| REPORTING OFFICER'S NARRATIVE(Brief narrative of the facts surrounding the offense and the arrest.)
At 6:50 a.m., Dispatch received a 911 call regarding a missing person at the Yoknapatawpha County Conference Center (YCCC) Hotel at 1710 Belk Boulevard. The caller identified herself as Mary Jones, friend of the victim.
Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Unit 209 (Officer P. Winston) was dispatched and arrived at the scene at 6:57 a.m. Upon discovery of the body at 7:02 a.m., R/O notified Dispatch and requested backup and medical assistance.
Unit 213 (Officer M. Arborogh) was dispatched to provide backup and arrived at the scene at 7:06 a.m.
Reporting Investigators (R/Is) Detectives T. Armstrong and S. Murphy were assigned and proceeded directly to the scene. At R/Is' request, Coroner’s Inspector L. Johnson and a CSU team were notified to respond to the scene.
R/Is arrived at the scene at 7:43 a.m. Upon arrival, R/Is found that R/O had secured the area. Environmental conditions at the scene upon arrival are as follows: Weather: Clear. Exterior Ambient Temperature: 61°F/16°C, Relative Humidity: 75%. Interior Ambient Temperature: 68°F/20°C; Relative Humidity: approximately 46%.
R/O Winston made the following verbal report, which is stated in summary and not verbatim.
R/O was met in the lobby of the YCCC hotel by three adult females: Mary Jones (Person 2); Susan Dubois, the victim's mother (Person 3); and Rachel Webb, a competitor in the pageant (Person 4). These witnesses reported that Barbara Dubois (Person 1) had been discovered missing from her hotel room (# 203) at approximately 6:30 a.m. and that her bed did not appear to have been slept in.
R/O was then approached by an adult male, Walbert Dopelson (Person 5), who identified himself as the Director of the ongoing Yoknapatawpha County Literary Festival Beauty Pageant and indicated it was critical to determine the victim's location as soon as possible because her presence was required at the day's events.
R/O was then notified by Yvonne Boyd, YCCC events manager (Person 6), of a disturbance on the second floor and possible location of the victim.
R/O proceeded to the second floor of the hotel, where he observed an adult male, later identified as Bill Lamar (Person 7), kneeling on the floor just inside an open custodial storage closet, crying and cradling the head of an apparently dead adult female, later identified as Barbara Dubois. R/O observed an apparent blood pool in the area of the victim's head and an apparent blood trail leading from the interior of the closet to the hallway.
At R/O's request, Lamar removed himself from the immediate crime scene and waited in the hallway. R/O then reported the situation to Dispatch and secured the scene.
R/O said YCSD Unit 213 (Officer M. Arborogh) arrived at approximately 7:06 a.m. and provided backup and assistance in securing the scene.
R/O said YCFD EMTs R. Peterson and J. Bilkey arrived at approximately 7:11 a.m., and after confirming the victim was deceased, withdrew from the crime scene.
R/O Winston further stated that, to the best of his knowledge, the following personnel had occasion to enter the crime scene area and must be documented by CSU personnel: witness Bill Lamar, EMT Peterson, EMT Bilkey and himself.
After receiving the report from R/O Winston, R/Is conducted a preliminary inspection of the scene. In the hallway, approximately 6 feet west of the entry to the closet where the body was located (Room # 273), R/Is observed a small quantity of possible dried vomit as well as a possible blood trail leading from the vicinity of the vomit to the door of the closet.
Also in the hallway, approximately 3 feet south and 1 foot east of the entry to the closet, R/Is observed a trophy, broken and with small reddish-brown stains, engraved with the words "First Annual Yoknapatawpha County Literature Festival Beauty Pageant, May 1, 2021."
|Click to enlarge
R/Is observed no signs of forced entry on the door or door frame of the closet where the body was found. R/Is observed the interior of the closet appeared to be approximately 10 feet x 10 feet with a concrete floor and a single point of entry from the hallway.
Against the west wall of the closet were two storage cabinets with doors, each cabinet measuring 4 feet wide x 1.5 feet deep x 6 feet high. Against the north and east walls open shelving units measuring 7 feet wide x 1.75 feet deep x 6 feet high.
R/Is observed some signs of disturbance in the room such as a number of items on the open shelving units in disarray and several items including rolls of toilet tissue, boxes of facial tissue, boxes of trash bags and containers of cleaning solutions on the floor of the closet.
Also on the closet floor, R/Is observed a lifeless human body, a female apparently in her early 20s. Visual inspection indicated the victim was wearing a blue floor-length formal gown with rhinestones on the halter and matching high-heeled shoes. The skirt of the gown was above the victim's knees.
The body lay in a supine position with the head towards the southwest corner of the room and the feet towards the northeast corner. The right arm was at an approximate 45º angle to the body and bent at the elbow. The left arm was at an approximate 90º angle to the body and bent slightly at the elbow. The left knee was bent slightly and the right leg was essentially straight.
R/Is further observed a small apparent blood pool around the victim's head and an apparent blood trail leading to the door. Further visual inspection revealed the victim's hair appeared to be saturated with blood. R/Is delayed further inspection of the body until the arrival of the Coroner's Inspector.
Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson arrived at the scene at approximately 7:55 a.m. and joined R/Is at the body's location.
Inspector Johnson pronounced the victim deceased at 8:00 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 body appeared to be in the early stages of rigor mortis. Inspector Johnson visually examined the posterior of the body and observed blunt force trauma and a penetrating wound to the back of the head and neck, as well as fixed lividity on the posterior of the body.
While she withheld an official estimate pending an autopsy, Inspector Johnson speculated the victim had been dead approximately 7 to 10 hours and the apparent cause of death was a penetrating head wound. 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 the 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 affecting other evidence.
CSU arrived at the scene at approximately 8:08 a.m. R/Is instructed CSU to take the trophy as well as samples of the possible vomit and possible blood trails and blood pool into evidence for analysis and to process the entire scene according to standard procedure.
A preliminary search of the immediate area for the weapon(s) causing the injury to the victim met with negative results. CSU will conduct a more intensive search and report their findings.
Following their preliminary inspection of the scene, R/Is interviewed witness Bill Lamar at the scene. After observing apparent bloodstains on Lamar's clothing, R/Is requested CSU take the witness's clothing into evidence for analysis.
R/Is left the scene at 1:50 p.m. 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 the scene.
Body of the deceased remanded into the custody of Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson. The deceased was removed from the scene at 10:27 a.m. and transported to the coroner's office for autopsy.
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 an inventory of items taken into evidence within fourteen days of this report, with detailed report(s) of their findings to follow at a later date.