Trish Lee interview
Friday, November 1, 2019 – 10:03 a.m.
Trish Lee is another of the women in Kelly Moran's circle of friends.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy spoke with her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Trish Lee
Detective Murphy: Thanks for coming down. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Trish Lee: I'm Trish Lee — Patricia to my mom — and I live at 2 Argyle Lane. That's A-R-G—
Detective Murphy: Feel free to talk normally. The woman who types these up is very good.
Trish Lee: Are you folks close to an arrest?
Detective Armstrong: The investigation is ongoing. How would you describe your relationship with Kelly?
Trish Lee: We were there for each other through some terrible times. I just can't believe she's gone, and the person who did it is still out there walking the streets. None of us are safe.
Detective Armstrong: We're doing all we can.
Detective Murphy: Did Kelly have any enemies?
Trish Lee: That's an odd question. We all loved Kelly. I'm sure even the burglar would have loved Kelly if he'd spent any time with her before, you know, killing her. She was just that kind of person. That's why we bonded. Peas in a pod.
Detective Murphy: How would you characterize her marriage?
Trish Lee: If you've talked to Russell yet, you'll know he's a charmer, but marriages aren't all sunshine and sweet tea. Every couple experiences highs and lows. Men being men, sometimes they… well, let's just say if we women didn't have friends we could talk to, we would simply explode. Explode!
Detective Murphy: What kinds of things did Kelly tell you about her marriage?
Trish Lee: One time, Russell came back from a business trip with … this thing I don't even know how to describe, and I wouldn't even try in mixed company, and Kelly was like, "Really? You expect me to wear this?" But that's men all over.
Detective Murphy: Did Kelly tell you how her husband responded to her reaction?
Trish Lee: Disappointed, of course, but he apologized, and that was the end of that. Except I have to wonder who else he asked to wear it because it certainly wasn't something you'd want to return.
Detective Murphy: Do you have reason to believe Russell might have been unfaithful?
Trish Lee: Kelly never said anything, but you have to wonder.
Detective Armstrong: Would Kelly have told you if she suspected he was having an affair?
Trish Lee: You mean like the girl at our shop? Marea Soakes? My husband took care of that.
Detective Armstrong: Could you be more specific?
Trish Lee: Marea was this piece of fluff who ran one of the collators, and Russell met her at a party—at her baby shower no less. Later, the two them met again, less formally if you know what I mean. Kelly came to me, I went to Warren, and Marea moved out of town, Oklahoma if memory serves. Goodbye and good riddance.
Detective Murphy: How did Russell react to the turn of events?
Trish Lee: What could the man say? Kelly shouldn't have cried on my shoulder after he betrayed her?
Detective Armstrong: Excuse me for reaching out like that. This hair on your scarf kept catching my eye. Kelly's color. Apparently, she had a habit of crying on your shoulder.
Trish Lee: Friends do that, detective. We comfort each other through the challenging times.
Detective Murphy: What's been challenging her lately?
Trish Lee: She'd been under a lot of stress.
Detective Murphy: How so?
Trish Lee: Kelly had this back problem, and the painkillers weren't all that effective. The pain never really went away. Sometimes Kelly wouldn't take any for a couple of days so that when she did go back, she'd get more relief. Kelly would do that in the week leading up to significant events. I'd notice the difference. She always seemed so much happier.
Detective Murphy: Was she generally unhappy?
Trish Lee: Well, you know, pain. It's not for everybody.
Detective Armstrong: How did Kelly seem the days leading up to her death?
Trish Lee: She was excited, actually. You never know when your time's coming. She and I were arranging a little vacation, just us girls, renting a bunch of suites at a hotel in Charleston.
Detective Armstrong: Why Charleston?
Trish Lee: Several of the group had never been to South Carolina, but we were just going to have fun. Order up room service. Maybe only leave the suites to visit the spa.
Detective Murphy: Who all was going?
Trish Lee: Kelly and me, of course. Karen West. Nicolette Cuthbert. Isn't Nicolette a great name? She certainly doesn't have to worry about running into another Nicolette.
Detective Murphy: How did Russell feel about his wife's plans?
Trish Lee: If that man were smart, he'd keep his thoughts to himself.
Detective Murphy: So was it the trip that had Kelly feeling stressed?
Trish Lee: Maybe she had some kind of premonition about what was going to happen. You know, there was that guy.
Detective Murphy: What guy?
Trish Lee: I went over her house one day about two weeks ago, and she asked if I noticed the guy sitting in his car down the street from her house. I hadn't, and when we went to the window, he was gone.
Detective Armstrong: Did Kelly describe him?
Trish Lee: Just some guy she didn't recognize.
Detective Armstrong: How about the car?
Trish Lee: She said it was a crappy blue four-door. We didn't play Nancy Drew, detectives. I brought a bottle of wine with me, and we didn't want to give it time to get warm.
Detective Murphy: Did you talk to Kelly the day she died?
Trish Lee: I was in Memphis with my mom. We went shopping. There were so many cute things I wanted to show Kelly, but my mom doesn't like the whole cell phone thing. "Be with the person you're with," she says. "Not some tweeter person you've never even met." But that's my mom.
Detective Murphy: You did that all day?
Trish Lee: Three beliefs my mom holds dear. My name is Patricia. Polite people don't use cell phones. Shopping is an extreme sport.
Detective Murphy: What time did you get home?
Trish Lee: We had dinner, drove back, I dropped off my mom… maybe 10:00 p.m.?
Detective Armstrong: Did Kelly try to reach you? Leave you any texts, messages?
Trish Lee: She knew my plans for a mother-daughter expedition. As I said, we were the best of friends.
Detective Armstrong: Anybody around her who wasn't such a good friend?
Trish Lee: No one in our circle is a burglar if that’s where you’re heading.
Detective Armstrong: The burglar had to know there was something in the house worth stealing. Who would know better about that than her friends?
Trish Lee: Like I said, no one in our circle is a burglar. It's these kids with their video games, killing everything that moves without a second thought. They get deadened to the violence. Or even worse, they start to seek it out.
Detective Murphy: So when was the last time you saw Kelly?
Trish Lee: We met for coffee the day before… before she died. If only I’d known, I would have asked her to go shopping with me and my mom.
Detective Murphy: Again, we’re sorry for your loss. Thanks for coming by.
Trish Lee: I hope I was helpful.
Detective Armstrong: We'll be in touch.
Interview ended – 10:57 a.m.