Interview:Debra Lane, discovered the victim's body
Sunday, January 30, 2011 - 9:45 pm
Debra Nicole Lane is a 32-year-old white female who was staying in Cabin 4 at Wall Doxey Park and found the victim. The interview was conducted at the Yoknapatawpha Sheriff’s Department and was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective Ted Armstrong
- Detective Samantha Murphy
- Debra Lane
Detective Murphy: Please state your name and address for the record.
Debra Lane: I'm Debra Nicole Lane, and I live at 509 South 11th here in town.
Detective Murphy: Thanks. Can you tell us what happened today at the park?
Debra Lane: Like I told the guy earlier, I was in the cabin and thought I heard a gun go off. It bugged me, so I went outside to look around and I found a man lying there outside. It was obvious he'd been shot. Pretty scary. I went back to where I could get reception and called 911.
Detective Murphy: Who was he?
Debra Lane: No idea.
Detective Armstrong: You didn't recognize him?
Debra Lane: No. Never saw the guy before in my life. Should I know him?
Detective Murphy: We'll ask the questions, if you don't mind.
Debra Lane: Sorry.
Detective Murphy: Just so I have this straight -- you heard what you thought was a gunshot and went out to investigate. That was what time?
Debra Lane: I think it was around eleven when I heard the gun. Or, I don't know, I thought it might be some punks messing around with firecrackers, or a car backfiring or something. Or it could have echoed across from the far side of the lake. I wasn't sure.
Detective Armstrong: But you didn't see anyone?
Debra Lane: The man who'd been shot, obviously. No one else. But I didn't leave my cabin right away.
Detective Murphy: You didn't?
Debra Lane: You already know this, right? Because you know the time I called. It wasn't until like 11:30.
Detective Armstrong: Why the wait?
Debra Lane: I had my headphones on when I heard it. I was listening to opera. I thought maybe I'd heard wrong.
Detective Murphy: Opera?
Debra Lane: Yeah. Harris -- he's my boyfriend -- he's trying to convert me. I'm not buying it so far, but whatever. I try. Anyway, I was listening to "Tosca" and knitting. I was trying to finish a sweater for Django and it's a fair isle with four colors. It's all about counting stitches. You can't lose track.
Detective Murphy: And Django is who?
Debra Lane: My nine-year-old.
Detective Armstrong: He and your boyfriend weren't with you?
Debra Lane: No. I take a trip on my own every year around this time. It's after the holidays, Django is back in school, but it's before Harris has to deal with midterms. Sometimes I go see my parents -- they're in New Orleans -- but I didn't want to spend half the time in the car. The past few months have been crazy. I just needed to relax.
Detective Murphy: What kind of crazy?
Debra Lane: Oh, you know. The mom thing. Harris tries, but it's mostly up to me. Christmas plus a January birthday, do the math. And work ... it was nice to be offline. Although if the TV was wifi-enabled I could have connected my phone and used the sound system for music. Then maybe I would have heard something else. Gone out sooner. But with the headphones – they're Skull Candy, noise canceling -- no way. It bugs me.
Detective Armstrong: Any trouble with the law recently?
Debra Lane: No. You would know that, right?
Detective Armstrong: Anyone in your family arrested?
Debra Lane: No.
Detective Armstrong: And you're sure didn't recognize the man you found shot?
Debra Lane: No. I mean, yeah, I'm sure.
Detective Murphy: Did you see anyone else?
Debra Lane: No. Just the dead guy.
Detective Murphy: Did you hear anything before the gunshot?
Debra Lane: Just the music.
Detective Murphy: Wasn't anyone else staying out there?
Debra Lane: It's not exactly summer vacation, right? I didn't see any tents or RVs. There were a couple of cabins with people in them, I think. Closer to the lake, maybe cabins six and seven. Friday night after I got there I heard voices and I could see through the trees they had the lights on. I'm pretty sure I heard them drive off yesterday afternoon, and I didn't hear or see anyone after that, no cars, nothing. That's what bugged me about the noise. I thought I was the only one still out there. I wondered if some kids were cruising around causing trouble, or what.
Detective Armstrong: Sounds like you’ve been there before.
Debra Lane: Sure. We usually don't stay overnight. It's not that far of a drive. But the cabins are nice.
Detective Murphy: Did you ever stay in cabin eleven?
Debra Lane: No.
Detective Armstrong: When was the last time you were at Wall Doxey?
Debra Lane: December. Right after school let out.
Detective Murphy: Can you think of anything else we should know?
Debra Lane: No.
Detective Armstrong: And you're sure you didn’t see anyone else after you heard the shot?
Debra Lane: Yes, I'm sure. Trust me, I've spent all day obsessing about it. It was only a stupid Fair Isle sweater, right?
Detective Murphy: You've been very helpful.
Detective Armstrong: Why don't you get home to your family for now? We'll give you a call if we have more questions.
Debra Lane: Okay. Thanks.
Interview ended: 10:47 pm