REPORTING OFFICER'S NARRATIVE (Brief narrative of the facts surrounding the offense and the arrest.)
At 3:03 a.m., Dispatch received a 911 call regarding the discovery of a dead body in the offices of the Oxford Eagle newspaper at 916 Jackson Avenue East. The caller identified himself as Ernest Parrish (Person 2), security guard. Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Unit 202 (Officer A. L. Quinlan) was dispatched and arrived at the scene at 3:05 a.m. After confirming the presence of the body, R/O secured the scene and contacted Dispatch and requested backup and medical assistance. Reporting Investigators (R/Is) Detectives S. Murphy and E. Parker were assigned and proceeded directly to the scene. At R/Is' request, Coroner’s Inspector L. Johnson and a CSU team were notified to respond to the scene.
R/Is arrived at the scene at 3:32 a.m. and found that R/O had secured the area. Environmental conditions at the scene upon arrival are as follows: Weather: Exterior Ambient Temperature: 25° F/ -4° C; Relative Humidity: 93%; Interior Ambient Temperature 62° F / 17° C; Interior Relative Humidity: 30%.
R/O Quinlan made the following verbal report, which is stated in summary and not verbatim. R/O was met at the rear press room entrance of the business by an adult male who identified himself as Ernest Parrish (Person 2), security guard. Parrish directed R/O to an office where there was the body of an adult female, who Parrish identified as Monica Drum (Person 1), managing editor of the Eagle. At R/O's request, Parrish exited the business direct backup and medical personnel to R/O's location. R/O then secured the scene and cleared the area, finding the press not in operation and no other persons present on the premises in the offices or the press room. R/O reported that the front entrance door and the newsroom door were locked and the main newsroom lights were not on. R/O said the door to the managing editor's office at the rear of the newsroom had been slightly ajar and the lights in the office were on. R/O said he had not entered the managing editor's office after seeing the body and had disturbed the crime scene only by opening the door slightly wider than it had been upon arrival. R/O said YCFD EMTs R. Peterson and J. Bilkey arrived at approximately 3:09 a.m., and after confirming the victim was deceased, withdrew from the crime scene. R/O Quinlan further stated that, to the best of his knowledge, the following personnel had occasion to enter the crime scene area and must be excluded by CSU personnel: witness Ernest Parrish, EMTs Peterson and Bilkey,
After receiving the report from R/O Baxter, R/Is conducted a preliminary inspection of the scene. R/Is found no signs of forced entry into the building or the managing editor's office. R/Is found no signs of disturbance in any location within the business other than the managing editor's office.
In the managing editor's office, R/Is observed a lifeless human body, a female estimated to be in her late 30s or early 40s, lying prone on the office floor in the space between the desk and the back wall with her feet towards the only entrance to the office. The victim's head was located approximately 6 inches from the desk chair and her feet approximately 4.5 feet from the threshold of the office. The victim's right arm was extended on the floor above her head. The left hand was smeared with what appeared to be blood, and the left arm was resting on the overturned desk chair. Visual inspection of the body indicated the victim was wearing a blue long-sleeved shirt, black pants, black shoes, and a wristwatch on the left wrist. R/Is delayed further inspection of the body until the arrival of the Coroner's Inspector.
The office itself contained the desk, the chair, a two-drawer file cabinet, an desktop computer, a phone, and two additional chairs facing the desk. A pair of glasses rested on the desktop, and smears of a reddish substance were visible on the desktop. A single reddish handprint was visible on the desk edge. Reddish spatter marks were observed on the wall behind the desk. A tourism-type poster of Greece and 11 framed awards from the Southern States Newspaper Association decorated the walls. The desk in particular and the office in general was in a state of considerable disarray, which Parrish indicated was typical. CSU will conduct a thorough examination and inventory, and report their findings.
Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson arrived at the scene at approximately 4:01 a.m. and joined R/Is at the body's location. Inspector Johnson pronounced the victim deceased at 4:05 a.m. by visual observation that the victim was not breathing and by tactile observation that the victim did not have a palpable carotid pulse or any other indications of heartbeat or respiration. Inspector Johnson noted that rigor mortis was not yet evident and early indications of livor mortis were observable on the anterior of the body and the right side of the face.
Inspector Johnson observed apparent close-range gunshot wounds in the victim's chest, neck and head, as well as a contusion on the victim's right cheek. Inspector Johnson said no signs of defensive wounds were immediately obvious. While she withheld an official estimate pending an autopsy, Inspector Johnson speculated the victim had been dead approximately 1 to 2 hours. Inspector Johnson indicated that further details would be available in the official autopsy report.
After Inspector Johnson completed her initial inspection of the body, she stayed with the CSU team to ensure integrity of the body while the team took photographs of the scene and performed preliminary analyses, until the body could be removed from the scene without affecting other evidence.
CSU arrived at the scene at approximately 4:33 a.m. R/Is instructed CSU to process the entire scene according to standard procedure.
A preliminary search of the immediate area for potential weapon(s) met with negative results. CSU will conduct a more intensive search and report their findings.
R/Is interviewed the witness Parrish in the press room. Parrish was then asked to remain available to investigators and released from the scene
Body of the deceased was remanded into the custody of Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson and was removed from scene at 7:08 a.m. and transported to the coroner's office for autopsy.
Evidence remanded into the custody of Forensics Officer T. R. Douglas for transport to the State Crime Lab for routine analysis. CSU is expected to submit an inventory of items taken into evidence within fourteen days of this report, with detailed report(s) of their findings to follow at a later date. R/Is left the scene at 7:15 a.m. Before leaving, R/I Murphy instructed CSU to seal the scene upon completion or end of day suspension of processing. CSU to notify R/Is of progress by the end of this date. As of this filing, CSU is still actively processing at the scene.