Saturday, January 23, 2021 – 2:54 p.m.
Debra Lane found the body and called 911.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her in Cabin 8 at Wall Doxey Park, where she was staying.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Debra Lane
Detective Murphy: Please state your name and address for the record.
Debra Lane: I'm Debra Nicole Lane, and I live at 509 South 11th in Oxford.
Detective Murphy: Thanks. Can you tell us what happened today?
Debra Lane: Like I told the guy earlier, I was here in the cabin and thought I heard a gun go off. It bugged me, so I went outside to look around, and I found a man lying there. It was obvious he'd been shot. Pretty scary.
Detective Murphy: What did you do then?
Debra Lane: I went back to where I could get reception and called 911.
Detective Murphy: Who was he?
Debra Lane: No idea.
Detective Armstrong: You didn't recognize him?
Debra Lane: No. Never saw the guy before in my life. Should I know him?
Detective Murphy: Did you touch him at all? Shake him to try to rouse him? Check for a pulse?
Debra Lane: No, that bullet hole in his head was a pretty big clue he was dead.
Detective Armstrong: Just so I have this straight, you heard what you thought was a gunshot and went out to investigate. That was what time?
Debra Lane: I think it was around 11:00 a.m. when I heard the gun. Or, I don't know, I thought it might be some kids messing around with firecrackers or a car backfiring or something. Or it could have echoed across from the far side of the lake. I wasn't sure.
Detective Armstrong: But you didn't see anyone?
Debra Lane: The man who'd been shot, obviously. No one else. But I didn't leave my cabin right away.
Detective Murphy: You didn't?
Debra Lane: You already know this, right? Because you know the time I called. It wasn't until like 11:30 a.m.
Detective Armstrong: Why the wait?
Debra Lane: I had my headphones on when I heard it. I was listening to opera. I thought maybe I'd heard wrong.
Detective Murphy: Opera?
Debra Lane: Yeah. Harris—he's my boyfriend—he's trying to convert me. I'm not buying it so far, but whatever. I try. Anyway, I was listening to "Tosca" and knitting. I'm trying to finish a sweater for Django, and it's a Fair Isle with four colors. It's all about counting stitches. You can't lose track.
Detective Murphy: And Django is who?
Debra Lane: My nine-year-old.
Detective Armstrong: He and your boyfriend didn't come with you?
Debra Lane: No. I take a trip on my own every year around this time. It's after the holidays, Django is back in school, but it's before Harris has to deal with midterms. Sometimes I go see my parents—they're in New Orleans—but I didn't want to spend half the time in the car. The past few months have been crazy. I just needed to relax.
Detective Murphy: What kind of crazy?
Debra Lane: Oh, you know. The mom thing. Harris tries, but it's mostly up to me. Christmas plus a January birthday, do the math. And work … it's nice to be offline. Although if the TV was wifi-enabled, I could connect my phone and use the sound system for music. Then maybe I would have heard something else, gone out sooner. But with the headphones—they're noise-canceling—no way. It bugs me.
Detective Armstrong: Any trouble with the law recently?
Debra Lane: No. You would know that, right?
Detective Armstrong: Anyone in your family arrested?
Debra Lane: No.
Detective Armstrong: And you're sure didn't recognize the man you found shot?
Debra Lane: No. I mean, yeah, I'm sure.
Detective Murphy: Did you see anyone else?
Debra Lane: No. Just the dead guy.
Detective Murphy: Did you hear anything before the gunshot?
Debra Lane: Just the music.
Detective Murphy: Wasn't anyone else staying out there?
Debra Lane: It's not exactly summer vacation, right? I didn't see any tents or RVs. There were a couple of cabins with people in them, I think. Closer to the lake.
Detective Murphy: What makes you think so?
Debra Lane: Last night, after I got here, I heard voices, and I could see through the trees they had the lights on. I'm pretty sure I heard them drive off this morning, though.
Detective Murphy: Did you hear or see anyone around after that?
Debra Lane: Nope, no cars, nothing. That's what bugged me about the noise. I thought I was the only one still out here. I wondered if some kids were cruising around causing trouble or what.
Detective Armstrong: Sounds like you’ve been here before.
Debra Lane: Sure. We usually don't stay overnight. It's not that far of a drive. But the cabins are nice.
Detective Armstrong: Did you ever stay in Cabin 7?
Debra Lane: No.
Detective Armstrong: Was anyone in Cabin 7 when you arrived?
Debra Lane: No, not that I noticed.
Detective Armstrong: What time did you get here?
Debra Lane: Yesterday at about 5:30 or 6:00 p.m., I guess.
Detective Armstrong: Did you hear anyone arrive at Cabin 7 last night or this morning?
Debra Lane: Nope, sorry.
Detective Armstrong: When was the last time you were here?
Debra Lane: December. Right after school let out.
Detective Murphy: Can you think of anything else we should know?
Debra Lane: No.
Detective Armstrong: And you're sure you didn’t see anyone else after you heard the shot?
Debra Lane: Yes, I'm sure. Trust me, I've been obsessing about it ever since. It was only a stupid Fair Isle sweater, right?
Detective Murphy: Thank you for your help.
Debra Lane: Do I have to leave, or can I stay here?
Detective Murphy: You want to stay?
Debra Lane: Well, I'm supposed to be here another night, and I could use the "me time," you know? But if you say I have to leave, then I will.
Detective Murphy: As far as the sheriff's department is concerned, you can stay if you like—as long as you stay away from the crime scene.
Debra Lane: Oh, absolutely. I won't go anywhere near it. Thanks. You have no idea. Seriously, thank you.
Detective Armstrong: We'll let you get back to your "me time" now. We'll give you a call if we have more questions.
Interview ended – 3:20 p.m.