Saturday, July 23, 2011 - 11:00 a.m.
The interview was conducted at the offices of the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department by Detective Armstrong and was recorded with the full knowledge and consent of the witness, LeeAnn Elliot. Ms. Elliot had contacted the Sheriff's office, saying she had possible information in the case of Kevin Gilmore.
- Detective Ted Armstrong
- LeeAnn Elliot
Detective Armstrong: Thank you for coming in today, Ms. Elliot.
LeeAnn Elliot: I'm glad to do it, Detective. It gives me an excuse to visit my sister.
Detective Armstrong: Will you state your name and address for the record, please?
LeeAnn Elliot: I'm LeeAnn Elliot, and I live at 799 Poplarville Street in Tupelo, Mississippi.
Detective Armstrong: Would you prefer to be addressed as Doctor or Mrs.?
LeeAnn Elliot: Actually I'd rather you just call me LeeAnn. Everyone does.
Detective Armstrong: You said on the phone you have some information for us regarding your nephew's case?
LeeAnn Elliot: Well, I might. When I heard from my sister, Judy, that you were reopening the case, I got to thinking about the weeks before Kevin was... was found dead, and I thought of something that might be significant.
Detective Armstrong: Something that happened back in 1987?
LeeAnn Elliot: Yes, it was the week before Kevin died. He came to see me in the hospital in Tupelo. I had been hospitalized because my blood sugar was way out of control, and they wanted to keep me a couple of days.
Detective Armstrong: He went all the way to Tupelo to see you, even though he had all that going on?
LeeAnn Elliot: Yes. I had talked to him on the telephone, but he insisted that he wanted to come and visit. And I did not know how he was going to get there because I knew he didn't have a car. He said not to worry, that he would find a way. And sure enough, the next day he walks into my room all smiles.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know how he got there?
LeeAnn Elliot: He said a friend from work had given him a ride. We talked for about an hour, and then he said his friend was waiting for him in the lobby. And I said, well, you know, please tell your friend I appreciate him doing this, and that's when he said it wasn't a "him." It was a "her."
Detective Armstrong: A girlfriend?
LeeAnn Elliot: Well, I asked him if there was a blooming romance, and he said no, no, that she was old enough to be his mother and that she had just offered him the ride out of the goodness of her heart.
Detective Armstrong: He didn’t tell you anything more about her?
LeeAnn Elliot: No, I did pry for more information, but he was not very forthcoming and that was unusual for him. I didn't think much about it at the time, but now I wonder if there could be a connection.
Detective Armstrong: What’s bothering you?
LeeAnn Elliot: Well, during our visit, he mentioned that he was going to be doing a job that was going to bring him a lot of money. And now, he was always scrounging for money, and I did try to help him once in a while, but I did not want to make him dependent on me.
Detective Armstrong: Did he tell you what the job was?
LeeAnn Elliot: No, he said it was sort of a dream job, a very--kind of a secret. And I wondered. I said, well, I was hoping it wasn't anything dangerous and I told him as much. But he said not to worry, that the people that he was working with were fine and that what he was doing was fine, and he said just not to worry, so I just dropped the subject. But I did-- worry that is.
Detective Armstrong: And you think this job had something to do with his death?
LeeAnn Elliot: Well, I didn't connect it at the time, but now I'm wondering could it have been the job that got him killed. I'm sorry. I've probably wasted your time, but it has been bothering me. And ever since Judy told me that you'd reopened the case, well, I just--I just had to say something.
Detective Armstrong. Don't apologize, LeeAnn. You let us be the judge of what is important or not. Sometimes the tiniest detail will help us put the pieces together. We appreciate the help you've given us today. Do you think the person who gave him the ride had some connection with the job he talked about?
LeeAnn Elliot: Well, I didn't think about it at the time, but now that is the feeling that I've got. I'm wondering, was there a connection? What was he holding back?
Detective Armstrong: Did Kevin mention this woman's name?
LeeAnn Elliot: Yes, it was something unusual. R--Rita, Rhonda, Rhoda. Oh, I don't remember. I should've paid more attention. I'm sorry.
Detective Armstrong: Is there anything else you can remember about that conversation?
LeeAnn Elliot: No. It was a long time ago. I really can't think of anything else. I know I haven't been very helpful, but I thought maybe it could be used some way a little.
Detective Armstrong: This was a big help. Thank you very much. If we need anything more, we will call you.
LeeAnn Elliot: Thank you, Detective. I appreciate that. Well, I'd best be on my way. I promised Judith I'd be there before noon.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you for coming in, LeeAnn.
LeeAnn Elliot: You’re welcome. I just hope it’s of some help. Goodbye.
Interview ends: 11:18 a.m.