A 911 caller reported finding a body in an office complex on North Lamar, north of the Square.

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INCIDENT / ARREST REPORT
Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department
711 Jackson Avenue
Oxford, MS 38655

_X_ INCIDENT
___ Juvenile
___ Senior Citizen
___ Gang

___ ARREST
___ Child Abuse
___ Domestic
___ Involved Alcohol
CASE NUMBER:
000052-02A-2017
Date Reported:
01/02/2017
Time Reported:
8:42 AM
OFFENSE:
TBD
STATUTE:
___Committed
___ Attempted
OFFENSE:
STATUTE:
___Committed
___Attempted
OFFENSE:
STATUTE:
___Committed
___Attempted
Location of Offense(Exact address, include Room/ Apt. No.)
305 North Lamar Boulevard
Oxford, Mississippi
Date of Offense:
unknown
Time of Offense:
unknown
Location of Arrest (Exact address, include Room/Apt. No.)
N/A
Date of Arrest:
N/A
Time of Arrest:
N/A
Reporting Officer:
Det. Sam Murphy
Unit Number:
633
Assisting Officer:
Det. Ted Armstrong
Unit Number:
615

Reporting Officer's narrative

REPORTING OFFICER'S NARRATIVE (Brief narrative of the facts surrounding the offense and the arrest.)

At 8:27 a.m., Dispatch received a 911 call regarding the discovery of a body in an atrium at the Oxford Centre office complex. The caller identified herself as Rita Ashbury, an employee at Blaze Art and Media in Building Two of Oxford Centre.

Unit #202 (Officer A. L. Quinlan) was immediately dispatched to the scene. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy were assigned and proceeded directly to the scene. Reporting Officer (R/O) Quinlan arrived at the scene at 8:31 a.m. At R/O's request, Unit #221 (Officer Maria Richards) was dispatched to the scene to provide backup and assistance and arrived at 8:38 a.m.

Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson was notified, at R/I's request, to respond to the scene.

Reporting Investigators (R/Is) arrived at the scene at 8:42 a.m. and found R/Os Quinlan and Richards had secured the area. Environmental conditions at scene upon arrival are as follows: Weather: Rain; Ambient Temperature: 59°F / 15°C; Relative Humidity: 100%.

R/O Quinlan made the following verbal report, which is stated in summary and not verbatim.

R/O Quinlan said that, upon arrival, he was met on the North Lamar side of the Oxford Centre office complex by an adult female, identified as Rita Ashbury.

The witness directed R/O Quinlan to the location of the body in the atrium between Buildings Two and Three of Oxford Centre.

After confirming the presence of the body, R/O Quinlan secured the scene, called for backup, and detained the witness.

R/O Quinlan further stated that, to the best of his knowledge, the following personnel have had occasion to enter the crime scene area and must be documented by CSU personnel: witness Rita Ashbury, R/O Richards, and himself.

After receiving the report from R/O Quinlan, R/I Murphy contacted Dispatch regarding the status of the Coroner's Inspector and the Crime Scene Unit. Dispatch indicated the Inspector's ETA was approximately 15 minutes and CSU's ETA was approximately 20 minutes.

R/Is conducted a preliminary inspection of the scene, noting a gray garment that appeared to be a coat draped over the railing of the uppermost skywalk connecting the two buildings on either side of the atrium. The uppermost skywalk was located approximately 70 feet from the street and 25 feet above the ground. A lifeless human body was visible in the atrium

Click to enlarge

The body, a female in her late twenties or early thirties, was on the concrete floor of the atrium, approximately 65 feet from the street, 15 feet from the southern building, and 10 feet from the northern building.

The body was laying in a prone position, head to the west and feet to the east. Approximately 36 inches to the west of the body lay a woman's dark blue handbag.

Visual inspection indicated the victim was wearing a blue and gray striped long-sleeved shirt, blue denim jeans, and black ankle-high boots.

The victim's right arm was extended at an approximate 45º angle to the body and bent at the elbow at an approximate 45º angle. The left arm was extended at an approximate 30º angle to the body and bent at the elbow at an approximate 45º angle. The left knee was bent at an approximate 30º angle to the body, and the right leg was straight.

In the area of the victim's head, R/Is observed a pool of what appeared to be blood measuring approximately 24 inches by 24 inches. Visual inspection of the hands revealed multiple broken fingernails and possible abrasions and contusions.

Coroner's Inspector Johnson arrived at the scene at approximately 9:05 a.m. and joined R/Is at the body's location. Inspector Johnson pronounced the victim deceased at 9:11 a.m. by visual observation that the victim was not breathing and by tactile observation that the victim did not have a palpable carotid pulse.

Inspector Johnson noted that rigor mortis appeared to be moderately established throughout the body and that the skin was cool to the touch. Inspector Johnson speculated the victim had been dead approximately eight to twelve hours, but she withheld an official estimate pending an autopsy, noting that weather conditions and other factors made a determination at the scene difficult.

Inspector Johnson said the cause of death appeared to have been blunt force trauma injuries resulting from an uncontrolled fall, but indicated that further details would be available in the official autopsy report.

After Inspector Johnson completed her initial inspection of the body, she stayed with the CSU team to ensure the integrity of the body, while the team took photographs of the scene and performed preliminary analyses, until the body could be removed from the scene without destroying other evidence.

Following preliminary inspection of the scene, R/Is interviewed the 911 caller, Rita Ashbury, in her office in the Oxford Centre complex.

R/Is left the scene at 1:20 p.m. Before leaving, R/I Murphy instructed CSU to seal the scene upon completion or end of day suspension of processing. CSU to notify R/Is of progress by the end of this date. As of this filing, CSU is still actively processing at the scene.

Body of the deceased remanded into the custody of Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson. Deceased was removed from the scene at 11:47 a.m. and transported to the coroner's office for autopsy. A preliminary autopsy report is expected within fourteen days of this report.

Evidence remanded into the custody of Forensics Officer T. R. Douglas for transport to the state crime lab for routine analysis. CSU is expected to submit an inventory of items taken into evidence within fourteen days of this report, with a detailed report(s) of their findings to follow at a later date.

 

 DEFENDANT'S VERSION/REMARKS(What did the defendant say?)

 N/A

 

 REPORTING OFFICER  Sam Murphy  DATE REPORTED  01/02/2017
 REPORTING OFFICER  //Sam Murphy
 Signature
 633
 Unit Number
 01/02/2017
 Date
 ASSISTING OFFICER  //Ted Armstrong
 Signature
 615
 Unit Number
 01/02/2017
 Date

People in this conversation

Comments (9)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I wonder if she was meeting someone on the skywalk. The coat that was draped over the railing must have been Andrea's and since her handbag was on the concrete floor with the body, I believe she was pushed. If she intended to commit suicide, why...

I wonder if she was meeting someone on the skywalk. The coat that was draped over the railing must have been Andrea's and since her handbag was on the concrete floor with the body, I believe she was pushed. If she intended to commit suicide, why would she take the handbag with her?

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

the handbag may have had something special in it.

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

How do they not know the date of crime or time they should be able to look at the time of the call.

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Case number # 3056533 Det. Isaac Omland.

Victim Andrea Stover

Age 29

Height "5.7"

Hair Blonde

Unit #202 (Officer A. L. Quinlan) arrived at 08:31

Unit #221 (Officer Maria Richards) arrived at 08:38

Detectives on scene Sam Murphy , Ted...

Case number # 3056533 Det. Isaac Omland.

Victim Andrea Stover

Age 29

Height "5.7"

Hair Blonde

Unit #202 (Officer A. L. Quinlan) arrived at 08:31

Unit #221 (Officer Maria Richards) arrived at 08:38

Detectives on scene Sam Murphy , Ted Armstrong.

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hi Isaac,
I love your comment about the handbag! I never thought of that. Now I can't wait to see if they find something there.
I believe they can't give us the time of death because Andrea Stover could've been killed anytime before the body...

Hi Isaac,
I love your comment about the handbag! I never thought of that. Now I can't wait to see if they find something there.
I believe they can't give us the time of death because Andrea Stover could've been killed anytime before the body was found. Maybe she was murdered at midnight or anytime after that. We will probably all that when the coroner's report is published.

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

The fingernails may show evidence. Which hand or both may show where attacker was or direction coming from. Purse was probably on arm. Any other marks on body seems like she put up a fight.

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

All the above well done.

 
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

This is my first time doing this, but here is what I think:
. Seeing as how Andrea died by blunt force trauma to the head, a logical explanation would be that she died by falling off the sky walk.
. She couldn't have committed suicide as many...

This is my first time doing this, but here is what I think:
. Seeing as how Andrea died by blunt force trauma to the head, a logical explanation would be that she died by falling off the sky walk.
. She couldn't have committed suicide as many factors suggest this isn't the case
. The broken fingernails would suggest that she attempted to fight back the attacker, although no traces of blood were found under her fingernails, unless the forensics report would say so, and also considering the possibility that the attacker was only there to steal from her, seeing as how she had her bag with her when she died (Does the bag have anything valuable inside?) and the timing for it would have been perfect (Detectives said she died around 8 to 12 hours ago), so no witnesses could have seen she was robbed and subsequently killed.
. Coming back from working from months would very "flash able", in other words, a lot of people would have known she was coming back.
. There is also the possibility that this was planned, seeing as how no evidence could have been left behind by pushing someone off and it was pitch black.

Forgive me by my English, It's a bit off.

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Coming from my perspective, this could be an accident?
There was no blood or skin beneath her fingernails (that were left), giving us a chance to look at the possibility of her slipping from the top of one of the buildings, but catching the side....

Coming from my perspective, this could be an accident?
There was no blood or skin beneath her fingernails (that were left), giving us a chance to look at the possibility of her slipping from the top of one of the buildings, but catching the side. The force from gravity pushing her down and her nails clawing at the roof in an attempt to climb back up could be the reason why her nails had torn off, along with any other abrasions. Her nails coming off could have also led to her fall, since that is commonly painful. The blunt force was her head hitting the ground, finally causing her death.

Just a hunch.

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