to stand trial in September 2013. Waller remains behind bars at the Cape Girardeau County Jail.

A number of Jacque's friends were too emotional to even talk about the Thursday's events.

"Everyone's been following the story," said Sheila King of Jackson, Mo. "The community has been behind them, and I think it's wonderful."

Many businesses have been posting "Justice for Jacque" on signs and billboards for nearly two years.

“Jackson is a wonderful community and when something like this happens they always pull together and whether they know you or not, people stand behind you, they pray for you, and I think it’s just going to be a great thing people will just be ecstatic about it, and again I’m so happy for their family,” said King.

"Today has been bittersweet," said Beth Langston, a friend of Jacque Waller. "It's happy in knowing now the family can move forward. It sad now knowing, in my mind, it is kind of the official date now. I also think it's a good thing, because now, everyone can move forward."

Langston hopes there can be a bit of closure for the family and community. 

"I have never cried before today because we never knew exactly prior to today, where she was, but today it's like the official date," said Langston.

As finding Jacque’s remains helps bring closure to her friends and family, it might also help bring closure to her case.

"Finding a body is extremely important in a case, it provides an opportunity to get more evidence, now the medical examiner can do the complete autopsy of the victim, just provides an opportunity to know much more about the cause or manner of death of the victim, it can answer a lot of questions the state may have to prove,” said Southeast Missouri State Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Sociology Dr. Andrew Fulkerson.

Fulkerson says a body shows that there was actually a death, and it’s not a missing persons case.

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