Young woman with long blonde hair

Kayla Mathis interview #2

Saturday, April 25, 2020 – 10:00 a.m.

Kayla Mathis was a crew member on the victim's film.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy re-interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Kayla Mathis

Detective Murphy: Would you please state your name, age, address, and occupation for the record?

Kayla Mathis: Kayla Mathis, 22, and I work at Square Books. I live at 14 Magnolia Ridge, Highway 337.

Detective Armstrong: We just want to clear a few questions about your recent behavior.

Kayla Mathis: What kind of behavior do you mean?

Detective Armstrong: When we first talked to you, you didn't much like Gwen Carver, but since then, you've been spotted together at local establishments quite a few times. So what's the story?

Kayla Mathis: We just realized that if we were gonna get through this and be in the same town, we had to come together and talk about our experiences. And we've been out for drinks together. I've stayed over at her house. We've talked about me moving in. It's been the best therapy, I swear.

Detective Murphy: So you ladies have become friends.

Kayla Mathis: Yes.

Detective Murphy: Just how long have you two known each other?

Kayla Mathis: We met on the set of the film. I guess it's been five or six months now.

Detective Murphy: As you might imagine, we found numerous digital videos in Dalton's office. One of them was a film called The Balcony. Would you take a look at this still picture from that footage and tell us if you know this woman?

Kayla Mathis: Oh yeah. That's Cheyenne Wyoming. She's that actress who tried to get Dalton to give her a part.

Detective Murphy: Are you positive? Had you ever seen her or met her before?

Kayla Mathis: I can honestly say I had never seen her, but I'd recognize her anywhere.

Detective Armstrong: Did Kimbrough ever talk about her?

Kayla Mathis: I never heard anything more about her. Other than Dave. Dave was really big on her. But then again, I didn't pay much attention to Dave.

Detective Murphy: Have you seen Cheyenne Wyoming since that day at the lodge?

Kayla Mathis: I did see her at the grocery store one day. I wanted to talk to her about Dalton, but when she saw me walking over to her, she took off. Just left her food and stuff in the buggy and left. It was weird.

Detective Murphy: How long ago was this?

Kayla Mathis: I don't know. A couple of days ago, maybe.

Detective Murphy: Do you have any idea where she went when she left the store?

Kayla Mathis: I saw her driving away in a van from that Heartsong Collective shelter place. You know the one I mean? That goat farm where they take in battered women?

Detective Armstrong: We know the place. Was she driving the van?

Kayla Mathis: No. Some woman was driving.

Detective Armstrong: Did it seem like she knew the woman, or did she just hitch a ride?

Kayla Mathis: I don't know.

Detective Armstrong: Have you seen her again since then?

Kayla Mathis: No.

Detective Armstrong: Have you ever been out to the Heartsong Collective?

Kayla Mathis: No. I never had any reason to.

Detective Armstrong: What do you know of Robert Budd?

Kayla Mathis: I saw some of the movies Dalton made with him. He talked about him a good deal, I suppose. Just stories, though. He told me that they picked up a hitchhiker and scared the hell out of him. That's where that opening scene in the movie came from. I don't remember much else about him.

Detective Armstrong: But Dalton never contacted Robert while y'all were making the movie?

Kayla Mathis: No, not that I know of.

Detective Murphy: Did he mention where Rob was?

Kayla Mathis: No, I thought he was still in Florida.

Detective Armstrong: Turns out, he's in prison and has been for a while now. And probably won't be moving any time soon.

Kayla Mathis: You know, I saw a letter to Dalton once that came from Parchman, but I didn't open it, and he never mentioned it. Do you think that was from Rob?

Detective Armstrong: Could be. You didn't ask him about it?

Kayla Mathis: No. You didn't ask Dalton about stuff like that.

Detective Murphy: Did Dalton ever mention any accidents that happened while he and Rob were playing tricks up and down the coast?

Kayla Mathis: I don't remember anything specific.

Detective Armstrong: We've tried to get in touch with Kimbrough's family, but they're no longer in Jackson. We know they were there when word first got out about Dalton's death, but we've tried to locate them for questioning, and they're just nowhere to be found. Did you ever meet or talk to or hear anything at all about Dalton's parents?

Kayla Mathis: He did tell me that his dad had given him some money for pre-production. This was when we first met. He always promised to take me to Jackson to eat at his dad's restaurant. I mean, I've been there before, I know how good it is, but I didn't know his dad. I never saw them or saw Dalton speak to them. That's weird, you know. I just realized that.

Detective Armstrong: Well, it seems like almost everything connected with Dalton Kimbrough is weird. I mean, did you really know him at all? Could you know him?

Kayla Mathis: As well as anyone could.

Detective Armstrong: Or did you just know what he was like with you?

Kayla Mathis: I— how can I know the answer to that?

Detective Murphy: Let's talk about the events surrounding the murder again.

Kayla Mathis: Okay, if we have to.

Detective Murphy: We do. You told us before that you saw Gwen banging on Dalton's bedroom door, trying to kick it in. Did she actually kick it in?

Kayla Mathis: I don't think so. She was banging on it pretty hard, but it sounded like it just came open all of a sudden. Maybe it wasn't even locked in the first place? I don't know. I wasn't watching her every second. When that was happening, I didn't even know anything was really wrong. I just thought she was… well, I hate to say it now that I know her better and understand her a little more, but I thought she was just being dramatic, trying to get attention from him.

Detective Armstrong: So, Kayla, you've had some time to think about it. Who do you think killed Dalton?

Kayla Mathis: I honestly don't know. If you look at it one way, any of us could have done it. We all had the opportunity, I guess, and we all had a motive, but I just can't believe any of us would have killed him. No matter how mad he made us, I don't think any of us really hated him. We were like a family in a weird way. People in your family can make you mad, but you don't kill them because of it.

Detective Armstrong: So if none of you did it, who did? Did someone come in from outside, kill him, and then get away without anyone seeing him or her?

Kayla Mathis: That sounds crazy, right? But I think that's what happened. It's not like the doors were locked. Anyone could have just walked right in.

Detective Murphy: But why would someone from outside the lodge want to kill him?

Kayla Mathis: I don't know. Ask Chuckie. I bet he wanted to kill him. He probably won't admit it, but I bet he did.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know where Kimbrough kept the key to the editing room?

Kayla Mathis: Sure. He wore it on a chain around his neck.

Detective Armstrong: Always? He never put it anywhere else?

Kayla Mathis: Dalton never took that key off as far as I know. It was always hanging around his neck. He protected his equipment and his stuff with his life.

Detective Armstrong: Was there anything in the editing room that someone might want?

Kayla Mathis: Tons of stuff. Lots of expensive equipment, for one thing. And all those video files. I don't know what they all were, but someone might have wanted those. There may have been other stuff in there too. Dalton didn't let me in there too often, and I was never in there for very long.

Detective Murphy: Kayla, I know you want us to find out who killed Dalton, right?

Kayla Mathis: Yes!

Detective Murphy: Is there anything else you can think of that might help us do that?

Kayla Mathis: I can't think of anything.

Detective Armstrong: Okay, Kayla. We'll be in touch.

Interview ended – 10:39 a.m.



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