Brandon Ebner interview #3
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 – 10:00 a.m.
Brandon Ebner was Daniel Collier's best friend from high school.
Detectives Beckwith and Magee asked him to come by the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department again to answer some more questions.
- Detective P. Beckwith
- Detective J. Magee
- Brandon Ebner
Detective Magee: Thanks for coming in one more time, Brandon. Can we get your name and address once again?
Brandon Ebner: My name is Brandon Ebner, and I live at 225 Eagles Nest Lane in Oxford.
Detective Magee: We'd like to ask you a few questions about Daniel's plan to go to New York.
Brandon Ebner: Okay, what do you want to know?
Detective Beckwith: How was Daniel going to get to New York? Was he going to drive, fly, or what?
Brandon Ebner: He was going to take his car.
Detective Magee: The whole way?
Brandon Ebner: Yeah, he was going to drive there.
Detective Beckwith: And do you have any idea where in New York he planned to stay?
Brandon Ebner: Not really. I tried to ask him, but he didn't ever let me know. I know he was interested in meeting some of the 5Pointz artists, but I don't know any of their names.
Detective Magee: 5Pointz?
Brandon Ebner: It was a major mural space for graffiti artists in Queens. We found out about it after a New Jersey photographer's work was shown at C'est Belle. 5Pointz was one of his shoot locations. After that, Danny used to talk about it, saying it was his "Mecca."
Detective Magee: Okay, so maybe Daniel went to 5Pointz to stay?
Brandon Ebner: Nope. It's torn down. It's not there anymore. That's why I have no idea where he is.
Detective Beckwith: Let's go back to the last time you saw Daniel. When was that again?
Brandon Ebner: The early morning of New Year's Day.
Detective Beckwith: Okay. Have you told us everything you can remember about that morning?
Brandon Ebner: I told you before. Danny and I were coming back from John Kyle Park. He was driving his car, and I was riding shotgun.
Detective Magee: What was Daniel's mood before he dropped you off at home?
Brandon Ebner: Tired, a bit angry because we had just fought it out about Laughlin's stolen parts in his trunk.
Detective Magee: I thought you were mad about that, not Dan?
Brandon Ebner: I was mad. I told y'all I was. It wasn't a big deal. We had it out, and then it was done. He took me home, and that was the last I saw of him.
Detective Beckwith: Brandon, are you looking to get out of Oxford?
Brandon Ebner: What do you mean?
Detective Beckwith: You still live with your parents, right? Do you ever think that you'd like to leave Oxford for the big city?
Brandon Ebner: Sometimes, I guess.
Detective Magee: Did you want Daniel to take you to New York with him?
Brandon Ebner: What do you mean? I never said that.
Detective Beckwith: Was that the real reason for your fight with Daniel that night?
Brandon Ebner: Uh…
Detective Magee: Brandon?
Brandon Ebner: All right, I wanted to go with him, okay? I'm tired of this place. Everyone is in everyone else's business. I'm just tired of it.
Detective Magee: It makes it so hard for us to trust you, Brandon, when you consistently leave out parts of your story.
Brandon Ebner: Look, I didn't leave anything out. The main reason I wanted to go with him was to protect him if he was going to sell Laughlin's parts. I didn't want him to do that alone in New York. Some gang could jump him, and he'd be screwed.
Detective Beckwith: So you were planning to become a two-man crime syndicate?
Brandon Ebner: Well, it didn't happen, did it? Danny just told me he was going alone, and he wasn't going to tell me a date he was going, so I wouldn't be hanging around when he left.
Detective Magee: So did he leave immediately?
Brandon Ebner: I think so. Probably on January 2nd.
Detective Beckwith: Did he still have Laughlin's parts in his car when he left?
Brandon Ebner: I suppose so. I don't have any reason to think otherwise.
Detective Magee: Brandon, where were you between January 2nd and January 6th?
Brandon Ebner: Not with Danny. I was home most of that time. My parents could tell y'all I was there. When I wasn't at home, I was at C'est Belle either working or in the process of preparing my own photography exhibit.
Detective Magee: Okay, there isn't a good way to tell you this, Brandon, but we found Danny's car in Memphis.
Brandon Ebner: What? Was Danny there?
Detective Beckwith: No. There were no car parts in his trunk either.
Brandon Ebner: Oh. Oh … I told y'all. I frickin' told y'all. You could've been an hour and a half away, finding Danny before he got killed, but no, y'all have to ask your precious questions, waste a bunch of time.
Detective Magee: Brandon—
Brandon Ebner: Eating doughnuts or whatever the hell you do.
Detective Magee: Brandon, this isn't helping. We're still trying to find him.
Brandon Ebner: Yeah, I'm sure you are.
Detective Magee: I get that you're upset. I do. But you have to calm down. That Danny's still missing isn't evidence that he's dead or even hurt. We don't know, but we will never know if we don't calm down and take this investigation step by step.
Detective Beckwith: Now, Brandon, if Daniel went to New York by plane, who could have left his car in Memphis for him to pick up later?
Brandon Ebner: Oh, I didn't think of it that way. … Vince, I guess. He would've had a spare set of keys at his house.
Detective Magee: Could Daniel have given the spare keys to anyone else?
Brandon Ebner: Maybe Keanu or Claire, but I would think they would have told me if Danny asked them to do that.
Detective Beckwith: And if Dan didn't want them to tell you so you couldn't try to stop him from leaving?
Brandon Ebner: Then they probably wouldn't tell me.
Detective Magee: Okay, but as hard as it is, we also have to consider Daniel's car was driven or abandoned in Memphis against Daniel's will. Who could have done that?
Brandon Ebner: Laughlin or one of his guys. They probably found out Danny stole their parts. If that's the case, Danny's gone. I wish y'all would have found him instead of his car.
Detective Magee: Yes, us too.
Brandon Ebner: So y'all are still going to keep looking for him?
Detective Magee: Yes, we'll keep looking for him.
Interview ended – 10:33 a.m.