Oxford Chalet canvass
Investigators learned that several young men regularly congregate in the parking lot of the Oxford Chalet apartments, across the street from the Fines' apartment complex.
On the evening of Thursday, July 17, 2014, Detectives Armstrong and Murphy visited the parking lot and spoke with the men. The detectives wanted to know whether any of them were present on the evening of July 3, 2014, and might have information pertinent to the Andrew Fine homicide investigation.
The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all interviews conducted.
591 Hathorn Road, Oxford, MS
Lopez said he did not observe anything unusual on the evening of July 3. He said he and other friends had congregated in the parking lot of their apartment complex, as they often did after work in the evenings. They get together to talk, tinker with their cars and just hang out with their friends, he said.
Lopez said he was awakened by a loud noise in the early morning of July 4. He said he went to his window and observed a dog rummaging in a trash can that had overturned and assumed that was what had awakened him.
At that time, he said he observed a dark SUV parked in the parking lot of Oxford Ridge across the street. He said he recalled the time — 1:50 a.m. — because he looked at his alarm clock.
He said he remembered seeing the vehicle because he has seen the same SUV parked in about the same location before. The reason he noticed in the first place, he said, was because there was always someone in it and he'd never seen the car unoccupied.
On July 4, he said he observed a single occupant, hunched down behind the steering wheel, with a baseball cap pulled down low.
Lopez said he thought the person was a police officer watching someone or something across the street because he had been there so often. When asked, he could not give a description nor determine the sex or age of the occupant.
He said the vehicle appeared to be a dark blue or black SUV, but he did not know the make or year.
Lopez said he saw no other cars going into or out of the parking lot and no other persons enter or leave the apartments at that time.
310 Sisk Avenue, Oxford, MS
Raoul Jimenez was spending the night before the 4th of July holiday with his brother, Tito Jimenez, who lives at the Oxford Chalet apartments.
Mr. Jimenez said they had been at a friend's house celebrating and returned home about 1:40 a.m. on July 4th. They were walking across the parking lot to enter Tito's apartment when they saw a black SUV pull into the Oxford Ridge parking lot across the street and a man exit the passenger side.
He said it attracted their attention because the passenger tripped and fell as he got out of the car, and yelled and swore at the driver. Mr. Jimenez thought the man appeared to be drunk.
He said he saw the driver open his door to get out. The drivers stopped and got back in when the passenger yelled something about not being a woman, not needing any help, and leave him the hell alone.
Jimenez admitted his English might be somewhat limited, but he definitely understood the man's words. He added that the passenger continued to yell and gesture all the way into the apartment. Mr. Jimenez said he clearly heard the words "wimp," "fag," and "dud."
Mr. Jimenez said he and his brother then entered his brother's apartment and retired for the night. He said they did not hear or see anything else that night.
585 Hathorn Road, Oxford, MS
Tito Jimenez confirmed the account his brother, Raoul, gave. Tito added that he had seen the same or a similar SUV parked in the lot across the street and occasionally in his apartment's lot. He said he had seen it many times, usually in the evenings.
He said he had figured it was owned by someone who lived in the Oxford Ridge apartment complex. He commented that the driver must leave for work very early because the vehicle was never there in the morning when he left for work at 6:30 a.m.
581 Hathorn Road, Oxford, MS
Ramirez said he woke up at about 1:45 a.m. on July 4th when his month-old baby woke to be fed. He said he got up for a glass of water and glanced out of his kitchen window but saw nothing suspicious.
When asked if he had seen a dark SUV parked in his lot or the lot across the street, he commented that he saw it often. He said he and his friends avoided it because they thought it was a policeman watching someone in the apartments across the street.
Ramirez said the vehicle parked in nearly the same spot almost every time, and there was always someone in it. He said he couldn't identify the occupant of the SUV because the driver always hunched down in the seat or wore a baseball cap low over his eyes.