Woman with short red hair

Lauren Brown interview

Sunday, July 16, 2023 – 9:32 a.m.

Lauren Brown is Katy Brown's mother.

Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.


  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective Samantha Murphy
  • Lauren Brown

Detective Armstrong: Good morning, Mrs. Brown. Thank you for coming in. We're so sorry for your loss, and we wouldn't trouble you at this difficult time, but we need to ask you a few questions.

Lauren Brown: I understand. What do you want to know?

Detective Armstrong: First, would you please give us your name and address for the record?

Lauren Brown: I'm Lauren Brown. 202 Williams Avenue.

Detective Armstrong: Thank you. Maybe we could start by you telling us about your daughter.

Lauren Brown: Katy plays several instruments. She's very talented. That's why I wanted her to continue playing. She could get a scholarship. She could… could've made something out of her life.

Detective Armstrong: Is your son also musical?

Lauren Brown: Cody? No. The boy is all thumbs, nothing like Katy. A talent like hers doesn't come along very often.

Detective Murphy: She was able to keep up with her music while she also had school and cheerleading? We understand she also had a part-time job. Is that right?

Lauren Brown: She doesn't spend nearly as much time practicing as she should, and she flat-out refuses to give recitals anymore. She doesn't understand what she's giving up. I'll tell you that. And now she'll never— oh, I can't believe this is happening.

Detective Murphy: Feel free to take as many tissues as you'd like. Do you need a moment?

Lauren Brown: No, I'm fine.

Detective Murphy: Okay. What can you tell us about how Katy was spending her time lately when she wasn't practicing her music?

Lauren Brown: What wasn't she spending it on? Cheerleading? That's not a career, something you can devote your life to. That job at the library? We give her an allowance. There are better ways she could be spending her time.

Detective Armstrong: Like practicing the piano?

Lauren Brown: Yes, like practicing the piano. You don't get to be an outstanding musician by only touching the instrument once a week.

Detective Armstrong: I'm sure that's true. Did Katy have a boyfriend?

Lauren Brown: Oh, that boy. I could see he didn't love her. I told her not to waste her time on him, but did she listen to me? Of course not.

Detective Murphy: Do you know his name?

Lauren Brown: Tim Howorth. He's on the football team. How cliché is that, the head cheerleader and the quarterback?

Detective Murphy: Yes, ma'am. You said he didn't love her. Were they having any trouble in their relationship that you know of?

Lauren Brown: If they were, Katy certainly wouldn't tell me.

Detective Murphy: Who would she tell?

Lauren Brown: One of those friends of hers, I suppose.

Detective Murphy: Who would you say is her closest friend?

Lauren Brown: One of those cheerleaders, probably, but they're always squabbling—you know how teenage girls are—so I'm not sure which one is her closest friend right now.

Detective Armstrong: What can you tell us about Katy's friends?

Lauren Brown: Oh, those girls. They came over after their practices and made pizzas. All they talked about were boys and that infernal cheerleading. I told Katy she'd break her neck if she wasn't careful. Dangerous, all that tossing around. But she wouldn't listen.

Detective Armstrong: Did you ever have trouble with any of her friends?

Lauren Brown: That Jennifer Adams. The one with all those dogs? I told Katy she was only pretending to be her friend. She even tried to get the cheerleading captain spot but lost out when Katy got it.

Detective Armstrong: And that's why you had trouble with her?

Lauren Brown: No. She didn't like it when I told her to be careful around the piano. She was jumping around doing cheerleading tricks or whatever they call them and not paying any attention. She could've broken something.

Detective Armstrong: Like a bone?

Lauren Brown: No, like the piano. She doesn't appreciate music or realize what a talent Katy is.

Detective Armstrong: So what did Jennifer say when you asked her to be careful?

Lauren Brown: She gave me lip, if you can believe it. Maybe her mother lets her speak to her like that, but there's no way I'm putting up with it. I told her that if she didn't appreciate our home, then she should leave and go to her kennels, where she probably felt more comfortable.

Detective Armstrong: What did Jennifer say?

Lauren Brown: Not a word. I guess no one had ever put her in her place like that before. She just flounced out in a huff.

Detective Armstrong: Then what happened?

Lauren Brown: Katy was mad at me for saying that, but I told her that her friends needed to respect our home. That piano is an expensive instrument, and she, of all people, should know the sacrifices I made to get it for her.

Detective Murphy: I know this may be painful, but we need to talk about what happened yesterday. What time did you wake up?

Lauren Brown: Around 7:00 a.m.

Detective Murphy: And was Katy there at that time?

Lauren Brown: Of course. I could hear her getting ready in the bathroom.

Detective Murphy: Then what happened?

Lauren Brown: I went down to the kitchen to make coffee. She came down a few minutes later and had some coffee and a yogurt.

Detective Murphy: Did your husband and son come down to breakfast?

Lauren Brown: No, they were both still sleeping.

Detective Murphy: What happened next?

Lauren Brown: Nothing, really. Katy finished getting ready, and then she left.

Detective Murphy: What time was that?

Lauren Brown: A little after 8:00 a.m., maybe 8:15 a.m.

Detective Murphy: Do you know where she was going?

Lauren Brown: She was going to stop by and see my mother on her way to that cheerleading thing at the middle school.

Detective Murphy: What did you do after she left?

Lauren Brown: Nothing, really. I had coffee. I caught up on Facebook. Richard got up maybe an hour after Katy left and had a cup of coffee with me. It was just like any other Saturday.

Detective Murphy: What time did your son get up?

Lauren Brown: Cody? I don't know. He spends a lot of time in his room these days. I think he was still sleeping when … we found out.

Detective Murphy: Did anyone come by or call?

Lauren Brown: No, we didn't talk to anyone until … until you people came to tell us about Katy.

Detective Murphy: Did you talk to your mother after Katy went to see her?

Lauren Brown: What? No. There wasn't really time, was there? Katy had barely left, and then some monster … I can't talk about this anymore.

Detective Murphy: I know it's difficult, and we really appreciate your help. Does your daughter wear contacts?

Lauren Brown: No. She has excellent eyesight, perfect for reading sheet music. Is there anything else?

Detective Armstrong: No, that's all. Thanks for coming in.

Lauren Brown: Do you know who did this yet?

Detective Armstrong: We're still in the early stages of the investigation.

Lauren Brown: I'm planning a recital for Katy's memorial service. I think she'd like that.

Detective Armstrong: That sounds nice.

Lauren Brown: I'd be uncomfortable playing if I thought Katy's killer might be in the room.

Detective Armstrong: We're doing everything we can, Mrs. Brown. Thank you again for your cooperation. We'll be in touch.

Interview ended – 9:58 a.m.


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