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The detectives think Brenda left out some details in her account of the events on the afternoon before Missy Hammond was found dead

Wednesday, February 7, 2001 – 3:15 p.m.

Since babysitter Brenda Marsh's first interview on January 27, 2001, questions have arisen regarding certain portions of her statement.

At the detectives request, her mother, Cynthia Marsh, brought her into the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department for a follow-up interview with Detectives Armstrong and Murphy.

The interview was recorded with the witnesses' knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Brenda Marsh
  • Cynthia Marsh

Detective Murphy: Thanks for coming in to talk with us again, Miss Marsh. Could you state your name and address for the record, please?

Brenda Marsh: Brenda Marsh. I live at 610 Martin Luther King.

Detective Murphy: Do you know why we wanted to talk to you again, Brenda?

Brenda Marsh: Um, no.

Detective Murphy: We think that maybe you left something out when you talked to us before. Do you know what I'm talking about?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know.

Detective Murphy: Do you know someone named Chuck?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, ma'am.

Detective Murphy: Is there anything you want to tell us that involves someone named Chuck?

Brenda Marsh: Um, maybe…

Detective Armstrong: Don't worry, Brenda. We're not upset or angry with you. You're not going to get in trouble with us. We just need to know about Chuck.

Cynthia Marsh: What is this about? Brenda? What did you do?

Detective Armstrong: Mrs. Marsh, this is not a big deal, and we want Brenda to feel comfortable telling us everything she needs to, so let's not get tense over this, OK?

Cynthia Marsh: I don't understand, but OK. Brenda, you need to tell the detectives what they want to know.

Brenda Marsh: Yes, ma'am.

Detective Armstrong: Was a boy named Chuck with you at the Williams' house that Friday? The day before Missy Hammond's body was found?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, sir.

Cynthia Marsh: What?

Detective Armstrong: Mrs. Marsh, if you'd just bear with us a moment, please.

Cynthia Marsh: All right.

Detective Armstrong: What is Chuck's last name, Brenda?

Brenda Marsh: Ward.

Detective Murphy: Chuck Ward?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, ma'am.

Detective Armstrong: Does he go to school with you?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, sir.

Detective Armstrong: Is he in the eighth grade too?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, sir.

Detective Murphy: Can you tell us how to get in touch with Chuck?

Brenda Marsh: Yes. His phone number is 234-XXXX.

Detective Murphy: Do you know his address?

Brenda Marsh: Um… I can't remember. I'm sorry. Am I in trouble?

Detective Armstrong: It's OK, Brenda. You're not in trouble. We can find his address. Let's just talk a little about when exactly Chuck was there that day, OK? What time did he get to the Williamses'? Did he come with you?

Brenda Marsh: No. He came over a little after we got there.

Detective Murphy: What time do you think he got there?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. Maybe 3:30-ish or a little later?

Detective Murphy: Why did he come to the Williamses' that day?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. Just to hang out.

Detective Murphy: Is Chuck your boyfriend?

Brenda Marsh: Um… I don't know. Sort of.

Detective Armstrong: It's OK if he is.

Brenda Marsh: I know. I guess he is. Sort of.

Detective Murphy: What did the two of you do while he was there?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. Nothing. Just talked and watched the kids.

Detective Murphy: Was he there with you the whole time?

Brenda Marsh: No. He was only there for, like, a little while.

Detective Murphy: When did he leave?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. Like around 5:00-ish?

Detective Murphy: Did Mr. and Mrs. Williams know he was going to be there?

Brenda Marsh: No. I'm not supposed to have any friends over when I'm babysitting.

Detective Murphy: But you did anyway?

Brenda Marsh: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: It's OK, Brenda. Just relax. Did Chuck see the argument between Missy Hammond and her boyfriend too?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, sir.

Detective Armstrong: What did he say about it?

Brenda Marsh: Nothing. He thought it was bad, I guess. He didn't think they should be, like, all fighting like that.

Detective Armstrong: Did he do anything about it?

Brenda Marsh: No. Like, what could he do?

Detective Armstrong: Why didn't you tell us Chuck was there when we talked to you before?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. I didn't want to get in trouble.

Detective Armstrong: Why did you think you would get in trouble?

Brenda Marsh: Like, I know that Mr. and Mrs. Williams don't want me to have friends over while I'm babysitting for them. And, like, I knew my mom wouldn't really like it either. No matter what you say, I'm going to be in trouble when I leave here.

Detective Armstrong: What do you think will happen to you?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. I'll probably get grounded or something. And the Williams probably won't want me to babysit for them anymore when they find out.

Detective Murphy: They already know.

Brenda Marsh: Oh.

Detective Murphy: When we talked before, you told us that you and the Williams children were outside from the time you arrived around 3:20 until a little while after Ms. Hammond's boyfriend left the second time. Is that right?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, ma'am.

Detective Murphy: And you and Chuck were outside with the Williams children the whole time?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, ma'am. Pretty much.

Detective Murphy: What do you mean "pretty much"?

Brenda Marsh: Well… Chuck went inside once, I think, to go to the bathroom. And I went inside a couple of times. But at least one of us was always outside with the kids. I mean, Chuck was, like, helping me babysit, you know? So we wouldn't leave them out there alone.

Detective Armstrong: Do you remember what Missy Hammond was wearing that day?

Brenda Marsh: Um… I think… I think maybe some kind of, like, nightgown or something. It could have been a dress, I guess.

Detective Armstrong: A nightgown? Did you think that was strange?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. I guess. I guess we just thought she was having some kind of… romantic thing with her boyfriend. Before they, like, started fighting anyway.

Detective Murphy: Why didn't you mention what she was wearing when we talked to you before?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. I guess I didn't think of it. I was kind of nervous. Like now.

Detective Armstrong: Have you told us everything about that day now?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, sir. I think so.

Detective Murphy: So when we talk to Chuck, he's going to tell us the same thing you have?

Brenda Marsh: I don't know. I think so.

Detective Murphy: Do you remember seeing an Airborne Express delivery van in the neighborhood that day?

Brenda Marsh: No, ma'am.

Detective Armstrong: Are you sure?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, I'm pretty sure. I don't really remember.

Detective Armstrong: OK. Is there anything else you can think of that happened that day?

Brenda Marsh: No, sir.

Detective Armstrong: If you do remember something, will you tell your mom so she can call us?

Brenda Marsh: Yes, sir.

Detective Armstrong: OK. Thanks for talking to us again, Brenda.

Brenda Marsh: OK.

Detective Murphy: Mrs. Marsh, thank you for bringing her in. If we need to talk to Brenda again, we'll be in touch with you.

Cynthia Marsh: OK. You know how to reach us. Thank you, Detectives. And I apologize. I hope Brenda hasn't caused any problems for you by not telling you everything in the beginning.

Detective Armstrong: No need to apologize, ma'am. It's all part of the job. Y'all have a good afternoon now.

Cynthia Marsh: Thank you, Detective. Same to you. Young lady? Let's go.

Brenda Marsh: Yes, ma'am.

End interview – 3:37 p.m.

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