Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 10:05 a.m.
Shannon Bower was jogging in Lamar Park when she found what looked like a bag of human body parts and called 911. Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Shannon Bower
Detective Murphy: Thanks for waiting around to talk to us, Ms. Bower. Are we keeping you from work?
Shannon Bower: No, I still have a few hours before my shift starts.
Detective Murphy: Good. So before we start, can you officially, once again, state your name and address for the record?
Shannon Bower: Déjà vu. I'm Shannon Bower. I live at 12 Bonnie Blue Drive.
Detective Murphy: Thank you. Have you met Detective Parker?
Shannon Bower: No, I haven't. It's a pleasure. You can call me Shannon.
Detective Parker: It's nice to meet you, Shannon. I know you've been through all of this before at the lake, but could you please retell us what happened this morning?
Shannon Bower: I went to Lamar Park this morning around 6:00. I warmed up a bit, and then started off to run.
Detective Parker: Which direction were you running?
Shannon Bower: Clockwise? Yeah, clockwise, and then headed down the path.
Detective Parker: Then what happened?
Shannon Bower: I ran down the path, ran towards the pier, and then I saw the bag. Or maybe I smelled it first. I'm not sure.
Detective Parker: What did you do?
Shannon Bower: Well, I know that smell. I've run across it before.
Detective Murphy: You have? When?
Shannon Bower: In hospice care, you run into that sort of thing.
Detective Parker: Decomposing bodies?
Shannon Bower: Well, not like that. But in hospice care, senior citizens, sometimes they don't have people to take care of them, so sometimes they're in their apartments for a day or two before anyone notices.
Detective Parker: So you think this body may have been dead one or two days?
Shannon Bower: I don't know. Maybe. It smelled like it.
Detective Murphy: Did you touch the bag or any of its contents at all?
Shannon Bower: No. No, I– I may have a strong stomach, but it's not that strong.
Detective Murphy: You told Officer Squire that you knew the bag was full of body parts. How did you know that?
Shannon Bower: Well, I saw the toes. You saw them, right?
Detective Murphy: Could you identify any of the other pieces in the bag?
Shannon Bower: No. But when Officer Squire picked up the bag with a stick–
Detective Parker: He did? He didn't–
Detective Murphy: What did you see?
Shannon Bower: Other things wrapped in paper. Arms and legs maybe? I could tell by the shape. And part of the foot.
Detective Parker: Do you think all of these parts could be from the same person?
Shannon Bower: I don't know. I hope so.
Detective Parker: Why?
Shannon Bower: Well, I don't know. I guess if someone is disposing of medical waste, a medical professional wouldn't do that because first, it's illegal, and second, it's just unsafe.
Detective Parker: But why do you hope that all the body parts are from one person?
Shannon Bower: Because if they're not, then we got one sick person running around, right? On the other hand, if they are, that person is almost certainly dead.
Detective Parker: Almost?
Shannon Bower: Yeah. I mean, a person can survive several amputations, but… it doesn't seem like this to me. Besides, if it was medical waste, it would've been disposed of properly.
Detective Murphy: OK. So after you found the bag, what did you do?
Shannon Bower: I called 911 on my cell phone. Met the officer in the parking lot. You know the rest.
Detective Murphy: You were at the park really early. Is that the usual time that you run?
Shannon Bower: Yeah, I always run early before it gets too hot later in the day.
Detective Murphy: And do you always run that same route around the lake?
Shannon Bower: Yeah.
Detective Murphy: Did you run that route yesterday?
Shannon Bower: Every day this week.
Detective Murphy: And you never saw that bag before today?
Shannon Bower: No. I didn't smell it either.
Detective Parker: Did you see anyone else running around the lake?
Shannon Bower: There are a few runners at the park every day.
Detective Parker: Anyone that seemed unusual or caught your attention in any way?
Shannon Bower: There was a guy carrying a duffel bag.
Detective Parker: What made you notice him?
Shannon Bower: Well, he had on a hooded sweatshirt, and it was strange because it was hot outside. And, I don't know, he was huffing and puffing but not like the other runners.
Detective Murphy: If he ran past you, he must have been running somewhere around the lake?
Shannon Bower: Yeah.
Detective Murphy: Do you remember what part of the path you passed him on?
Shannon Bower: On the other side of the lake.
Detective Parker: So he was running away from the pier while you were running towards it?
Shannon Bower: I hadn't thought of it like that, but yes.
Detective Parker: Would you recognize him if you saw him again?
Shannon Bower: No, he had his hood up.
Detective Murphy: Did you see anything else unusual?
Shannon Bower: There was a motorcycle rider.
Detective Murphy: What kind of motorcycle?
Shannon Bower: I don't know. I don't know anything about motorcycles.
Detective Murphy: So what made you notice him?
Shannon Bower: Maybe because there were other runners around and he was on a motorcycle.
Detective Murphy: Did you see his face?
Shannon Bower: No, he had on a helmet.
Detective Parker: Is there anything else you can think of that we may need to know?
Shannon Bower: I can't think of anything.
Detective Parker: All right, well, let us know if you do.
Shannon Bower: I will.
Detective Murphy: Thank you, Shannon. If we need anything else from you, we will be in touch.
Interview ends: 10:32 a.m.