Monday, November 4, 2013 - 1:30 p.m.
Mark Eldridge found the victim's body while hunting and called 911. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Mark Eldridge
Detective Armstrong: For the record could you please state your name and address?
Mark Eldridge: Mark Elvis Eldridge. 716 Martin Luther King, Oxford.
Detective Murphy: You seem pretty calm, Mark, for having found a dead body.
Mark Eldridge: I've seen lots of dead things before.
Detective Murphy: This wasn't some deer you just poached. This was a human being. That doesn't make you feel anything?
Mark Eldridge: A dead thing is a dead thing, and for the record, I haven't been found guilty of poaching since I was a kid. Also, it is deer season now and I have a tag.
Detective Armstrong: So you were out hunting when you found the body?
Mark Eldridge: Yeah, I'd just set out to go to my tree stand and found her all wrapped up.
Detective Armstrong: Did you touch anything?
Mark Eldridge: No, I've watched CSI enough to know that you people get evidence off of that stuff.
Detective Murphy: Didn't you wonder if she was still alive? Maybe take the plastic off to feel for a pulse?
Mark Eldridge: I've seen enough dead things to know when something is dead, and that girl was dead. Awful thing to happen to someone so young.
Detective Murphy: You like young girls don't you, Mark?
Mark Eldridge: Why? Are you jealous?
Detective Murphy: Just answer the question.
Mark Eldridge: Sure, I like younger women. Who doesn't?
Detective Murphy: You like them real young though, don't you, Mark?
Mark Eldridge: I like my women young, but I don't mess with minors. I learned my lesson. Sometimes a girl will lie about her age, but I'm pretty careful who I hang with.
Detective Armstrong: Did you know the victim?
Mark Eldridge: Nope, never saw her before.
Detective Armstrong: You sure she never went to any of the parties you have at your house? You never bought her a beer? Asked her to come over to your place?
Mark Eldridge: Look, I told you I'd never seen her before. Yeah, I have parties, but I try to keep the ones under 18 out.
Detective Armstrong: When you found her body, did you notice anyone around?
Mark Eldridge: I was alone. I didn't see anyone around there.
Detective Murphy: What time did you find her?
Mark Eldridge: I started out around a quarter to 6:00 this morning and found her soon after that, probably around 6:00 or 6:15.
Detective Armstrong: You had a gun out there with you this morning.
Mark Eldridge: Yeah. So?
Detective Armstrong: So it's archery-only until next month.
Mark Eldridge: You can never be too careful. Besides, I had my bow too.
Detective Armstrong: What are you worried about? You think the deer might come after you? Maybe a really menacing squirrel?
Mark Eldridge: Look, I got a right to protect myself. You never know what you might run across out there. Look what happened today.
Detective Murphy: Do you carry a knife with you when you go hunting?
Mark Eldridge: Of course. How else am I going to gut a deer? With my teeth?
Detective Murphy: So let me get this right, Mark. You like young girls, you were carrying multiple weapons, and you were alone. How do we know you didn't kill her and then call it in like you found the body?
Mark Eldridge: Are you accusing me of killing her? Is that what you're doing?
Detective Armstrong: No one is accusing you of anything, Mark, except for maybe some questionable personal hygiene. Detective Murphy was just asking a question.
Mark Eldridge: Yeah, well, I'm done with your questions, and I'm done with giving you answers. I'll give you one last statement. Elvis has left the building!
End interview: 1:52 p.m.