Canvass – Delilah's co-workers
The Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department spoke to hospital staff who were on duty in the neonatal ward with Delilah Garrett on the afternoon and evening of March 5, 2023.
The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all interviews conducted.
Name: Bernice Jaeger
Address: 3069 Davis Drive, Oxford, Mississippi
Jaeger, 37, is a nurse who worked the 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. shift with Delilah Garrett. She confirmed that two other staff members were out sick that day, and Garrett was asked to work a second shift.
Jaeger said she and Garrett took a single break together around 8:00 p.m. to visit the vending machines in the employee lounge. "She was trying to resist the Snickers. She ended up with a protein bar instead."
Jaeger said Garrett didn't take any other breaks that he knew of. She described Garrett as a "real sweetie."
Name: Dudley Ott
Address: 501 Martin Luther King Drive, Oxford, Mississippi
Ott, 41, works in the hospital pharmacy from 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. Sundays. He said rubbing alcohol is used in the hospital but is not dispensed from the pharmacy.
He said Delilah Garrett picked up two sets of prescriptions for painkillers that day, and she did not request any other drugs.
Ott said he didn't see Garrett at any other time during his shift. "I don't know her except from when she comes down here. She's always smiling. That's for sure."
Name: Ardelia Perez
Address: 2216 Church Street, Oxford, Mississippi
Perez, 34, is a nurse who worked the 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. shift with Delilah Garrett. She confirmed that Garrett was on her second shift of the day. "They always ask Mrs. Garrett, and she always agrees."
She described Garrett as "a real treasure, like a mother to me" and said Garrett has helped Perez balance work and family life by covering for her shifts occasionally.
Perez said the shift proceeded as usual, if a little slow, with no deliveries, and Garrett didn't deviate from her assigned duties during the shift. "Delilah sometimes goes to the store for a candy bar, but since New Year's, she's doing Weight Watchers as a resolution. She's trying to cut that stuff out."
Name: Jennifer Timms, MD
Address: 1121 Mimosa Drive, Oxford, Mississippi
Timms, 42, was the attending physician on March 5. She reported delivering two babies during her 24-hour shift — one at approximately 4:00 p.m. and another at approximately 10:45 p.m.
In both cases, there were no complications, and Delilah Garrett was assigned to assist the mothers in recovery and handling their newborns. "She's the best, very gentle and caring, and really shares in their joy."
Timms said she prescribed routine painkillers for both new mothers, which Garrett would have been expected to pick up from the pharmacy and dispense.
She said she didn't know whether Garrett took any breaks or remained on duty for a second shift. "I just get the babies out. Whatever happens beyond that isn't my concern."
Name: Karen Westerfeld
Address: 1107 Jefferson Avenue, Oxford, Mississippi
Westerfeld, 61, is a nurse who worked the 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. shift with Delilah Garrett. Westerfeld confirmed that two other staff members were out sick that day, and Garrett was asked to work a second shift. Westerfeld heads the local nurses union. "They work us like dogs around here."
She said she didn't know whether Garrett took a break off-site during the day. "I was too damn busy doing my job."
Westerfeld is a smoker and said she took two breaks herself, during which time she did not see Garrett outside the hospital building.