Saturday, May 30, 2020 – 1:31 p.m.
Debbie Fitzgerald is Zoe Chase's birth mother.
The detectives asked Ms. Fitzgerald to come to the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department for another interview.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Debbie Fitzgerald
Detective Armstrong: For the record, would you please state your name and address?
Debbie Fitzgerald: My name is Deborah Jane Fitzgerald. I live at 375 Vivian Drive.
Detective Armstrong: Thanks for coming in again, ma'am. Just a few follow up questions, and we'll have you out of here in no time.
Debbie Fitzgerald: It's all right. I have the day off. Doesn't matter how long it takes.
Detective Armstrong: Okay, well, let's get to it. You told us before that you were following Zoe. Is that correct?
Debbie Fitzgerald: I told you I saw her sometimes, but I wasn't following her.
Detective Armstrong: Not at all?
Debbie Fitzgerald: Sometimes, I drove by her house after my shift was over.
Detective Armstrong: Because?
Debbie Fitzgerald: In case maybe I could catch a glimpse of her. See if her lights were on.
Detective Armstrong: Why would you want to know if her lights were on?
Debbie Fitzgerald: In case maybe I'd have the nerve to knock on her door again.
Detective Armstrong: There seems to be some indication that you did. Knock on her door, again that is.
Debbie Fitzgerald: No, I didn't. She called me like I told you before. I saw that column in the paper. The one she wrote about me. Made me cry, you know? Guess it wasn't meant to be...
Detective Armstrong: What wasn't meant to be?
Debbie Fitzgerald: Us ever being mother and daughter. I got my few minutes with her, and that was all it was. Well, can't cry over spilled milk, I guess.
Detective Armstrong: Okay. In terms of following her, did you do anything besides driving by to see if her lights were on?
Debbie Fitzgerald: Well, sometimes I'd park and just sit there. You know, just watch the house. Wishing I knew what to say to her.
Detective Armstrong: You ever follow her while she was driving anywhere?
Debbie Fitzgerald: No, sir. I saw her sometimes on the Square. I'd wave, and she'd act like she didn't see, but I know she did.
Detective Armstrong: Didn't that ever make you angry?
Debbie Fitzgerald: No, it made me sad.
Detective Armstrong: Did you argue?
Debbie Fitzgerald: Nope. Like I said, she called, we were going to have lunch... What's the matter? You think I hurt my little girl?
Detective Armstrong: Should I think you did?
Debbie Fitzgerald: No. But you're acting like it.
Detective Armstrong: I'm just trying to get to the truth, ma'am.
Debbie Fitzgerald: Then find the person who did this to her. I can't help you.
Detective Armstrong: Let me just get this question out of the way then. Do you own any firearms of any kind?
Debbie Fitzgerald: Oh, no. I've never liked guns. Wouldn't have one in the house.
Detective Armstrong: Okay. Tell me about Zoe's biological father.
Debbie Fitzgerald: What about him?
Detective Armstrong: Is it possible she was in contact with him?
Debbie Fitzgerald: I guess so... she could have been. But how she could have found him, I wouldn't know. I ain't seen him since I was sixteen. His family moved away before I went to Lincoln, and nobody seemed to know where.
Detective Armstrong: Do you remember his name?
Debbie Fitzgerald: Yeah, Johnny Brown. I imagine there are a lot of those in the phone book, huh?
Detective Armstrong: Did Zoe ever say she wanted to find him or contact him?
Debbie Fitzgerald: No. She never told me she had any plans for doing that.
Detective Armstrong: I'm sorry if I keep asking you the same questions over again, but it's very important. Can you think of anything else your daughter said to you that would give us any idea of what was bothering her?
Debbie Fitzgerald: I been wracking my brain to remember every word she said to me, but no, there ain't nothing I can think of. She was just a mixed-up kid, too old to be a kid, sure, but a kid anyway.
Detective Armstrong: Why do you say that?
Debbie Fitzgerald: Just the way she acted. Everything was so personal to her, so upsetting… like a little girl. And it's probably my fault. I shouldn't have given her to those people. I should have kept her and made a life for her. She wouldn't have had the jewelry and money and all, but she would've known her mama and her family. I blame myself.
Detective Armstrong: Don't be too hard on yourself, ma'am. No matter how hard you try, you're never going to be able to protect your kids from their lives.
Debbie Fitzgerald: I sure would have liked to try.
Detective Armstrong: Yes, ma'am, like every other parent in the world. Thanks for coming in.
Debbie Fitzgerald: Okay. Bye.
Detective Armstrong: Afternoon ma'am.
Interview ended – 1:53 p.m.