Bart & Bonnie Daniels interview
Sunday, April 27, 2014 - 1:00 p.m.
Following up on evidence recovered at the vandalism scene, YCSD investigators found no evidence that any Laurie Daniels currently resides in the area.
However, they did identify a Laurie Daniels who had lived in the Yoknapatawpha County area in recent years and locate her parents living in Oxford.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed Bart and Bonnie Daniels at their residence in the Tara Estates subdivision in Oxford. The interview was recorded with the witnesses' knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Bart Daniels
- Bonnie Daniels
Detective Armstrong: Good afternoon, folks. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us.
Bart Daniels: What can we do for you, Detective?
Detective Murphy: Before we get started, would you please give us your names, ages, occupations and address for the record?
Bart Daniels: Is it necessary to be so formal? What is this about?
Detective Murphy: Mr. Daniels, we just need to have that information for our paperwork. I'm sure you understand.
Bart Daniels: I see. My name is Bart Daniels. I'm 53 years old and an attorney, though I'm not currently practicing because of my health. I live here at 1305 Mesquite Drive.
Bonnie Daniels: I'm Bonnie Daniels. Age 51. I am a homemaker and my address is the same as his. As you know.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you. Now, you folks have a daughter named Laurie. Is that right?
Bonnie Daniels: Our daughter hasn't lived here for years. Why are you asking about her?
Detective Murphy: Her name came up during one of our investigations. How long has it been since she lived here?
Bart Daniels: Must be around seven years now.
Detective Murphy: And where is she living now?
Bart Daniels: Well…
Bonnie Daniels: We don't know where she lives now. Laurie abandoned our family all those years ago. We have had very little contact with her since then.
Detective Armstrong: When was the last time you spoke with her?
Bart Daniels: It's been quite some time.
Detective Armstrong: Can you ballpark it? A month ago? A year ago? More than that?
Bart Daniels: I really couldn't say. I don't understand. Why are you asking us about Laurie?
Detective Murphy: As I mentioned, her name came up in one of our investigations. We'd just like to talk to her because she may have information that could help us. We don't know at this stage.
Bonnie Daniels: I'm sorry, but I don't think we can help you. We don't know where she is now.
Detective Murphy: According to our information, Laurie is about 25 years old now. Is that correct?
Bonnie Daniels: That's right.
Detective Murphy: So she left home when she was 18 or so?
Bonnie Daniels: Yes.
Detective Murphy: Did she leave to attend college?
Bonnie Daniels: She may have gone to college, yes.
Detective Armstrong: You don't know?
Bonnie Daniels: As we said, she abandoned us. We don't really know what she's done with her time since she left.
Detective Armstrong: Why did she leave?
Bonnie Daniels: You'd have to ask her. She didn't see fit to tell us at the time.
Detective Murphy: Pardon me for saying so, Mrs. Daniels, but you sound a little angry.
Bonnie Daniels: This is a very painful subject for us. Laurie left at a time that was already very difficult for us. We had suffered a family tragedy and then my husband was diagnosed with a serious illness, which was devastating for us. Laurie left us shortly after the diagnosis and has had almost no contact with us since.
Detective Murphy: Did she leave because she couldn't cope with your illness, Mr. Daniels?
Bonnie Daniels: We can't explain to you why she did what she did because we don't understand it ourselves. All we can tell you is that her absence has caused us a lot of pain.
Detective Armstrong: You say you had suffered a family tragedy? Would you mind telling us about that?
Bart Daniels: Detectives, I don't see how that's related to Laurie. We're happy to help you as much as we can, but I don't think that includes reliving painful events from our past merely to slake your curiosity.
Detective Armstrong: I understand, Mr. Daniels, and we certainly don't mean to upset you. Just one more thing and we'll get out of your hair.
Bart Daniels: What is it?
Detective Armstrong: Would you two be willing to give us DNA samples?
Bart Daniels: Why would we do that? Do you have a warrant?
Detective Murphy: No, sir. It's just that there's a possibility your daughter, Laurie, was in town recently. We'd like to determine whether it actually was her and your DNA can help us do that.
Bart Daniels: Has something happened to her? Is that why you're asking us for DNA?
Detective Murphy: Sir, we can honestly tell you that, at this point, we don't know that anything at all has happened to her. If both of you will provide is with DNA samples, we hope to be able to answer that question.
Bart Daniels: I have to tell you, it's against my better legal judgment. But if my daughter has been injured, I want to know about it so I can help her. And if this is the way to find out, then this is what we'll have to do.
Bonnie Daniels: Bart?
Bart Daniels: It's all right, Bonnie. Let's just give them the samples. Laurie wouldn't come to town without contacting us, so I'm sure it will all turn out to be nothing.
Detective Armstrong: So you both agree to voluntarily provide samples?
Bart Daniels: Yes, we do.
Detective Murphy: Mrs. Daniels?
Bonnie Daniels: Yes. If Bart says it's the right thing to do, then it is.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you. Now, if y'all will just sit tight for a minute, we'll get the DNA collection kits and take care of it right now. Then we'll be on our way.
Bart Daniels: We'll wait right here.
Interview ends - 1:28 p.m.