Sunday, September 25, 2011 - 12:03 p.m.
This witness, who was one of three people who discovered the body, was interviewed at the crime scene by Detectives Armstrong and Murphy. This interview was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Rebecca Pace
Detective Murphy: For the record, could you please state your name and address?
Becky Pace: My name is Rebecca Pace, but folks just call me Becky. I live at 812 South 5th.
Detective Armstrong: Ms. Pace, you are Kimberly Pace's sister, is that correct?
Becky Pace: Yes, sir. Kim was my big sister. I...
Detective Murphy: We understand that this is very difficult for you, and we'll try to make it quick.
Becky Pace: It's just that she was so young. I never thought she'd just die like that.
Detective Murphy: It's always a shock when we lose a loved one. If this is too difficult, we can talk to you a little later after you've had a chance to compose yourself. Would you prefer that?
Becky Pace: No. I want to talk to you now. There's no telling the shape I'll be in later.
Detective Murphy: All right. Do you remember what time you arrived here at the house?
Becky Pace: It was close to 11:00. Me and Cheryl drove over and stopped at Jeremy's ‒ he's that fellow over there. The four of us were going to brunch at Big Bad Breakfast. Jeremy just lives across the street, so we got him first then drove over here.
Detective Murphy: So, your sister was expecting you to come and pick her up for your brunch date?
Becky Pace: Yes, ma'am. It was my turn to drive. We took turns and it was mine, so she knew we were coming.
Detective Murphy: How did you get into the house?
Becky Pace: Well, usually I just turn the knob, but it was locked. So I used my key. I have a key in case of emergencies, and I guess this was one. Oh, I'm sorry. I promise I'm not going to cry, not 'til later anyway. Yes, ma'am, I used my key and let us in.
Detective Armstrong: Other than the door being locked, which you didn't expect, did you notice anything else that seemed unusual?
Becky Pace: Well, I think a light was on in the living room. Maybe it's still on... I don't think I could go back in there right now, but y'all could check. I didn't turn anything off.
Detective Armstrong: Anything else? See anyone out and about?
Becky Pace: I don't think so... well, I think I saw a little boy on his bike but nobody else.
Detective Murphy: Did you wait long before you entered the house? Did you ring the bell and wait for your sister to answer it?
Becky Pace: No, ma'am, we aren't like that. Kim's home was my home; my home was her home. We just came right in. We're family, you know? You don't have to knock on the door to come in. Well, I guess when Paul lives here, I have to sort of check he isn't prancing around in his boxers, but other than that...
Detective Murphy: Who is Paul?
Becky Pace: Paul Evans, he's Kim's boyfriend, but they're not together right now. He's going to be so torn up when he finds out about this.
Detective Armstrong: So, Paul isn't here? Do you know where he's staying?
Becky Pace: Yeah, he's staying with his friend Miguel in Abbeville. Miguel Ochoa.
Detective Murphy: What did you see when you first came into the house?
Becky Pace: Nothing. That's the point. Kim wasn't there. We called out. Jeremy went to the back of the house, Cheryl went to the bedroom, and I went to check the bathroom. We were all walking around calling out, "Kim, where are you?" At first I thought she wasn't even here because it was so quiet, even Thoreau wasn't making any commotion.
Detective Murphy: Who is Thoreau?
Becky Pace: Kim's dog. He's the black Labrador Retriever your officers took away. I told them he wouldn't hurt nobody, but they said they had to take him down to have him checked and all. They won't hurt him, will they? I mean, they won't put him to sleep or nothing? That'd just kill Kim if she knew that. I'll adopt him. I don't want them to put him down.
Detective Murphy: I'm sure nothing like that will happen. We'll have one of the officers find out where the dog has been taken and arrange for you to go there to get him.
Becky Pace: OK, good. It's the least I can do, take care of her little boy. She'd be real worried if she knew he was alone and nobody was taking care of him. She loves that dog.
Detective Armstrong: You said even Thoreau wasn't making a commotion. Did he usually make noise, bark and such?
Becky Pace: Well, sometimes he barked ‒ especially if he didn't like you ‒ but no, he wasn't noisy, just lots of energy. Real happy, bouncy dog. But he's big, so if you saw 90 pounds of happy running at you, you might run for cover. Anyway, no, he didn't come running out like he usually does when we come over.
Detective Armstrong: How did you find your sister, Ms. Pace?
Becky Pace: Well, like I said, she wasn't answering, and Thoreau wasn't running out to greet us, and we were looking around and calling out. Then when I got to the bathroom... I heard Thoreau kind of crying, but it wasn't real loud. I thought maybe Kim had him locked down in the basement. She has to do that sometimes when he gets too frisky and gets into the neighbors' trash cans and gardens and such. But it's not to be mean, just to get him to calm down some.
Detective Murphy: So, you heard Thoreau crying and you followed the sound of his cries?
Becky Pace: Yeah, I followed the cries and when I got to the kitchen, I saw that the basement door was open, but the crying was still coming from down there. I couldn't figure why Thoreau would stay down there if the door was open, so I came to the door and started down the steps, but it was so dark I couldn't see him. The light didn't work, so I called out to him. He barked but he wouldn't come, so I knew I had to go down after him. I went and got a flashlight from the kitchen and brought it with me to the steps. When I shined the light on the steps, I saw her ‒ at the bottom of the stairs.
Detective Armstrong: What did you do then?
Becky Pace: I think I screamed and came down the stairs, crying out her name, but she didn't answer and Thoreau wouldn't let me get too close. It's like he was guarding her, not letting anybody get near her.
Detective Armstrong: What about your friends? What did they do when you screamed?
Becky Pace: They came running... Jeremy started to cry and Cheryl called 911.
Detective Armstrong: How long was it from the time you entered the house to the time you found Kimberly?
Becky Pace: I don't know... just a few minutes, I guess. It's not a big house, maybe five or six minutes.
Detective Armstrong: What happened after Cheryl called 911?
Becky Pace: She pulled me back upstairs and told us we should all go out front and wait for y'all.
Detective Armstrong: Did any of you touch the body? Check for a pulse?
Becky Pace: No, sir, I saw her face. I knew... we all knew... Thoreau is the only one who got near to her. And like I said, they had to net him to get him away from her.
Detective Murphy: Once you went outside and while you were waiting for the police to come, did you notice anything else?
Becky Pace: No, not really. Just old Arthur, clipping those stupid bushes of his.
Detective Armstrong: Who's Arthur?
Becky Pace: The next door neighbor. He don't like people, but he sure does like his rose bushes. He's so mean. I mean, there we were crying and shaking and holding on to one another and does he even ask us what's wrong? Nope. He sure doesn't ‒ just clip-clip-clip like there's no one in the world but him.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know Arthur's last name?
Becky Pace: I think it's Beck.
Detective Murphy: When was the last time you saw your sister?
Becky Pace: Last night... I can't believe it was just last night. We went to Paul's opening over at C'est Belle.
Detective Armstrong: So you saw her last at the gallery?
Becky Pace: Yes. I asked her if she wanted to go get a drink or something after we left the opening, but she was tired and she said she just wanted to go home.
Detective Murphy: What time was that when you left the gallery?
Becky Pace: I don't know. Maybe 9:30.
Detective Armstrong: And do you know whether she actually did go straight home after that?
Becky Pace: What? No. I mean, no, I don't know for sure that she went right home, but I'm sure she did. That's what she said she was going to do.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you, Ms. Pace. We're very sorry for your loss. If we have any more questions, we'll contact you.
Becky Pace: Just find out what happened to her, will you? Daddy had heart trouble. Do you think she did too?
Detective Armstrong: We really don't know anything for sure yet. We'll be in touch when we know more.
Becky Pace: Thank you, Detectives.
End interview: 12:31 p.m.