Josh Carstairs interview
Saturday, April 21, 2018 – 1:15 p.m.
Josh Carstairs works as a landscaper for Alyx's parents and other clients.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Josh Carstairs
Detective Murphy: For the record, please state your name and address.
Josh Carstairs: I'm not sure. I'm crashing with a friend.
Detective Murphy: You don't know your name?
Josh Carstairs: Josh Carstairs. I don't know the address where I'm staying.
Detective Murphy: This friend you're crashing with got a name?
Josh Carstairs: Bob.
Detective Murphy: A last name?
Josh Carstairs: Probably, but I don't know what it is. I get paid in cash. I pay him in cash.
Detective Murphy: Do you know whether you live in an apartment building or a house?
Josh Carstairs: It's a house. There are a bunch of us living there.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know why we asked you to come in today?
Josh Carstairs: Not really.
Detective Armstrong: Is that so? You were seen at the Byrns residence yesterday. Alyx Byrns died under suspicious circumstances.
Josh Carstairs: I'm a landscape tech, and that's one of the properties I handle.
Detective Armstrong: You didn't think to come forward when you heard the news?
Josh Carstairs: I didn't see what I could contribute to the media frenzy.
Detective Murphy: According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, you live at Oak Terrace Apartments.
Josh Carstairs: I did, but I moved.
Detective Murphy: Did you inform the DMV?
Josh Carstairs: I guess not.
Detective Murphy: How long did you live there?
Josh Carstairs: Not long. A month or two.
Detective Murphy: Just long enough to get a Mississippi license and to register your vehicle?
Josh Carstairs: The apartment was too loud for my taste.
Detective Murphy: A lot of transients tell us that.
Detective Armstrong: How well did you know Alyx Byrns?
Josh Carstairs: I didn't really. With all the different equipment I use, I've usually got headphones on. C&L takes care of the billing, so I don't really talk with the people who live on the properties I care for.
Detective Armstrong: C&L?
Josh Carstairs: The landscaping company I currently work for.
Detective Armstrong: I hear Alyx was in the habit of going around topless.
Josh Carstairs: Not that I ever saw.
Detective Armstrong: She never came on to you, a slightly older man in rugged shape?
Josh Carstairs: Nope.
Detective Armstrong: Did you want her to?
Josh Carstairs: I never much thought about it.
Detective Murphy: Is Friday your scheduled day to work at the Byrns property?
Josh Carstairs: I don't schedule my clients. I drive around and see what needs to be done. Every lawn grows at a different rate. Every flower bed needs to be weeded at different times. Shrubs grow at various speeds depending on the lay of the land.
Detective Murphy: Your boss is OK with that system?
Josh Carstairs: I keep more clients happy than any other tech. Don't argue with success.
Detective Armstrong: You talk about success, but C&L is the third company you've worked for in a relatively short time. Why is that?
Josh Carstairs: Some owners are a bit more anal about schedules than others.
Detective Armstrong: When we call your ex-employers, are we going to hear a different story?
Josh Carstairs: We parted on good terms.
Detective Murphy: So what kind of work do you do on a typical property?
Josh Carstairs: Mow. Trim. Weed. Seed. Fertilize. Sometimes I plant new things.
Detective Murphy: Do you carry a knife?
Josh Carstairs: Sure.
Detective Murphy: Do you have it on you?
Josh Carstairs: It was confiscated when I entered the building.
Detective Murphy: We'll need to take that into evidence.
Josh Carstairs: Be my guest.
Detective Armstrong: What did you end up doing yesterday?
Josh Carstairs: I drove around past the properties I take care of, the way I usually do. I stopped and worked on the Allen property, the Henderson property, and the Byrns property.
Detective Armstrong: And then?
Josh Carstairs: Then I went to a sports bar and watched whatever game was on.
Detective Armstrong: How does C&L know what to bill the clients?
Josh Carstairs: Well, I make a note when I stop somewhere.
Detective Armstrong: Do you also make a note of what time you arrive and leave?
Josh Carstairs: Sometimes.
Detective Armstrong: Did you make a note of what time you arrived at the Byrns property and what time you left?
Josh Carstairs: Sorry, but no.
Detective Armstrong: What time would you guess you arrived and left?
Josh Carstairs: I arrived probably sometime between 3:30 and quarter of. I wasn't there long. I just cleaned up some mulch that must have blown out of the flowerbeds along the drive.
Detective Murphy: Did you see anybody while you were cleaning up the mulch?
Josh Carstairs: A green pickup went by, coming down the drive. I didn't see the driver, but I got the plate. 641-JFA.
Detective Armstrong: You made a note of the plate?
Josh Carstairs: To be honest, I thought it might have been a competitor, going after my client. I showed the plate to my boss, but he said he didn't recognize it.
Detective Armstrong: Is there any reason the Byrns family might want to change landscaping companies?
Josh Carstairs: No, but it's a very competitive business. If I'm driving around and I see some other company put a sign on someone's lawn, I stop and ask the people if they'd consider switching to C&L.
Detective Armstrong: You get a bonus for doing that?
Josh Carstairs: You bet.
Detective Murphy: OK, I think that's all for now. You're free to go, but we might need to speak with you again. You let us know if you move from Bob's couch. Understood?
Josh Carstairs: You got it.
Interview ended – 1:58 p.m.