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Sofia Church interview

Sunday, September 16, 2012 - 4:07 pm

Sofia Church is a real estate agent at the Harte Agency. Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed her in one of the meeting rooms at the Harte Agency a few hours after she found Andrea Wyatt’s body. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Detective E. Parker
  • Sofia Church

Detective Parker: Would you please state your name and address for the record?

Sofia Church: My name is Sofia Church, and I live at 102 Augusta Drive.

Detective Parker: Before we begin, I have to admit I'm a little confused. Someone told me your last name was Iglesias.

Sofia Church: While I took my husband's name when we married, I use the Anglicized version professionally. I find more people return my calls that way. Although sometimes I do use Iglesias if potential clients might find that name more comforting.

Detective Parker: Thanks for clearing that up.

Detective Murphy: Do you feel better able to answer our questions now?

Sofia Church: I am so sorry about earlier. I'd never even seen a dead body before, and to find it how I did....

Detective Parker: Why don't we start before that? How did you spend your Sunday morning?

Sofia Church: Being the first up, I dealt with the animals. Then I woke, fed, and dressed the children.

Detective Parker: You have more than one?

Sofia Church: Three. Angela, Tony, and Daniel. Angela’s our oldest, although sometimes I think she wants to return to the terrible twos.

Detective Parker: Yes, ma’am. So you got the children ready. What then?

Sofia Parker: We went to church and then returned home where I served Sunday dinner.

Detective Murphy: Did your husband attend services with you?

Sofia Church: My husband's a dentist, and as such has been invited to join a poker game consisting of medical professionals. None of them apparently work on Sundays because they didn't cash out until after 4:00 in the morning. But that's not typical. Most Sundays, Angel goes to church with the rest of the family.

Detective Parker: What did you make for dinner?

Sofia Church: Lamb, my husband's favorite. The children push it around their plates and fill up on mint jelly. There are worse things they could eat. At least we're together.

Detective Parker: And after dinner? What did you do then?

Sofia Church: Since my husband was now prepared to take on the children, I decided to stop in at the office.

Detective ParkerDid you see any vehicles in the parking lot when you arrived?

Sofia Church: Yes. Annette's.

Detective Murphy: Were there any other vehicles parked nearby?

Sofia Church: Not that I noticed.

Detective Parker: You parked. And then what?

Sofia Church: I parked, walked to the front door, and found it open. I didn't think anything of it since I'd seen Annette's car.

Detective Murphy: Do you often go to work on Sunday afternoons?

Sofia Church: The real estate business never sleeps. Weekends are when most people are free to view properties, and so it's not uncommon for me to work both Saturday and Sunday.

Detective Parker: You have a key to the office?

Sofia Church: We all do, rather than call Jeff every time we want access, which can really happen at any time.

Detective Murphy: Is that also true of Annette?

Sofia Church: Annette would sleep here if she could. Just in case a client happened to come knocking at 2:00 a.m.

Detective Parker: You entered the building. Did you notice anything unusual?

Sofia Church: Nothing. I called out when I came in and went straight back to my desk. I was surprised not to see Annette at her desk, but then I figured she must have been in the restroom. The door was closed when I passed.

Detective Murphy: How did you feel when you saw Annette's vehicle in the parking lot?

Sofia Church: I wasn't surprised, if that's what you mean.

Detective Murphy: Was Annette someone you enjoyed working alongside?

Sofia Church: She was pleasant enough. Of course she wanted Jeff – Jeff Harte, the owner of the agency – to bring her in as a partner, and the fact that he wouldn't sometimes brought out her bitter side. That's when she wasn't so pleasant.

Detective Murphy: Do you know why he wouldn't bring her in as a partner?

Sofia Church: You'd have to ask Jeff. Or Meg Lancaster. She's his office manager.

Detective Parker: OK, so you're at your desk. You think Annette is in the restroom. What did you do?

Sofia Church: I reviewed some files. I probably did that for a few minutes when out of the corner of my eye I saw some something strange on the floor on the other side of the break room. You saw how dark the floor is in there, but there was something light-colored on the floor. I couldn’t tell what it was, but I knew it didn’t belong there.

Detective Parker: You could see into the break room?

Sofia Church: That's right. The open door was at my back, but I sit at an angle. So I got up to investigate.

Detective Parker: Go on.

Sofia Church: I entered the break room and over on the copy room side, I saw Annette lying on the floor. I thought she'd collapsed. I ran to her and crouched down next to her, and that's when I finally processed what I'd seen. There was a nail sticking out of Annette's neck.

Detective Parker: What did you do?

Sofia Church: I screamed. She had a nail in her neck. How do you explain something like that? How do you begin to comprehend such a sight? I checked to see if she was breathing, and when she wasn't, I ran to Jeff's office.

Detective Parker: Why?

Sofia Church: I don't know. He's in charge, so I felt as though I had to tell him about Annette, even though I knew he wasn't in his office. Otherwise, I would have seen his car. So I ran into his office and, of course, he wasn't there. But being there calmed me somehow, and that's when I used my phone to call 911.

Detective Parker: What did you do while you were waiting for help to arrive?

Sofia Church: I'm sure you'll think this sounds strange, but I walked up front to the waiting area. Kept my eyes forward as I passed the break room. My heart was pounding again. I half expected her to come staggering out the break room with that nail sticking out of her neck. There's a couch in the waiting room, and I sat in the far corner and waited for the police to arrive.

Detective Parker: Did you return to the break room?

Sofia Church: No. In fact, I don't know if I can. Not after seeing what I saw.

Detective Parker: Did you notice a weapon while you were in there?

Sofia Church: I didn't see anything but Annette with that nail.

Detective Murphy: Is there usually a nail gun on the premises?

Sofia Church: I don’t know. Maybe. Jeff owns the whole building. I’m not sure what kind of repairs he might do.

Detective Parker: While you were sitting there on that couch, were you thinking Annette had been murdered?

Sofia Church: Not in so many words. Because who could do such a thing?

Detective Murphy: What if she had been killed in another way? Is there anyone in particular you would have suspected?

Sofia Church: I don't know how to explain my reaction, only to say that finding her that way drove all rational thought out of my head.

Detective Murphy: Now that you've had some time to recover, who do you think could have done such a thing to her?

Sofia Church: I don't even want to know.

Detective Parker: What happened after first responders started to arrive?

Sofia Church: I told them where to go, and tried to answer their questions, not that I probably made much sense. Can we finish this another time? I need to go see my family.

Detective Parker: Certainly. We'll be in touch.

Detective Murphy: Don't hesitate to call us if you need to talk.

Sofia Church: Thank you. Thank you both.

Interview ends - 4:21 p.m.

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