Canvass - Taylor residents
On April 26-27, 2014, the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department conducted a canvass of the Taylor community in the vicinity of the Allison farm. Investigators were looking for potential witnesses who might have seen or heard anything unusual in the area at any time during the preceding six weeks.
The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all interviews conducted.
County Road 323 residents
448 CR 323, Taylor, MS
1.3 miles east of human remains scene
Ms. Childress, who lives with her mother, Myrtie Childress, said neither of them noticed any strange activity, aside from the usual kids racing up and down the road in cars.
Childress noted that their house is some distance from the road and that she and her mother turn in early every night, so they would not necessarily be aware of any late night activities of any kind.
Childress said no strangers have called upon their home nor have they heard anything unusual.
Lester & Murice Owens
277 CR 323, Taylor, MS
.3 miles east of human remains scene
The Owens farm is set back from the road and obscured by trees.
Mr. and Mrs. Owens said they don't pay attention to who comes and goes, and neither recalled seeing any strange cars or people on the road or near the bridge.
Mr. Owens said he recalled hearing a female scream coming from the woods on the west side of his property on April 26, 2014, at approximately 10:00 a.m.
265 CR 323, Taylor, MS
.18 miles west of human remains scene
Repeated visits to Strong's residence met with negative results. No answer to knocks on the doors and no vehicle observed on the property.
Joe Pye Weed & Gretchen Farnsworth
261 CR 323, Taylor, MS
.4 miles west of human remains scene
Mr. Weed is a reporter for the Oxford Eagle. Weed's fiancée, Ms. Farnsworth, was at work at Square Books in Oxford at time of interview.
Weed said he frequently saw unfamiliar cars drive by. He added that he never pays attention to cars because everybody who lives on CR 323 drives by his house, and he doesn't know everybody on the road because he chooses to mind his own business.
Weed said his neighbor, JC Strong, frequently had visitors, mostly female, within the past several weeks. Weed remembered one guest in particular — a short, stocky male, who stayed for several days at Strong's house.
Weed said he had contact with this visitor about two weeks previous (interviewer's note: approximately April 12, 2014), when the man appeared to be preparing to wade into in the swimming hole behind Strong's house.
Weed said he was sitting on his back porch when he noticed the man and called out to warn him that the small pond had snakes in it. Weed said the man replied, "Good!" and waded in.
According to Weed, the man was in the water for about 15 minutes, then got out and returned to Strong's house. Weed said he didn't know why the man was wading in the pond, and he did not see the man put anything into or take anything out of the water.
Weed added that he had heard a gunshot coming from the Allison farm one night several weeks earlier.