Monday, January 6, 2014 - 10:00 a.m.
Detective Armstrong conducted a brief telephone interview with Austin Maxwell after his parents reported his brother and sister missing and said Austin saw them last when he dropped them off at the Eastgate bus stop. Austin Maxwell agreed to come in for an in-person interview the following morning.
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
- Austin Maxwell
Detective Armstrong: Hello, Austin. Nice to put a face to the name. This is Detective Murphy.
Austin Maxwell: Hello.
Detective Murphy: Thanks for coming in this morning. Would you state your name and address for the record?
Austin Maxwell: I'm Austin Maxwell. 103 Pleasant Drive.
Detective Armstrong: Now, you told me that you dropped your younger brother and sister off at the Eastgate Shopping Center on University Avenue, is that right?
Austin Maxwell: Yes, that's right. I took them to the shopping center. The bus pulls in there. My mom asked me a few days before to take them. They had to catch a bus to Memphis to catch the plane to Boston.
Detective Armstrong: When did you get up on Friday morning?
Austin Maxwell: Around 3:00 a.m. That's pretty early for me, but Mom got me up. She were making a big deal over them, had fixed up a big breakfast for everybody. Dad was up and dressed, and they were talking about how proud they were of them and how I should be proud too.
Detective Murphy: You weren't proud of them?
Austin Maxwell: Well, sure, they're my brother and sister, you know? But I never get that kind of praise for my music, and I work really hard on it.
Detective Armstrong: What kind of music do you play?
Austin Maxwell: Blues. I write songs and sing them with my band. I've got a CD coming out in a few months. We just got finished recording it.
Detective Armstrong: Congratulations. So what happened after breakfast?
Austin Maxwell: We loaded up my car with their bags, and then Mom and Dad told them goodbye. Mom got all teary-eyed, like she always does. They were just leaving for a few days, and they travel all the time. I don't know what the big deal was.
Detective Murphy: They were supposed to be in Boston for almost two weeks, weren't they?
Austin Maxwell: Whatever. Anyway, then we got all got into my car, and I started driving them to the shopping center.
Detective Armstrong: What happened then?
Austin Maxwell: Nothing. We just rode over there.
Detective Armstrong: Nothing else happened? That look on your face tells me it was more complicated than that.
Austin Maxwell: Well, something else did happen actually, but it wasn't a big deal.
Detective Armstrong: What was it?
Austin Maxwell: Me and Cam got into an argument.
Detective Armstrong: About what?
Austin Maxwell: Caitlin started talking about how great the coaches in Colorado were and this and that, and then Cameron said something about how he hoped she finally learned something. And then she started yelling and crying at him, and he blamed her for what happened last year at Nationals. I told him to back off, so he started yelling at me, saying I never cared about what they were doing. Told me I was way too into music, and I should stop thinking about myself all the time and be happy for them instead of being jealous of their success.
Detective Armstrong: What did you say to that?
Austin Maxwell: What do you think? I started yelling at him. In fact, I pulled off in the parking lot of Burger King right down by the red light near the shopping center, and we had it out.
Detective Armstrong: How did that go?
Austin Maxwell: I told him it was unfair that they were jetting off, spending Mom and Dad's money – again – when they had promised me some of that money to press my first CD. It wasn't real cheap, but I've never asked them for anything. And when the time came to pay the CD replication company, all of a sudden they have to put money aside for Boston and Russia instead so they could only give me half of what they promised? That's some bullshit right there.
Detective Armstrong: How did Cameron and Caitlin respond to that?
Austin Maxwell: Cameron just started laughing like a hyena, like I was making a big deal about something that didn't even matter. He didn't take it seriously at all. Caitlin just sat there looking out the window. I mean, if they want to ice skate all their lives, that's fine with me, but I'm into music and I've always hated ice skating. Why should their dream be more important than mine just because they followed in Daddy's footsteps? So I let them know how I felt about their trip.
Detective Armstrong: Then what did you do?
Austin Maxwell: Then I dropped them off.
Detective Armstrong: Where?
Austin Maxwell: At the shopping center. I was still mad, so I didn't wait on them or anything. I just got back on the road and went home and went back to sleep.
Detective Armstrong: What time did you leave them at the shopping center?
Austin Maxwell: About 3:30 in the morning. I was back in bed by 3:45.
Detective Armstrong: Did you talk to anybody on the way home?
Austin Maxwell: Like who?
Detective Armstrong: Somebody at a gas station maybe?
Austin Maxwell: I didn't stop at a gas station or anywhere else.
Detective Armstrong: You're sure about that?
Austin Maxwell: I'm positive.
Detective Armstrong: You didn't talk to your brother or sister again after that? Have you heard from them at all?
Austin Maxwell: Nothing at all. I hope they're OK. I really do.
Detective Murphy: Did you ever argue with your parents about your brother and sister?
Austin Maxwell: Sure. I've been over this with them a million times, but they never get it, so we've just stopped talking about it.
Detective Murphy: About what?
Austin Maxwell: About the fact that they don't give me any real respect for my music, and they heap all this money and time and stuff on Cameron and Caitlin. They just kind of leave me out of it all.
Detective Murphy: You're jealous of your brother and sister then?
Austin Maxwell: A little. I think that's natural. I think they were a little jealous of me too though. Neither one of them can play an instrument like I can. But I love them both, no matter what they think of me.
Detective Armstrong: Did either of them ever say anything to you about wanting to get away or take a break?
Austin Maxwell: No. Even if they wanted to, I doubt either one of them would admit it. Dad would have a cow.
Detective Armstrong: Can you think of anyone who might want to hurt either Cameron or Caitlin? Or want to stop them from going to Boston?
Austin Maxwell: No.
Detective Armstrong: OK, Austin. We're going to be talking to you again soon. If you hear anything from either one of them, be sure to give us a call.
Austin Maxwell: OK.
Interview ends: 10:32 a.m.