Rowan Oak canvass
On Friday, February 15, 2019, Sheriff's Officers Steve Harding and Kennon Winters interviewed the witnesses at the scene including the groundskeepers assigned to Rowan Oak the day of the murder and the Rowan Oak curator. They also spoke with the University's Physical Plant Office Manager, who placed the 911 call.
These witnesses were questioned regarding any information they might have about the homicide of Rolf Warner and/or circumstances leading to the homicide. The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all interviews conducted.
NOTE: The Rowan Oak building known as "The Servants' Quarters" is also sometimes called "The Tenant House" or "Mammy Callie Barr's house."
Name: Pilar Adams
Title / Address: Groundskeeper / 119 Chestnut Street, Oxford.
Adams said she arrived for work at approximately 6:55 a.m. and clocked in at the Physical Plant office. Adams said she then went directly to the building known as the Servants' Quarters to oversee the renovation of cabinetry.
At approximately 9:30 a.m., Adams requested assistance from co-workers Ben Moreland and Steve Potter in loosening a door which had swollen shut and was jammed. The door apparently had water damage from a leaking pipe in the wall. The three worked on the door until approximately 9:50 a.m., at which time Moreland and Potter departed to their own areas of responsibility on the grounds.
Adams stated that, shortly afterward, she heard sirens and rushed out of the building toward the commotion. When she arrived, she saw Potter and Moreland as well as two sheriff's officers standing near the victim. Adams said that Potter and Moreland appeared quite distressed. Adams added that one of the sheriff's officers prevented her from approaching the body or entering the immediate vicinity.
When asked if she had witnessed anything unusual on the Rowan Oak grounds that day, Adams said she saw nothing at all. She said she did not see anyone other than Moreland and Potter on the grounds. She did not recognize the victim and is sure she would have remembered him if she had ever met or seen him before.
When asked if she saw Joe Swift that morning, Adams replied that she saw him when they both clocked in that morning. She also recalled seeing him sometime after she arrived at the crime scene, but she didn't know exactly when that was.