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Witness Interview Summaries: Missy Hammond's Neighbors
 

Beginning at 10:00 a.m. Saturday afternoon, January 27, 2001, and continuing on Sunday, January 28, 2001, Deputy Fred Willits and Officer Kennon Winters canvassed Missy Hammond's neighborhood on Elm Street and nearby roads, namely Hickory Street and Sivley Street. Neighbors were interviewed to determine whether they saw or heard anything unusual on the afternoon or night of January 26, 2001 or the early morning hours of January 27, 2001. The witness statements provided below are in summary and not verbatim.

  • Richard and Joanne Williams, residents at 312 Elm Street. Mr. and Mrs. Williams stated they were at work on Friday, January 26 and did not arrive home until approximately 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. respectively. Mrs. Williams stated that, when she arrived home, she found her three children (identified as Richard Jr., age 11; Theodore, age 9; and Jennifer, age 8) and their babysitter (identified as Brenda Marsh, age 14) inside the residence watching television. She further stated that she and her children drove Marsh home at approximately 6:15 p.m.

    Mr. and Mrs. Williams stated they did not observe any unusual activity at the Hammond residence after they arrived home Friday evening, until Sheriff's Officers arrived the following morning, Saturday, January 27, around 8:00 a.m. They further stated that none of their children had reported seeing or hearing anything out of the ordinary at the Hammond residence on Friday afternoon.

    When questioned directly in the presence of their parents, the Williams children stated they had heard Missy Hammond arguing with her boyfriend on Friday afternoon, but could not specify the time. The Williams children added that Brenda and Chuck had taken them inside the Williams house shortly after the argument between Hammond and her boyfriend ended.

    Mr. and Mrs. Williams stated they knew Missy Hammond because their children often played with her daughter, Liddie. Both stated they were not familiar with the details of Ms. Hammond's life, though they did know she was a hair stylist at Southern Beauty. They added that they were aware Ms. Hammond had had an Order of Protection against her ex-husband, Roger Hammond, since July because Ms. Hammond had cautioned them that, if her ex-husband ever attempted to contact Liddie Hammond while she was with the Williamses, they should notify authorities immediately.
  • Georgia Simmons, resident at 313 Elm Street. Simmons stated that she is a retired schoolteacher and is at home much of the time. Simmons stated she heard an "uproar" outside on the afternoon of Friday, January 26 at approximately 4:00 p.m. She said she looked out of a window on the south side of her home and observed Missy Hammond and an adult male approximately 30 years of age arguing in Hammond's front yard. Simmons stated she was not pleased to see another disturbance happening at the Hammond residence and that she was further displeased to see Hammond "running around outdoors in her underwear in the middle of the afternoon." Simmons stated she had witnessed a similar argument between the same two parties approximately one month earlier and that the prior incident resulted in the adult male's arrest. Simmons said she was not acquainted with the adult male and did not wish to be.

    Simmons stated that she did not observe any other "unseemly" or unusual activity at the Hammond residence until she noted the arrival of a police car at approximately 8:10 a.m. Saturday, January 27.

    Simmons said she was only acquainted with Missy Hammond and her daughter, Liddie, by sight and that she did not have any reason to interact with them on a regular basis.
  • Griffin Eastbrook, resident at 315 Elm Street. Eastbrook stated he was at work on Friday, January 26 until approximately 5:15 p.m., at which time he returned home to prepare for a date that evening. He left again at approximately 6:45 p.m. and returned home alone at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 27. Eastbrook stated he did not see or hear anything unusual during the period he was home Friday evening or from the time he returned early Saturday morning until he noticed the police cars in front of the Hammond residence at approximately 8:45 a.m. on Saturday, January 27, during his morning run.

    Eastbrook stated he was not acquainted with Missy Hammond or her daughter, Liddie.
  • Helen Saunders, resident at 221 Sivley Street. Saunders stated that she is a nurse and usually works the day shift at North Mississippi Medical Center. She stated she typically arrives home between approximately 3:15 and 3:30 p.m., but she could not recall the exact time she arrived home on Friday, January 26. However, Saunders said that, shortly after she arrived home on January 26, she observed a dark-colored, mid-size sedan parked on Sivley Street near her home that she did not recognize. Saunders said she thought the car was an American-made model, but she wasn't sure as she does not know much about cars. She added that she believed the car was gone by 5:00 p.m. when she went out running, but she couldn't be sure of the time.

    Saunders stated she was not acquainted with either Missy Hammond or her daughter, Liddie.
  • Mark and Alice Etheridge, residents at 223 Sivley Street. Mr. Etheridge stated that he did not arrive home from work until approximately 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 26 and that he did not see or hear anything unusual in the neighborhood during the time in question.

    Mrs. Etheridge stated that she is a stay-at-home mom and that she was home with her children (identified as Kimberly, age 4 and Blaine, age 2) all day on Friday, January 26. Mrs. Etheridge said that she received a package via Airborne Express delivery service on Friday afternoon at approximately 4:30 p.m. At that time, she observed a dark blue or black sedan parked on Sivley Street just southeast of her home and stated that she assumed the driver was visiting her neighbor, Mrs. Jackson at 225 Sivley Street. Mrs. Etheridge could not identify the make or model of the vehicle and stated that she did not notice when it was moved. Mr. Etheridge stated that he did not observe the vehicle when he arrived home that evening.

    Mr. and Mrs. Etheridge stated that they did not see or hear anything unusual on Saturday, January 27, and did not hear of Missy Hammond's death until Saturday evening when it was reported on the local news.

    Mr. and Mrs. Etheridge stated they were acquainted with Missy Hammond and her daughter, Liddie, because their daughter Kimberly occasionally played with Liddie. However, they did not know Missy Hammond well and were not familiar with any details of her personal life.
  • Nettie Jackson, resident at 225 Sivley Street. Jackson stated that she is a widow and is usually at home because of her arthritis. She stated that, on Friday, January 26, at approximately 4:30 p.m. her dog, Felix, began barking furiously at the windows on the northwest side of her home. She looked out one of the northwest windows of her home and observed an Airborne Express delivery truck in the driveway next door at 223 Sivley Street. Jackson identified the home where she saw the delivery truck as belonging to Mark and Alice Etheridge. Jackson stated she believed her dog was barking at the delivery person.

    When asked if she observed any unfamiliar vehicles or persons in the area at that time other than the previously mentioned delivery truck, Jackson stated that she did see a dark-colored car parked on Sivley Street to the northwest of her home, between her residence and that of the Etheridges. Jackson said she did not remember recognizing the vehicle, but was unable give any additional description of it.

    Jackson said that she did not see or hear anything else out of the ordinary during the time in question.

    Jackson stated that she did not know Missy Hammond or her daughter, Liddie, because she "does not get out much."
  • Darryl and Merlean Tyson, residents at 227 Sivley Street. Mr. and Mrs. Tyson stated that they were both at work on Friday, January 26, and did not return home until approximately 9:00 p.m., after they had met for dinner at El Charo's. Both witnesses said they observed the police presence at the Hammond residence on Saturday, January 27, but could not specify what time they noticed law enforcement was there.

    The Tysons said they were both acquainted with Missy Hammond and her daughter, Liddie. Mrs. Tyson said she had been a regular customer of Hammond's at Southern Beauty for more than a year and knew that Hammond had experienced "lots of trouble with men," including difficulties with her ex-husband and with her current boyfriend. However, Mrs. Tyson said that she did not know either of the men personally and could not recall their names. Mrs. Tyson added that, when she was in the hair salon approximately one week previously, a woman had come in and "was making wild accusations" against Hammond, but the woman, whom Mrs. Tyson did not know, did not seem to make much sense and left the salon shortly thereafter.
  • Nolan Crenshaw, resident at 231 Sivley Street. Crenshaw stated that he was at work during most of the time in question and did not see or hear anything unusual.
  • Wesley Hallford, resident at 104 Hickory Street. Hallford stated he was out of town on business until Saturday afternoon and did not see or hear anything unusual during the period in question.
  • Priscilla Lovelace, resident at 106 Hickory Street. Lovelace stated she did not see or hear anything unusual during the period in question. Lovelace also said she did know Missy Hammond because Hammond cut her hair at Southern Beauty salon, but that she did not know Hammond's daughter, Liddie.
  • Geoff Martin, resident at 108 Hickory Street. Martin stated he observed uniformed Sheriff's officers in Hammond's backyard on Saturday, January 27, but did not notice anything else unusual during the time in question. Martin stated that he was superficially acquainted with Missy Hammond and her daughter, Liddie, because they lived nearby, but they did not know each other well.
  • Kevin Travers, resident 110 Hickory Street. See the transcript of the interview conducted with Kevin Travers on Saturday, January 27, 2001 here.

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