BLUFFTON, Ind. (Bluffton Police Department Release) – On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at approximately 1:04 pm., Bluffton Police confirmed the body of Celeste Cuthbert was located in the yard of a vacant house on Bluffton’s west end.
Ms. Cuthbert’s body was hidden from view between a shed and a children’s wooden playhouse in a yard surrounded by a wooden privacy fence.
Ms. Cuthbert had been reported missing from the area of West Lancaster Street and Meadow Lane on Tuesday, January 3. The reporting party indicated that Ms. Cuthbert was actually missing since Sunday, January 1.
On January 3, The Bluffton Police Department entered Ms. Cuthbert into a nationwide database as a missing person, and, with the assistance of the Indiana State Police, issued a Silver Alert requesting the public’s help in locating her that same evening.
On January 4, the Bluffton Police Department employed the services of Indiana Search and Rescue Association and ran a track with bloodhounds. Both K9s led us to a nearby pond.
On January 5, the Bluffton Police Department utilized a drone to search the area of the pond. We were also assisted by divers with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources in searching in the pond.
On January 6, the Bluffton Police Department delivered missing person flyers and a request from the department to all residences in the area asking homeowners to thoroughly search their properties.
On January 7, the Bluffton Police Department was assisted by the Bluffton Fire Department in searching the fields, wooded areas and other ponds in the area where Ms. Cuthbert was last seen.
On February 7, personnel with a property management service for bank-owned properties notified the Bluffton Police Department of an apparent deceased person at the residence in the 400 block of Meadow Lane. The Wells County Coroner was called to the scene, along with Crime Scene Investigators from the Indiana State Police. Nothing at the scene indicated foul play in the death of Ms. Cuthbert.
On February 8, an autopsy was conducted. Those results are pending.
The Bluffton Police Department extends our condolences to the family and friends of Celeste Cuthbert. We appreciate all the help and support the community provided us during this investigation.