Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 12:35 p.m.
Michael Robbins is the owner of Robbins Development, the company responsible for the Kelly Green project adjacent to the location where the body was found.
Officer Harding recognized Robbins as the man he'd seen exiting Kelly Woods as Harding arrived at the scene and subsequently interviewed Robbins outside the construction office at the Kelly Green site.
- Officer Steve Harding
- Michael Robbins
Officer Harding: Sir, I saw you walking from the woods a few minutes ago. I need to ask you a few questions about why you're here today.
Michael Robbins: Why? The supervisor called me here, of course. He said there was a dead body in the woods. This is my development project.
Officer Harding: Your name and address?
Michael Robbins: Michael Robbins, 8 The Clovers. That's over on College Hill. This is a terrible, terrible thing to happen. Just awful. Appalling. Of course, it's got nothing to do with me or my development. Damn, there's that Channel 12 vulture Penelope Young. This is going to be all over the news tonight now. This could be bad.
Officer Harding: If you could just answer the questions, Mr. Robbins. How—
Michael Robbins: Nothing to do with me, nothing at all. Never seen her before in my life. Probably she's a victim of one of those serial killers. Or she's one of those girls who hitchhike and get murdered. Or she had a fight with her boyfriend…
Officer Harding: Mr. Robbins, are you feeling ill?
Michael Robbins: Ill? Why should I feel ill? It's a hot day, and I'm sweating.
Officer Harding: It's not that hot, sir.
Michael Robbins: I had a very late night last night. I was celebrating well into the early hours, I can tell you. Now this. And those damn cameras are pointing in my direction. This death is nothing to do with me.
Officer Harding: What were you doing in the woods, sir?
Michael Robbins: In the woods? Well, I had to find out if Sullivan was telling the truth, of course.
Officer Harding: You thought he was lying?
Michael Robbins: Lying? No, but maybe mistaken. Maybe it was just a manikin, someone playing a prank. Or some drunk passed out. Or just a pile of trash.
Officer Harding: You thought Mr. Sullivan couldn't distinguish between those things and a dead woman?
Michael Robbins: What? No, I just had to see for myself to be sure. Crap. Can't you people keep those news vultures away from here?
Officer Harding: After we finish here, I'll see what we can do. When you were walking all over an active crime scene, did you touch the body?
Michael Robbins: Touch the body? No, of course not.
Officer Harding: Did you see the face of the deceased?
Michael Robbins: Her face? No, not really. Never seen her before in my life. Absolutely never.
Officer Harding: How would you be so sure of that if you didn't see her face?
Michael Robbins: I'm totally, 100 percent sure I don't know that woman. Certainly, she's not one of my construction staff. They're all accounted for. As I say, she just happens to be dead next to my property, not on my land. That patch of kudzu is in Kelly Woods, and it's a good 100 yards from the boundary of my property. You can see the boundary marker by that sand heap. And Kelly Woods, that's not my land. My project is Kelly Green.
Officer Harding: Yes, sir, thank you for that information. Now, Mr. Robbins, could you explain the nature of the construction going on here. What exactly are you building?
Michael Robbins: A very classy condo development. 32 luxury, high-tech spacious apartments with innovative décor. It's lock-up-and-go urban convenience within a tranquil rural setting with beautiful views. If you know The Clovers — that's my first project in Oxford — then you'll have some idea of this one. A great place to live. I live there. That one sold off the plan two months before completion last year.
Officer Harding: When did construction start here?
Michael Robbins: We really only got going on the infrastructure last month. There were some unforeseen delays with a bit of local opposition and planning conditions to be met. Nothing too serious.
Officer Harding: Opposition?
Michael Robbins: Just some loopy locals who can't appreciate that times are changing. You get them in every neighborhood when you're planning a development. They're a pain in the neck, but what can you do? Goes with the territory.
Officer Harding: Thanks for your time, Mr. Robbins. The detectives will want to talk to you later, so if you could give me your contact information so they'll know how to reach you?
Michael Robbins: Anytime, I guess. Here's my card. I've got to do something about those TV crews. Can't y'all get them away from here? Isn't that something y'all do?
Officer Harding: We'll take care of it, sir. Maybe you should find a place to sit down, maybe have a glass of water?
Michael Robbins: You're probably right. I should go in the office. I need to make some phone calls. This is terrible. Just terrible.
End interview – 12:48 p.m.