Sunday, May 24, 2020 – 8:20 a.m.
Beau Jenkins discovered the body.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the crime scene on CR 280.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Beau Jenkins
Detective Murphy: For the record, sir, could you please state your name and address?
Beau Jenkins: My name is Beau Henry Jenkins, and I live at 521 North 11th in Oxford.
Detective Armstrong: And how old are you, son?
Beau Jenkins: Seventeen, sir.
Detective Murphy: You told the first officer that you knew the woman who died, Mr. Jenkins?
Beau Jenkins: You can call me Beau. Yes, ma'am, I knew her. Zoe Chase. Everybody knows Zoe… ah, Ms. Chase.
Detective Murphy: How did you know Zoe, Beau?
Beau Jenkins: Well, she comes into where I work after school, over at Copy Time. The lady who does her typing, Peggy, she works there too, so we see her sometimes if she has to get something from Peggy and can't wait for Peggy to drop it off. Plus, I see her in Kroger sometimes. I do a food delivery program with my youth group, and so I go there sometimes too.
Detective Murphy: What is Peggy's last name?
Beau Jenkins: LeClaire. Peggy LeClaire.
Detective Murphy: Got it. Okay, now, we realize you've been through some of the details about finding Ms. Chase with Deputy Watson, Beau, but I'm afraid we need you to go through it again. You feel up to it?
Beau Jenkins: Sure, okay.
Detective Murphy: Would you prefer to go to the sheriff's office to finish this?
Beau Jenkins: No, ma'am, it's okay. I suspect moving to a different location isn't going to erase what I saw, is it? Anyway, I'd rather just get it over with because my parents are expecting me at church in a little while.
Detective Murphy: All right then. Can you tell us how you came to find Zoe out here?
Beau Jenkins: Well, like I was saying, my youth group delivers food to local shut-ins, and I was on my way to make a delivery to Mrs. Crowley. She just lives up the road a piece in Brittany Woods. Anyway, I was driving along, minding my own business, and I saw something.
Detective Armstrong: What did you see?
Beau Jenkins: Well, couldn't make it out at first, just something off to the side of the road. I have to admit I was playing my music pretty loud and probably driving too fast… Guess I wasn't paying real close attention.
Detective Armstrong: It's okay. We don't plan to write you a speeding citation, Beau. What did you see, and when did you see it?
Beau Jenkins: Yes, sir. Well, I just saw something was off to the side of the road, and I wondered, "What the heck is that?" Then when I got closer, I thought, "Oh, Lord, it's somebody who's hurt." So I pull over and jump out of the car.
Detective Murphy: Was anyone else around? Had you seen any other vehicles departing or approaching the place where Zoe was?
Beau Jenkins: No, I didn't see anyone. I don't think anybody else was on the road 'sides me. It's real quiet up here in the morning, especially on Sundays.
Detective Murphy: Okay, so you got out of the car, and then?
Beau Jenkins: Then I called out as I was coming up to her. "Hey lady, you okay?" But she doesn't say anything, and she's not moving…
Detective Armstrong: When did you realize it was Zoe Chase, someone you knew?
Beau Jenkins: A few more steps, then I saw her face. She had blood on her face and her back and was so still. My stomach sunk. I knew she wasn't alive.
Detective Armstrong: How did you know? Did you check her pulse or attempt to revive her?
Beau Jenkins: I've done enough deer hunting to know when something is dead. It's a stillness in them, you know? But I did check her neck for a pulse. Just in case, you know? I was praying that maybe I was wrong.
Detective Murphy: Okay. Did you touch the body in any other way?
Beau Jenkins: Excuse me, ma'am?
Detective Murphy: I mean, did you move her or anything else, touch any of her things?
Beau Jenkins: Oh no, ma'am. I know better than to contaminate a crime scene. I'm studying up on law enforcement. Hope to be working with y'all someday.
Detective Murphy: I see. What did you do once you checked for a pulse on Ms. Chase?
Beau Jenkins: I jumped back in the car and got my cell phone and called y'all. Then I waited here like they told me to. I mean, I did what I could to try to secure the crime scene, you know, for y'all, but I didn't have any crime scene tape or anything.
Detective Armstrong: We appreciate your conscientiousness. Was there anything else you noticed?
Beau Jenkins: I noticed her car in the ditch. That was pretty weird.
Detective Armstrong: Why's that?
Beau Jenkins: Well, Zoe's a real good driver, couldn't figure how she'd end up in a ditch.
Detective Murphy: That made you suspicious?
Beau Jenkins: Yeah, it did. She's a real smart lady and just not the helpless female type, you know? So, I didn't expect to see her put her car in a ditch.
Detective Murphy: Do you know what would have put Zoe out on this road?
Beau Jenkins: Sure, she lives out this way. Over on Suncrest Drive.
Detective Armstrong: You've been to her home?
Beau Jenkins: Oh yeah, a few times. Sometimes, when Peggy's too busy, she asks me to drop off pages and such to Zoe.
Detective Armstrong: That was nice of you.
Beau Jenkins: I never minded. She's a nice lady.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know if she would have been traveling alone last night?
Beau Jenkins: No, sir, I wouldn't know. We didn't socialize or anything like that. Just sometimes ran into each other and talked for a minute or two.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know if Zoe has any family in town?
Beau Jenkins: I don't know for sure, but I don't think so. Peggy might know.
Detective Armstrong: Do you know if she lives alone?
Beau Jenkins: Oh, well, I don't like to gossip…
Detective Armstrong: We're not asking you to gossip, son, but we need all the information we can get in order to solve this crime. You understand?
Beau Jenkins: Well, she kind of has a boyfriend… but I don't know… maybe he lives there, maybe he doesn't.
Detective Murphy: What's his name?
Beau Jenkins: Jack… Swanson, you know, like the TV dinners?
Detective Armstrong: Okay. Anything else you can tell us about Zoe or anything you saw?
Beau Jenkins: No, sir, I think that's everything I know.
Detective Murphy: Okay, Beau. Thank you for your help. If we have any further questions, we'll contact you.
Beau Jenkins: Yes, ma'am, you're welcome. Hope you catch whoever did this. I really do. And I am at your service anytime, anywhere.
Detective Armstrong: Thank you, son. Appreciate it. Now, if you'll just step over there so one of the officers can get a set of your fingerprints, then you can head on to church.
Interview ended – 8:33 a.m.