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Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 10:05 a.m.


Shannon Bower was jogging in Lamar Park when she found what looked like a bag of human body parts and called 911. Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Detective E. Parker
  • Shannon Bower

Detective Murphy: Thanks for waiting around to talk to us, Ms. Bower. Are we keeping you from work?

Shannon Bower: No, I still have a few hours before my shift starts.

Detective Murphy: Good. So before we start, can you officially, once again, state your name and address for the record?

Shannon Bower: Déjà vu. I'm Shannon Bower. I live at 12 Bonnie Blue Drive.

Detective Murphy: Thank you. Have you met Detective Parker?

Shannon Bower: No, I haven't. It's a pleasure. You can call me Shannon.

Detective Parker: It's nice to meet you, Shannon. I know you've been through all of this before at the lake, but could you please retell us what happened this morning?

Shannon Bower: I went to Lamar Park this morning around 6:00. I warmed up a bit, and then started off to run.

Detective Parker: Which direction were you running?

Shannon Bower: Clockwise? Yeah, clockwise, and then headed down the path.

Detective Parker: Then what happened?

Shannon Bower: I ran down the path, ran towards the pier, and then I saw the bag. Or maybe I smelled it first. I'm not sure.

Detective Parker: What did you do?

Shannon Bower: Well, I know that smell. I've run across it before.

Detective Murphy: You have? When?

Shannon Bower: In hospice care, you run into that sort of thing.

Detective Parker: Decomposing bodies?

Shannon Bower: Well, not like that. But in hospice care, senior citizens, sometimes they don't have people to take care of them, so sometimes they're in their apartments for a day or two before anyone notices.

Detective Parker: So you think this body may have been dead one or two days?

Shannon Bower: I don't know. Maybe. It smelled like it.

Detective Murphy: Did you touch the bag or any of its contents at all?

Shannon Bower: No. No, I– I may have a strong stomach, but it's not that strong.

Detective Murphy: You told Officer Squire that you knew the bag was full of body parts. How did you know that?

Shannon Bower: Well, I saw the toes. You saw them, right?

Detective Murphy: Could you identify any of the other pieces in the bag?

Shannon Bower: No. But when Officer Squire picked up the bag with a stick–

Detective Parker: He did? He didn't–

Detective Murphy: What did you see?

Shannon Bower: Other things wrapped in paper. Arms and legs maybe? I could tell by the shape. And part of the foot.

Detective Parker: Do you think all of these parts could be from the same person?

Shannon Bower: I don't know. I hope so.

Detective Parker: Why?

Shannon Bower: Well, I don't know. I guess if someone is disposing of medical waste, a medical professional wouldn't do that because first, it's illegal, and second, it's just unsafe.

Detective Parker: But why do you hope that all the body parts are from one person?

Shannon Bower: Because if they're not, then we got one sick person running around, right? On the other hand, if they are, that person is almost certainly dead.

Detective Parker: Almost?

Shannon Bower: Yeah. I mean, a person can survive several amputations, but… it doesn't seem like this to me. Besides, if it was medical waste, it would've been disposed of properly.

Detective Murphy: OK. So after you found the bag, what did you do?

Shannon Bower: I called 911 on my cell phone. Met the officer in the parking lot. You know the rest.

Detective Murphy: You were at the park really early. Is that the usual time that you run?

Shannon Bower: Yeah, I always run early before it gets too hot later in the day.

Detective Murphy: And do you always run that same route around the lake?

Shannon Bower: Yeah.

Detective Murphy: Did you run that route yesterday?

Shannon Bower: Every day this week.

Detective Murphy: And you never saw that bag before today?

Shannon Bower: No. I didn't smell it either.

Detective Parker: Did you see anyone else running around the lake?

Shannon Bower: There are a few runners at the park every day.

Detective Parker: Anyone that seemed unusual or caught your attention in any way?

Shannon Bower: There was a guy carrying a duffel bag.

Detective Parker: What made you notice him?

Shannon Bower: Well, he had on a hooded sweatshirt, and it was strange because it was hot outside. And, I don't know, he was huffing and puffing but not like the other runners.

Detective Murphy: If he ran past you, he must have been running somewhere around the lake?

Shannon Bower: Yeah.

Detective Murphy: Do you remember what part of the path you passed him on?

Shannon Bower: On the other side of the lake.

Detective Parker: So he was running away from the pier while you were running towards it?

Shannon Bower: I hadn't thought of it like that, but yes.

Detective Parker: Would you recognize him if you saw him again?

Shannon Bower: No, he had his hood up.

Detective Murphy: Did you see anything else unusual?

Shannon Bower: There was a motorcycle rider.

Detective Murphy: What kind of motorcycle?

Shannon Bower: I don't know. I don't know anything about motorcycles.

Detective Murphy: So what made you notice him?

Shannon Bower: Maybe because there were other runners around and he was on a motorcycle.

Detective Murphy: Did you see his face?

Shannon Bower: No, he had on a helmet.

Detective Parker: Is there anything else you can think of that we may need to know?

Shannon Bower: I can't think of anything.

Detective Parker: All right, well, let us know if you do.

Shannon Bower: I will.

Detective Murphy: Thank you, Shannon. If we need anything else from you, we will be in touch.

Interview ends: 10:32 a.m.

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