Wednesday, March 17, 2021 – 1:30 p.m.
Andrew Brown is an officer with the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
He contacted Detectives Beckwith and Magee about some information that may be relevant to their investigation.
- Detective P. Beckwith
- Detective J. Magee
- Officer A. Brown
Detective Magee: Have a seat, Officer Brown. Thanks for coming in. Well, you know the routine. State your name and address for us, please.
Officer Brown: Yep. My name's Andrew Brown, and my address is 1998 Summerset Drive, Oxford. I work as an officer for the Yoknapatawpha County Police Department.
Detective Magee: We understand you have some info you think might help us with the Collier investigation?
Officer Brown: Possibly. When I heard you found a body near Clear Springs, it brought to mind a call I got back in January. Around the time the Collier kid was last seen.
Detective Magee: Okay, tell us about that.
Officer Brown: Got dispatched out near Sardis Lake. Some fella sayin' he saw something strange out in the woods there.
Detective Beckwith: What was the exact date and time?
Officer Brown: It was early morning, January 3rd. I got the call at 2:05 a.m. and arrived at approximately 2:15 a.m.
Detective Magee: Where specifically?
Officer Brown: When I got out there, the fella met me near the parking area of Clear Springs Nature Trail out on River Road.
Detective Beckwith: What was this man doing there so late at night?
Officer Brown: He said he was a parazoologist.
Detective Magee: Come again?
Officer Brown: A parazoologist. His words, not mine.
Detective Magee: Okay.
Officer Brown: I guess it's someone who studies undiscovered species of animals, you know, Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, that kind of thing. He told me he believed the area could be home to some such undiscovered species, and he was out there looking around.
Detective Beckwith: How many beers deep was he at this point?
Officer Brown: No kidding, right? That's what I thought at first, but he was deadly serious—and sober. So I asked him for ID.
Detective Magee: Did he comply?
Officer Brown: Yes, he gave me his driver's license. His name was Owen Greer. Oxford native. I ran a record check. Nothing came up but a few "no contests" to some trespassing violations. No warrants. I gave back his license and told him he was gonna have to leave the area, and he said he couldn't.
Detective Magee: I'm probably going to regret this, but I'll bite. Why?
Officer Brown: Said he saw some kinda beast.
Detective Magee: Of course he did.
Detective Beckwith: Did he say what he meant by "beast"?
Officer Brown: Well, I pressed him, and he said he couldn't really describe it, just that it looked like a man only bigger, and he thought he heard it making noises.
Detective Magee: What kind of noises?
Officer Brown: He couldn't really describe them either. He just said the noises sounded more animal than human.
Detective Magee: Uh-huh.
Officer Brown: I know. I wasn't sure if he was just a nut or what was going on. But I took down his report and walked over to the area where he claimed to see it.
Detective Magee: Where was that?
Officer Brown: Just off the Clear Springs Nature Trail, down a ways in the swampy wooded area. About a quarter-mile from where the body was found. That's why I thought this might be relevant.
Detective Magee: Did you see anything out there?
Officer Brown: No, nothing. You can't really go all the way out there at night. You'll lose a shoe or two in the muck, and the water's up to your knees in some places. I wasn't about to walk all over a swamp in the dark looking for strange creatures.
Detective Beckwith: Did the man seem unstable to you?
Officer Brown: You mean other than the fact that he was calling 911 to report a man-beast or whatever it was he thinks he saw?
Detective Beckwith: Touche. I mean, did he act otherwise mentally disturbed?
Officer Brown: Not that I could tell. That's the only reason I even took him somewhat seriously.
Detective Magee: So what did you do at that point?
Officer Brown: I told him I couldn't see anyone or anything out in the swamp. If there was something, it was gone.
Detective Magee: What did he say?
Officer Brown: He initially refused to leave again, but after a few minutes, he said that since I left the lights lit on the top of the squad car, it probably scared the animal away. I told him he was probably right.
Detective Beckwith: Yeah?
Officer Brown: Well, it got him to leave.
Detective Magee: How did he leave?
Officer Brown: By truck.
Detective Beckwith: What kind of truck?
Officer Brown: Early 2010s GMC Sierra Crew Cab. It was like a sage green color.
Detective Beckwith: Did you get a plate?
Officer Brown: Yeah, it's here in my notes.
Detective Beckwith: Thanks.
Detective Magee: Where was his truck parked? On the road?
Officer Brown: Nope, it was right in the little gravel parking area at the trailhead, just off River Road. I had driven the squad into the lot right next to the truck, like I said earlier.
Detective Beckwith: Did he leave alone?
Officer Brown: Looked like it. I never saw anyone else in his truck at any time.
Detective Magee: Were there any other cars or people in the lot or on the trail?
Officer Brown: No, didn't see anybody. There were no vehicles in the lot, but I didn't walk the whole trail. I had no reason to think anybody else was there.
Detective Magee: Okay. Is there anything else you can think of?
Officer Brown: Nope. That's it.
Detective Magee: All right, thank you, Officer Brown. We'll be in touch if we have any more questions.
Officer Brown: Sure thing.
Interview ended – 1:51 p.m.