Barbara says she and Alyx got along fine

Saturday, April 21, 2018 – 10:07 a.m.

Barbara Byrns is Alyx’s stepmother. She has been married to Alyx's father, Paul, since Alyx was three years old.

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

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Barbara Byrns

Detective Armstrong: Before we begin, please state your name and address for the record.

Barbara Byrns: My name is Barbara Byrns, and I live at 604 College Hill Road, Oxford, Mississippi.

Detective Murphy: Thank you for coming in. We understand that this will be difficult, but we need to find out all we can about what happened yesterday.

Barbara Byrns: I was at work all day.

Detective Armstrong: OK., thank you for clearing that up.

Barbara Byrns: Sorry. Sorry. I’m nervous and upset. And I feel guilty.

Detective Murphy: Why?

Barbara Byrns: Alyx asked me if we could go shopping yesterday. I told her I didn't have time.

Detective Murphy: Did you have time?

Barbara Byrns: No. I had to go to work. I had an interview scheduled.

Detective Murphy: Where are you employed, Mrs. Byrns?

Barbara Byrns: I'm the host of "Good Morning Oxford."

Detective Murphy: Do you typically tape your interviews?

Barbara Byrns: No, we’re live every morning. This guest had scheduling conflicts, so after yesterday’s show, we pre-recorded his interview to play next week.

Detective Armstrong: When you saw Alyx yesterday morning, how did she seem to you?

Barbara Byrns: Normal. But she was disappointed. She had a tiff with her boyfriend and wanted to spend the day with me. Oh, my God. Stephen. They argued!

Detective Armstrong: Stephen who?

Barbara Byrns: Stephen Lamoire. Her on-again, off-again boyfriend.

Detective Armstrong: Were they on or off yesterday?

Barbara Byrns: They argued on the phone yesterday morning. She told him to lose her number. It didn’t seem like a big deal.

Detective Armstrong: Under the circumstances, it’s a very big deal.

Barbara Byrns: Yes, of course. You don’t think Stephen… that he…

Detective Armstrong: We have to consider everything, Mrs. Byrns.

Detective Murphy: Did Alyx have any close friends?

Barbara Byrns: Only a couple. Katie Henderson, her best friend, which I never understood, and Stephen. Oh, and recently, a gal named Megan… Plummer, I believe.

Detective Armstrong: You don't approve of Katie?

Barbara Byrns: No, I don’t. She's a big flirt. Excuse me for saying, but she acts like a slut. Around Paul. It's disgusting. She grew up with Alyx. With us. Paul is like her uncle.

Detective Armstrong: What did Paul say about it?

Barbara Byrns: He thinks it's harmless. You know men.

Detective Armstrong: No. Please, tell me about men.

Barbara Byrns: That was rude. I’m sorry. Paul divorced his first wife when she was 35. We met and married when I was only 23. Katie is 18 and making obvious advances toward my husband who's like an uncle to her. It scares me.

Detective Armstrong: Paul’s first wife?

Barbara Byrns: Yes.

Detective Armstrong: Are you Alyx’s mother?

Barbara Byrns: Not her biological mother, but she is my child. I have loved her and cared for her since she was three years old.

Detective Murphy: How often did Alyx see her mother?

Barbara Byrns: Never. Miranda put Alyx's life in danger one too many times when she was still a newborn. Paul was granted sole custody.

Detective Murphy: In danger how?

Barbara Byrns: She would drink until she passed out. More than once Paul came home from work to find Alyx crying in her crib with a sopping wet or soiled diaper, and Miranda sprawled on the floor unconscious.

Detective Murphy: This is his version?

Barbara Byrns: It’s the court’s version. Miranda was ordered by a judge to undergo treatment before visitation would be granted. She didn’t comply. She has never tried to see Alyx. Not even a phone call. Can you believe that? It's appalling to me. Disgusting.

Detective Armstrong: Do you know the ex-wife’s last name?

Barbara Byrns: Lambert, last time I heard.

Detective Armstrong: Do you have any contact information?

Barbara Byrns: No, nor do we want it. The last time Paul saw Miranda, she had needle marks on her arms. We felt blessed that we hadn't heard from her for all those years.

Detective Murphy: How did Alyx feel about all this?

Barbara Byrns: She didn’t know until she was twelve. Paul told her.

Detective Murphy: You kept it from her?

Barbara Byrns: It’s the way Paul wanted it. He wanted to protect Alyx.

Detective Murphy: How did Alyx respond to the news?

Barbara Byrns: Alyx was glad to know the truth. She isolated herself for a day or two, but then gave me a big hug, told me that she loved me and that as far as she was concerned, I was her mom, period. She never mentioned it again.

Detective Armstrong: How did you and Alyx get along?

Barbara Byrns: Great. We never had any real problems. Nothing outside of those things any mother goes through with her teenage daughter.

Detective Armstrong: How did Alyx get along with her friends?

Barbara Byrns: Pretty good for the most part. The Plummer girl, I don't really know much about, and she didn't seem to have anything in common with Alyx.

Detective Murphy: Do you know of anyone who would harm your daughter?

Barbara Byrns: No. But Josh, our gardener, seemed to watch her a little too closely. He worried me a little when it came to Alyx.

Detective Armstrong: What is his last name?

Barbara Byrns: Carstairs. I can’t imagine he had something to do with her death though.

Detective Murphy: We need to explore every possibility.

Barbara Byrns: I understand. May I be excused now? I'd like to be with my husband now.

Detective Murphy: Yes. Thanks again for your time.

Barbara Byrns: You're welcome. Please find out what happened to my Alyx.

Detective Armstrong: We'll do everything we can. You can count on it.

Interview ended – 10:52 a.m.

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