Tania Hotchkiss interview
Friday, January 31, 2014 - 1:00 p.m.
Tania Hotchkiss is a student at the University of Mississippi and a friend of Ryan Rand. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department about her behavior at the memorial service for Cameron and Caitlin Maxwell. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Tania Hotchkiss
Detective Armstrong: Thank you for coming in, Ms. Hotchkiss. Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Tania Hotchkiss: I'm Tania Hotchkiss. I live at 594 Hathorn Road. Could you just call me Tania? You're freaking me out.
Detective Armstrong: Well, I don't want to do that. We–
Tania Hotchkiss: And I'm already freaked out enough, you know.
Detective Murphy: Why is that?
Tania Hotchkiss: I'm in a police station. Hello?
Detective Murphy: Oh. Of course.
Tania Hotchkiss: Did something happen? Something happened, didn't it? Why did you want me to come here?
Detective Armstrong: We just want to talk to you for a few minutes about Caitlin and Cameron Maxwell.
Tania Hotchkiss: Oh.
Detective Armstrong: Were you expecting it to be about something else?
Tania Hotchkiss: I just– never mind. What about Cameron and Caitlin?
Detective Armstrong: Did you know them?
Tania Hotchkiss: Everybody knows them.
Detective Armstrong: I meant did you know them personally.
Tania Hotchkiss: Not Caitlin, but I knew Cameron sort of.
Detective Armstrong: How did you know him?
Tania Hotchkiss: I'm friends with one of his friends.
Detective Armstrong: Oh, really? Which one?
Tania Hotchkiss: Are you sure nothing happened?
Detective Murphy: I saw you were quoted in the newspaper from the memorial service. That's pretty cool, huh?
Tania Hotchkiss: I guess. Somebody just asked me if I could say something about Cameron or Caitlin, so I did.
Detective Murphy: It sounded like you knew Cameron pretty well.
Tania Hotchkiss: I don't know. I guess I did in a way. It's not like I talked to him all the time or anything, but I heard about him a lot.
Detective Murphy: From whom?
Tania Hotchkiss: My friend, Ryan. He's Cameron's best friend.
Detective Murphy: So you went to the memorial with Ryan?
Tania Hotchkiss: No, I went by myself. I thought I would see him there, but I couldn't find him. There were so many people. It was crazy. If I knew so many people were going to go, maybe I would've stayed home. It's not like I knew Cameron that well.
Detective Murphy: So why did you go?
Tania Hotchkiss: I– I wanted to be there for Ryan.
Detective Murphy: But you couldn't find him.
Tania Hotchkiss: Yeah.
Detective Murphy: Were you surprised you didn't see him there?
Tania Hotchkiss: I– I don't know. You know, there were a lot of people there.
Detective Armstrong: We know he and Cameron were close. How is he doing with everything that's happened?
Tania Hotchkiss: He– I don't– are you sure nothing happened?
Detective Armstrong: Are you worried that something's happened?
Tania Hotchkiss: I don't know. Maybe? I don't know.
Detective Armstrong: What makes you think so?
Tania Hotchkiss: I'm not– I don't– I can't find Ryan, OK?
Detective Armstrong: What do you mean you can't find him?
Tania Hotchkiss: I mean I haven't seen him. I haven't heard from him. He isn't texting me back. He won't answer the door when I go over there.
Detective Armstrong: Is that unusual for Ryan?
Tania Hotchkiss: Yeah. I usually talk to him every day or every other day. At first, I just thought he was taking some time because of what happened to Cameron, but– I don't know.
Detective Armstrong: How long has it been?
Tania Hotchkiss: I don't know. Like two weeks or something.
Detective Armstrong: Maybe he went out of town.
Tania Hotchkiss: He would've told me.
Detective Armstrong: Do you think he might have done something to himself?
Tania Hotchkiss: No way. Ryan wouldn't do something like that.
Detective Armstrong: So what do you think is going on with him?
Tania Hotchkiss: I don't know. That's the whole point.
Detective Murphy: Tell us more about how Ryan's been dealing with what happened to Cameron.
Tania Hotchkiss: He was really upset. Obviously.
Detective Murphy: Upset how? Angry? Sad? Scared?
Tania Hotchkiss: I don't know. He was all like– I don't know. Like he couldn't sit still, I guess?
Detective Murphy: Is that normal for him?
Tania Hotchkiss: No.
Detective Murphy: Do you know what was bothering him?
Tania Hotchkiss: Yeah. His best friend was missing. Hello?
Detective Murphy: So this was before we found out Cameron was dead?
Tania Hotchkiss: Yeah, I guess. What difference does it make? The point is something's wrong. Maybe the person who killed Cameron got Ryan too.
Detective Murphy: Can you be more specific about the last time you saw him or talked to him?
Tania Hotchkiss: I don't know. Wait. Yes. Let me look at my phone. Look. He hasn't texted me since the 13th. The 13th? Oh my god. You have to do something.
Detective Armstrong: How would you characterize your relationship with Ryan? Are the two of you dating? Hooking up?
Tania Hotchkiss: Seriously?
Detective Armstrong: Yeah.
Tania Hotchkiss: Seriously?
Detective Armstrong: Yes, seriously.
Tania Hotchkiss: Um, no, we're just friends.
Detective Murphy: Did you see Cameron Maxwell when he was in town this last time?
Tania Hotchkiss: No.
Detective Murphy: Did Ryan?
Tania Hotchkiss: Yeah, of course.
Detective Murphy: Did they have an argument or disagreement about anything?
Tania Hotchkiss: No. No way. They never fight.
Detective Murphy: Never?
Tania Hotchkiss: Not that I ever heard about, and Ryan definitely would've told me if that happened. Are you going to do something? Find Ryan? Make sure he's OK?
Detective Armstrong: We'll look into it.
Tania Hotchkiss: That's it?
Detective Armstrong: We'll do what we can, but Ryan is an adult. He's allowed to disappear if he wants to.
Tania Hotchkiss: But what if the killer got him too?
Detective Murphy: Tania, I can see how worried you are, but try not to assume the worst. We'll see what we can find out, OK?
Tania Hotchkiss: OK. I guess.
Detective Murphy: And if you hear from Ryan, you let us know, OK?
Tania Hotchkiss: Yeah, OK.
Detective Murphy: Do you want us to get someone to drive you home?
Tania Hotchkiss: No, I'm OK. I didn't mean to get so upset. I'm sorry. I'm just really scared.
Detective Murphy: Maybe Ryan's just taking some time, like you said.
Tania Hotchkiss: I hope so.
Interview ends: 1:32 p.m.