|Witness Interview: Miles Jackson, Found Body|
Saturday, July 15, 2000 - 2:20 p.m.
This witness, who first discovered the body, was interviewed at the Yoknapatawpha Sheriff's Department.
SM: For the record sir, would you please state your name and address.
MJ: My name is Miles Jackson, Jr. I live at 508 South 18th street, Oxford, MS.
SM: You work as an equipment operator for The Mitchell Company?
MJ: Yes, ma'am.
SM: Can you tell us what you were doing at the construction site today?
MJ: Yes ma'am. I was working some O/T. I needed the money and the big boss wants this project to come in on time, so I volunteered to put in some extra time.
SM: What time did you arrive at the site?
MJ: Bright and early... 8 am.
SM:We know you went through some of the details with the first officer on the scene, but I'm afraid we do need you to go through it again. Are you up to it?
MJ: Yes, ma'am. Be happy to.
SM: Okay, why don't you just tell us how you found the body. What were you doing at the time, approximately when it was?
MJ: Well, like I said. I showed up bright and early and just got right to work. I mean, I need the money and all, but I didn't want to spend the whole day working. Anyway, I worked pretty much straight through 'til about quarter of twelve. I figured it was time to get the foreman and go over what was done, have him sign off on it and I was out of there.
TA: You were anxious to leave? Did you have some pressing plans?
MJ: No sir. Well, I was going try to catch the soccer game on TV. And I have plans for tonight, you know? But not in a hurry, except to start my weekend, if you know what I mean?
TA: Sure, I get it.
SM: Okay, you were finished, wanted to get the foreman to sign off on the work and leave. Did you find him right away?
MJ: Well, no. He wasn't up in the shack like he was usually, so I figured he was out checking the site, so I walked around the site looking for him. While I'm looking for him, I see some fresh tire tracks, pretty deep, leading off toward the woods.
TA: Did you think there was something suspicious about them?
MJ: No, not really. A couple was down here a week or two ago, and their car got stuck -I thought maybe I could give them a hand. I thought they had a dead battery again or something. Made me chuckle a little, y'know? So I follow the tracks, thinking I better go down there and help them out, maybe give them a jump if they need it.
TA: Okay, so you follow the tracks into the woods. Do you see a car? The infamous couple?
MJ: No. I see something else. At first, I thought it was some clothes,but then I realize it was a foot.I thought maybe it was the couple, but when I walked down there, I didn't hear any noise. I thought that was strange.
SM: So you continued your approach?
MJ: Yeah, I come closer. And I see her. I think maybe she's sleeping. So still, lying there behind the kudzu. I call out, "hey lady" and she doesn't say nothin', doesn't move. I call out again, "hey, you okay?" Nothing.
SM: Have you stopped or are you still approaching?
MJ: I'm still approaching... real slow. I got this sinking feeling in my stomach, just a feeling something ain't right. When I get there, I see her. Layin' real still, not wearin' a shirt. Then I see the blood, on her head.
TA: Did you touch the body? Try to see if she was alive? Try to revive her?
MJ: Hell no! I just ran out of there, screaming for the foreman. Running and screaming. You know, I've been in the army and all but I never saw a dead body before. It scared the hell outta me!
TA: Did you find the foreman?
MJ: Yeah, he came out of nowhere, also didn't do nothing for my heart! I told him, tried to tell him what was going on. I don't know, probably wasn't making any sense. He went in there and took a look himself. In less than a minute, he come running out of there too. We went up to the shack and called y'all.
SM: And what time was that sir?
MJ: We called y'all about 12:15, I think. I don't know, wasn't really looking at my watch.
SM: Your foreman's name is Earl Sullivan?
MJ: Yes ma'am. He can tell you everything I just told you. Just call the office, they'll get him on the phone for you.
SM: Thanks, if we need to talk to him, we'll do that.
TA: Do you know the identity of the young woman, you found?
MJ: No sir. But she does look familiar to me. Maybe I have seen her around town or at Proud Larry's or something. But I never knew her.
TA: Do you happen to know how Mr. Michael Robbins got to the crime scene, ahead of the police?
MJ: Earl called him. Damage control, I imagine. You know he is trying to get this development done and wants to sell all the units right away.
SM: So, you think he might be worried about bad publicity?
MJ: Sure, wouldn't you be?
SM: I suppose I would. Did Mr. Robbins say anything about the young woman? Did he look at the body?
MJ: Yes ma'am. He came down and I guess he thought we were exaggerating or something. So he goes in and, just like Earl and me, like a shot right back out of there again. He didn't look so good when he came back.
TA: Did he say anything to you or anyone else about the girl?
MJ: Not to me and not that I heard. I think he told Earl to keep any press away. And he seemed relieved when the police showed up because they chased the press off. Other than that, no.
TA: Anything else you can tell us? Notice anything, other than the tracks, that seemed unusual?
MJ: No, sorry sir, there really isn't. The last thing I expected today was to find a poor young woman dead on my site. Just should have called in sick, like I wanted.
TA: Are you sick?
MJ: No sir. Just when I woke up this morning, didn't feel like working. Felt like sleeping in and having time off. Maybe I should have gone with my gut.
TA: If you had, it might have been a while before we found this poor woman. You did the right thing.
SM: Thank you for coming in. If we have any more questions, we will get back in touch with you. If you remember anything else, you'll be sure to contact this office?
MJ: Yes, ma'am.
End interview 2:48 p.m.