- Witness Statement: Teri
- Teri Leyton was witness to an incident March 17,
1997 at 26160 Goodnight Road, locally known as
Cooter's Farm. Investigators believe that the
individual described by Ms. Leyton may be the abductor
and murderer of Purity Knight. Fearful for her own
safety, Ms. Leyton has not agreed to the release of
her statement until now.
- I was contacted by the Oxford Police department to
come in and make a statement about what I saw at
Cooter's in March.
- On March 17, 1997 there was a big party at the
Cooter's. March 17 is like a holiday for the Shovels.
Something to do with Archea, but I'm not sure exactly
what. It's just another good excuse for a big party
for most of us. I like the band and go to the parties
sometimes, but I'm not into the Shovel cult. That day
I had to work until 4:00 pm. I went to a sorority
party with some sisters before Cooter's. It was me, my
boyfriend at the time and another couple. We got to
Cooter's around 8:00 pm, maybe a few minutes before
- The way Cooter's is laid out, the barn is behind
the house and for parties, they open up the barn and
have a bon fire outside. There is a low roof on the
barn you can get to from the hay loft in the barn. I
was sitting up there on the roof watching everyone.
Most people were outside around the fire. There were
some tables set up with coolers and things like that.
- I noticed this one guy, he was a Goth. There are a
few around, but this guy was strange. He wasn't into
the party, he was sort of hanging out on the edges. He
wasn't talking to anyone, he just didn't seem to fit
in. So I watched him.
- At first I was studying his clothes, they were
fancier than what I'm used to seeing. He had on this
long sleeved black shirt with big, droopy sleeves.
There was a gold criss cross design embroidered on the
sleeve. I kept trying to figure out what it was
because it sort of looked like words or something more
than just a design. He had on smooth, dark leather
leggings, I think black, high boots, and a black
vampire type cape with a red silk or satin lining. He
was made up, white face paint, black eyeliner, and
black hair. Later I could tell up close it was a
rinse. He also had red nail polish.
- After awhile, maybe an hour, an hour and a half I
guess, I realized he was watching Purity and Josh.
They were hanging out together pretty tight. It was
obvious they'd been partying most of the day so I
don't think they noticed this guy at all. He would
stay in the crowd but on the edges and away from the
light from the fire and just stared at them. It gave
me the creeps. Every now and then he'd pass a joint
around with someone, and he was drinking beer, but it
was obvious he was really eyeing those two. It was
eerie, spooky, gave me the creeps with the firelight
and that costume and that staring.
- Around 9:30 or 10:00 I went down to get another
beer. There was a cooler set up right inside the barn
and while I was there this guy came over to get a beer
so I saw him face to face under the lights. I almost
dropped the beer when I looked up and he was standing
there. Like I said, creepy. He just stared at me for a
minute and went back outside. He had dark eyes,
probably brown. He was shorter than Eric, my
boyfriend, definitely under six feet. He was medium
weight, not skinny but thin. I noticed his hands, they
looked thick to me, big. No beard or mustache. I
couldn't tell what color his hair was, the rinse was
jet black. I definitely did not recognize him as
someone I've seen around before.
- I went and got my boyfriend and pointed him out to
see what he thought about this guy. He and his friend
thought the guy looked totally out of place and the
costume was just too good. They decided he must be a
narc so they went after him. They chased him out
toward the road in front of the house and tackled him.
I think there were a few punches thrown and the guy
ran off. They lost him in the dark. They didn't see or
hear a car either. It made it even creepier, here we
are out in the middle of nowhere and the guy vanishes.
- I didn't really know Purity, I knew who she was,
but we didn't have any classes together or anything.
Eric and I went over later and told her and Josh about
this guy. They weren't really worried about it all.
They agreed with Eric and Gary it must have been a
- Later on after Purity disappeared, I don't
remember what day, Eric's car got keyed on campus.
He's sure it was the same guy that did it. We were
thinking this might be the guy that took Purity, we
were both getting paranoid. We broke up over it. I
left school, took a withdrawal for the rest of the
semester. I'm not coming back until this guy is
- Teri Leyton
- July 22, 1997