Question: Could you, for the record, state your
name and address please.
Answer: Benjamin Archer. I live at 107 Fairlawn
Drive. That's here in Oxford.
Question: What do you do Mr. Archer?
Answer: I'm a student loan administrator over in the
Question: At the university?
Question: Could you go ahead and describe what
happened on the morning of June 9?
Answer: Sure. I was out for my walk. I walk every
morning just as the sun is coming up.
Question: Where were you walking?
Answer: My usual route: out toward the high-school,
up the hill and then back along the backside of the cemetery
near the woods. That's where I found the boy. Actually my
dog found the boy. She must've heard him or something
because she pulled the leash out of my hand and ran into the
woods. When I found her, she was with a little boy.
Question: Okay, let's talk about the boy.
Answer: Sure, what do you want to know?
Question: What was he doing? Did he say anything
Answer: He was crouched down on the ground. I heard
some crying and then it sounded like he was talking to
himself. Scolding himself actually. He was completely
ignoring my dog. I stopped and listened.
Question: Had you ever seen the boy before? Who
Answer: I don't know him. It was still sort of dark.
Question: What happened next?
Answer: I walked towards him, called out. You know,
to see if he was all right. I thought he might've been
bitten by a snake or something.
Question: And then?
Answer: Well, as I got closer, I could see that he
was digging in the soil. He didn't hear me until I got
closer. Then he just ran. I think I scared him or something
because took off so fast that he ran into a sapling.
Question: Was he hurt?
Answer: Must not have been too badly because he
jumped up and kept running.
Question: How old do you think the boy was?
Question: How young?
Answer: I don't know, eleven, twelve. Is somebody
going to answer that phone?
Question: Don't worry about that Mr. Archer. Let's
stick to the subject.
Question: Did you try to follow the boy?
Answer: Hell no. I'm not too old a man, but there's
no way I could've caught up with him.
Question: So what did you do?
Answer: I went to where he was digging. It was
getting lighter and I could see that he'd been digging
Question: Could you, in your own words, describe
what it was he was digging up?
Answer: Well, at first I thought it was like a
utiltiy box or something.
Question: A utility box.
Answer: Yes, except it was wooden. Just a small box
with a lid that came off. You saw it, didn't you?
Question: Please, sir, just describe it in your
Answer: Well, when you took the lid off, you could
see that it was a tunnel, or something and there was an
opening at the bottom. On the side actually.
Question: Were you able to see inside?
Answer: Yes, not very well at first, but after the
sun came up more and my eyes adjusted to being in the woods,
I could see that there was a person inside. All I could see
was her hair at first. Brown hair. I don't know why but it
wasn't until I realized it was a person that I smelled
Question: A smell?
Answer: My God, yes. Rot. It was like the summer that
our house-cat got wedged in the air-conditioning duct. Make
your eyes water!
Question: Okay, okay. What did you do next?
Answer: I dug next to it, above where the opening was
and that's when I found the coffin part. It was strange, a
coffin with this access door. Like for air or something. It
was the girl inside. The one that's been in the papers. She
didn't look so good, but I knew it was her.
Question: So, what did you do?
Answer: Well I ran to the payphone and phoned you
Question: The Sheriff's department?
Answer: Uh, yes.
Answer: The woman said she'd send some deputies out
to take care of it. I waited there.
Question: Did you notice anything else out of the
ordinary? I mean besides the boy and what he'd dug up?
Answer: No, not really.
Question: How about scrape-marks on the trees?
Answer: No. Scrape-marks? I didn't notice anything
like that. I wasn't looking at the trees. I mean, it was
enough to worry about with the boy and the woman
underground. Maybe they're antler marks, you know, like a
Question: Have you ever seen deer near the
Answer: No. There's no deer, as far as I know, within
ten miles of that area. The humming from the big power-lines
north of town scares them all away. At least that's what a
guy told me once.
Question: What do you think made the scrapes then,
if not deer?
Answer: I have no idea.
Question: Is there anything else you can think
Answer: Mmmm. Well no, nothing jumps out at me.
Question: Anything at all, Mr. Archer. The
smallest thing could be important.
Answer: No. I could go back out there and look around
if you like.
Question: That's out of the question, sir. Please
leave that to the investigators. I'm just concerned with
what you saw that morning.
Answer: Then no, there's nothing else.
Question: Will you please call us if you think of
Answer: Of course.
Question: Thank you for your time, Mr. Archer. We
may be in touch soon.
Answer: All right. Good-bye.