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INCIDENT REPORT (SUMMARY)
At 7:07 a.m., Dispatch received a 911 call regarding the discovery of a body on the side of Highway 6 East. The caller identified himself as Beau Jenkins. Jenkins indicated he would return to the scene of the discovery and wait for an officer to arrive.
Unit #305 (Deputy P.J. Watson) was immediately dispatched to the scene. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy were assigned and proceeded directly to the scene. Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson was notified at R/I's request to respond to the scene. R/O Watson arrived at the scene at 7:13 a.m. At R/O's request, Unit #207 (Officer D.C. Baxter) was dispatched to the scene to provide backup and assistance and arrived at 7:26 a.m.
Reporting Investigators (R/I) arrived at the scene at 7:29 a.m. and found R/Os Watson and Baxter had secured the area. Environmental conditions at scene upon arrival are as follows: Weather: clear/dry; Ambient temperature: approximately 51º F / 11º C; Relative Humidity: approximately 89 percent.
R/O Watson made the following verbal report, which is stated in summary and not verbatim, upon R/Is arrival. R/O stated that Jenkins met him when he arrived and indicated the location of the body. After confirming the presence of the body, R/O Watson secured the scene, called for backup, and detained the witness Jenkins at the scene. R/O further stated that, to the best of his knowledge, the following personnel have had occasion to enter the crime scene area and must be excluded by CSU personnel: Officer D.C. Baxter, Beau Jenkins, and himself.
After receiving the report from R/O Watson, R/I Murphy contacted Dispatch regarding the status of the Coroner's Inspector and the Crime Scene Unit. Dispatch indicated the Inspector's ETA was approximately 8 minutes and CSU's ETA was approximately 15 minutes. R/Is then proceeded to the location of the body. R/Is observed a lifeless human body, apparently a female in her mid thirties. Visual inspection indicated the victim was wearing a white knit blouse, black slacks, and black fabric sandals. The body lay face down with the head turned to the left. The right arm was stretched out to the side and the left arm was stretched slightly above the head. The head of the body faced in an easterly direction and the feet in a westerly direction. The body displayed signs of trauma to the head and torso. No other injuries were immediately apparent. Pending official analysis by the coroner's office, initial observation indicated the victim was apparently shot twice, once in the head and once in the torso.
In the vicinity of the body, R/Is observed several items scattered nearby including an empty woman's handbag, several pens, two lipsticks, a damaged cellular telephone, a powder compact, a hairbrush, a microcassette tape recorder, and other items. The items were left in place to be processed by CSU. A detailed inventory of the items will be included in their report.
Coroner's Inspector Johnson arrived at the scene at approximately 7:43 a.m. and joined R/Is at the body's location. Inspector Johnson pronounced the victim deceased at 7:49 a.m. by visual observation that the victim was not breathing and by tactile observation that the victim did not have a palpable carotid pulse. Inspector Johnson noted that the victim appeared to be in the early to middle stages of rigor mortis. While she withheld an official estimate pending an autopsy, Inspector Johnson speculated the victim had been dead approximately 8 to 10 hours and the apparent cause of death was from injuries caused by multiple gunshot wounds. Inspector Johnson indicated that further details would be available in the official autopsy report. After Inspector Johnson completed her initial inspection of the body, she stayed with the CSU team to ensure integrity of the body, while the team took photographs of the scene and performed preliminary analyses, until the body could be removed from the scene without destroying other evidence.
After concluding their inspection of the body, R/Is proceeded to inspect a vehicle apparently abandoned in a ditch approximately 150 yards from the location of the body. Registration papers found inside the vehicle, a 1999 Ford Explorer, indicated it was registered to Zoe Chase at 1034 Suncrest. The witness at the scene, Beau Jenkins, had identified the victim as Zoe Chase and, pending official confirmation of the identification, it appears the vehicle belongs to the victim. R/Is conducted a preliminary search of the interior of the vehicle and took a calendar/address book into evidence (Evidence # 003933-01). The remaining items were left in place for processing and inventory by CSU.
A preliminary search of the area uncovered no additional evidence items. An initial search for bullets and/or casings met with negative results. However, CSU will conduct a more intensive search and report their findings.
Following inspection of the scene, R/Is interviewed the witness, Beau Jenkins, at the scene. A transcript of Jenkins' interview is attached to this report.
Before leaving, R/I Murphy instructed CSU to seal the scene upon completion or end of day suspension of processing. CSU to notify R/Is of progress by the end of this date. As of this filing, CSU is still actively processing at the scene.
Body of the deceased remanded into the custody of Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson. Deceased was removed from scene at 8:37 a.m. and transported to the coroner's office for autopsy. A preliminary autopsy report is expected within seven days of this report, with detailed findings to follow at a later date.
Evidence remanded into the custody of Forensics officer T. R. Douglas for transport to the state crime lab for routine analysis. CSU is expected to submit a detailed report of their findings, including inventory of fingerprints, fibers and other items taken into evidence, within seven days of this report.
//Ted Armstrong, Yoknapatawpha Sheriff's Detective