Claire Rivas interview
Thursday, March 11, 2021 – 5:30 p.m.
Claire Rivas was at the New Year's Eve party that Daniel Collier also attended.
Detectives Beckwith and Magee talked to her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective P. Beckwith
- Detective J. Magee
- Claire Rivas
Detective Magee: Hello, again, Claire. Take a seat. We have a few more questions for you.
Claire Rivas: Okay. Is everything all right?
Detective Magee: Well, we're still looking for Daniel. Maybe some more information you have can help us. But before we go on, we'll need your name and address for the record. Do you still live with your parents?
Claire Rivas: Yes, I do. My name is Claire Rivas, and I live at 212 Timber Lane.
Detective Beckwith: Okay, Claire, we need you to tell us again about the last time you saw Daniel Collier.
Claire Rivas: All right, it was at the New Year's cabin party at John Kyle Park. I was invited there by one of my best friends, Keanu May, like I told y'all before. I was real nervous since Keanu said he invited Danny and Brandon Ebner down.
Detective Magee: Why were you nervous?
Claire Rivas: ‘Cuz I've had a crush on Danny since I was 14. When he got out of school and started getting to be busy and famous with his art and all, I thought he had forgotten who I was.
Detective Magee: Did he?
Claire Rivas: No, he remembered. When he and Brandon got there, the first thing Danny did was come over and give me a big hug. He said, "How about a pretty flower for a pretty girl?" and gave me a clockwork flower from his last art exhibition. I'm sure I turned all shades of red.
Detective Beckwith: Was this out of character for Daniel?
Claire Rivas: Um, not in the sense that he isn't a sweetie, because he is. It's just that it was more, like, extroverted than he normally is. He's usually more … um, like, guarded, I would say, and you couldn't guarantee he would even show up at any party you invited him to. And, you wouldn't see him anywhere for months at a time unless you were Brandon Ebner.
Detective Beckwith: What do you mean?
Claire Rivas: Brandon was, like, his wingman. If you needed Danny, most people just found Brandon first. It was easier.
Detective Beckwith: I get the impression that you aren't as worried about Daniel's disappearance as others are.
Claire Rivas: No, I am worried. Like I said, if Brandon doesn't know where he is, then that's the reason to be worried.
Detective Magee: Okay, Claire, did Danny arrive at the party in his own car?
Claire Rivas: Yes.
Detective Magee: Do you have a set of Danny's car keys?
Claire Rivas: No.
Detective Magee: Does Keanu?
Claire Rivas: Not that I know of.
Detective Beckwith: At any time, did you ride in Danny's car or get anything from the trunk that night?
Claire Rivas: No. After Axyl and Lexi came to the party, Danny went out to his car to get some whiskey, but I didn't go with him.
Detective Beckwith: Did you drink alcohol that night?
Claire Rivas: No. I swear.
Detective Beckwith: Did Danny?
Claire Rivas: Yes. Brandon was too. Axyl, Lexi, and Axyl's friend Troy were all drinking.
Detective Magee: And Keanu?
Claire Rivas: Not at first. Keanu didn't really want it to turn into that type of party.
Detective Beckwith: At what time did Danny and the others start drinking?
Claire Rivas: I don't know … like 9:30?
Detective Magee: What did you do during that time?
Claire Rivas: We were all playing darts, laughing about old stories. You know, party talk, nothing in particular. That's all we did until after midnight.
Detective Magee: Did you have any specific conservations with Danny at this point?
Claire Rivas: Uh, sorta.
Detective Magee: Sort of?
Claire Rivas: I guess I was sorta flirting with him. I mean, he was really talkative that night, like way more than normal. I don't know if it was because of the drinks or what, but he was so charming. He was just sitting in the main room in a recliner, and I just let myself fall into his lap.
Detective Magee: What did he do?
Claire Rivas: Held me, so I didn't fall. He spilled a little whiskey and laughed about it.
Detective Magee: All right.
Claire Rivas: I asked him if he was making more art soon, and he said, "Yes," and he was going to New York to do it and that I should visit him. If he had asked me to go right then, I would have.
Detective Beckwith: Did he mention where in New York he planned to go?
Claire Rivas: No. I wish I would've asked him. Instead, we just joked about how he could create anything with his "magic hands." Cheesy, I know, but at the time, it so made me want to kiss him.
Detective Magee: What stopped you?
Claire Rivas: Brandon. He told Danny he was going out for a smoke and said Danny should join him. So Danny lifted me up, and they went outside. Not to be full of myself or anything, but I think Brandon has a crush on me and was jealous.
Detective Beckwith: Why would you say that?
Claire Rivas: He's always watching me whenever I'm around Danny. I mean, Brandon's okay and all, but he's not really my type.
Detective Beckwith: Refresh my memory. Did you go out with the boys to smoke?
Claire Rivas: No, I don't smoke. Why do all y'all cops think I smoke?
Detective Beckwith: I'm asking whether or not you went with them. I don't care if you were smoking.
Claire Rivas: Well, I had to use the bathroom first, and then I went outside to join them. They were down by the cove, down by the water. I got halfway to them, and that's when I saw Brandon push Danny, like, hard.
Detective Magee: What did Daniel do?
Claire Rivas: Nothing. Danny doesn't fight. He didn't even put up his arms.
Detective Magee: What did you do?
Claire Rivas: I was shocked and sorta embarrassed. I thought maybe they were fighting about me. I don't know. So I went back to the cabin to wait for them.
Detective Beckwith: What did you do when they came back?
Claire Rivas: They didn't come back. I heard Danny's car start, so I went outside. I watched them drive away- that's the last time I saw Danny.
Detective Beckwith: The last time we talked to you, you mentioned that Daniel had not been in touch with you since the New Year's party. Has he contacted you since then?
Claire Rivas: No.
Detective Magee: One more thing. You said you and Danny were flirting and talking about his "magic hands," right?
Claire Rivas: Yeah.
Detective Magee: Was he wearing a class ring?
Claire Rivas: Well, yeah, he always wears his dad's class ring. Anyone who knows Danny well knows that he always wears it to remember his dad.
Detective Magee: Are you sure?
Claire Rivas: Positive. I'm positive. I've never seen him without it on.
Detective Magee: All right, Claire, that's all the questions we have for now. Thanks for coming in.
Claire Rivas: Okay. I hope y'all find Danny.
Detective Magee: We're doing our best.
Interview ended – 5:59 p.m.