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Friday, March 30, 2012 - 9:50 a.m.

Heather Brandt is RJ Brandt's mother. Her 12-year-old son brought a human skull to school. The interview was conducted at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department and interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.

Participants:

  • Detective T. Armstrong
  • Detective S. Murphy
  • Heather Brandt

Detective Armstrong: Mrs. Brandt, thank you for talking to us again. Would you please state your name and address for the record?

Heather Brandt: Not a problem, Detective. My name is Heather Brandt and I reside at 205 Brittany Dr.

Detective Armstrong: Thank you. As you know we've been running some tests on that skull your son found, and it is a real human skull.

Heather Brandt: I figured. Seems like nothing ever goes right for us. Just one more thing to deal with.

Detective Murphy: We know the hurricane was a horrific ordeal to go through.

Heather Brandt: Yes, it was.

Detective Armstrong: Is there anything else going on that's weighing on your mind?

Heather Brandt: Oh no, not really, just trying to make enough money for the family. Just all of it is difficult.

Detective Armstrong: As I was saying, we have determined that the skull is human‒

Heather Brandt: I don't see how that would be of importance to me, Detective. RJ said he dug up the skull from the backyard. I got no reason to doubt that.

Detective Murphy: It turns out the skull is that of an approximately two-year-old female

Heather Brandt: That's terrible, but kids used to die a lot more back in the olden days, didn't they?

Detective Murphy: I'm not sure I know what you mean.

Heather Brandt: Well, nowadays, we've got medicine and doctors and things, but back then, they didn't.

Detective Murphy: Back when?

Heather Brandt: You know, olden times.

Detective Murphy: Uh-huh. So you think the skull is from a long time ago?

Heather Brandt: Well, yeah. Isn't it?

Detective Armstrong: You know, Mrs. Brandt, RJ said something that has us curious. By any chance, did he have a sister who died?

Heather Brandt: Oh... Detective, that's such a painful memory. I don't know if you've ever lost a child, but even thinking about it can be awful.

Detective Armstrong: We understand. How did your daughter pass away?

Heather Brandt: My daughter died from SIDS. I'm sure you can understand that I don't want to talk about it.

Detective Murphy: We know it's difficult. We just have a few more questions. How old was your daughter when she passed away?

Heather Brandt: She was just about to turn two when she passed.

Detective Murphy: And when was that?

Heather Brandt: 2004.

Detective Murphy: You were living in Biloxi then?

Heather Brandt: Yeah.

Detective Armstrong: How did RJ take his sister's death?

Heather Brandt: How do you think? Why do you keep harassing me about something you know is painful for me to talk about? As far as I can see, that has nothing to do with my son bringing a skull he dug up in the backyard to school. I don't want to answer any more questions about my daughter. Is there anything else you want talk to me about?

Detective Murphy: Actually, yes. We've talked with your neighbors, and they mentioned RJ hangs out with "the Lowell boy." Do you know who that is?

Heather Brandt: Sure. Tristan. Him and RJ are friends.

Detective Murphy: Do you know anything else about him?

Heather Brandt: Like what?

Detective Murphy: Where he lives? What grade he's in? Have you met his parents?

Heather Brandt: RJ knows where he lives.

Detective Armstrong: Your neighbors seem to have some concerns about the amount of time that RJ is staying at home alone. Working late hours, are you, Mrs. Brandt?

Heather Brandt: I do work long hours, and my husband does too. RJ is twelve. He's old enough to spend a couple hours after school by himself. What's the big deal?

Detective Armstrong: No need to be short with us, ma'am. We're simply trying to piece this together.

Heather Brandt: I'm sorry. I'm just upset. I told you I don't like talking about my daughter. I'd like to leave now.

Detective Murphy: Certainly. We do appreciate you coming in today and apologize if we upset you.

Interview ends: 10:08 a.m.

People in this conversation

Comments (9)

  1. Starlight

I would be seeking the grave and death certificate of her daughter
to eliminate the possibility of it being her.

prehaps take a sample of dna from the mother to see if theres a connection
without having to exsume the body
(incase somone in the...

I would be seeking the grave and death certificate of her daughter
to eliminate the possibility of it being her.

prehaps take a sample of dna from the mother to see if theres a connection
without having to exsume the body
(incase somone in the family took the skull from the grave and took it with them to this location)

keeping all possiblitys open

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  1. Kimbers_case    Starlight

Yikes I did not think about that but that would be horrible and I would think in real life they would have to have some d*** good proof before asking the mother for DNA on some facts like that. I guess we will have to wait and see what police get...

Yikes I did not think about that but that would be horrible and I would think in real life they would have to have some d*** good proof before asking the mother for DNA on some facts like that. I guess we will have to wait and see what police get from Biloxi.

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  1. ems324    Kimbers_case

Well, the police know that Mrs. Brandt had a daughter. The police would have to get a warrant for the child's medical records. The hospital should already have the mother's blood information, as well as the father's.

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  1. ems324    Kimbers_case

Exsuming a body is something that the police don't like to do. In addition to this I don't think that RJ would go to the grave of his sister and dig up her skull. I would dig up any old cases involving SIDS in that area. If there's no case...

Exsuming a body is something that the police don't like to do. In addition to this I don't think that RJ would go to the grave of his sister and dig up her skull. I would dig up any old cases involving SIDS in that area. If there's no case files or investigation into this child dying then there most likely won't be a death certificate. SIDS is something that would def warrant an investigation because this could bring charges of murder or manslaughter. I have a feeling that the brandts would want to keep the police out of this and quite possibly buried the daughter in a shallow grave. The coroner should have saved a sample of the dirt and ran tests to determine the acidity, composition and other organic matter that would be found in dirt. Then they should compare the test results with dirt samples in the brandt's yard.

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  1. Kimbers_case

I think the detective is a bit of a jerk and I see the mom's side, she works a lot to pay the bills and so does her husband so she has to trust RJ's judgement, not the ideal situation but she is dealing with the cards she was dealt. Also she has...

I think the detective is a bit of a jerk and I see the mom's side, she works a lot to pay the bills and so does her husband so she has to trust RJ's judgement, not the ideal situation but she is dealing with the cards she was dealt. Also she has a right to be upset for being asked to discuss her daughter's death if the police think something isnt right there must be some records they can check in Biloxi and if they already have and they are questioning her because of something they found, hopefully crimescene.com will let us know soon so we can have the information we need. Otherwise, they need to leave this poor woman alone.

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  1. TDA    Kimbers_case

Well apart from the obvious fact that this is a fictive case where most people are made out to be suspicious and are treated as such, so we can engage in roleplay solving a crime, why should the detective refrain from asking personal questions...

Well apart from the obvious fact that this is a fictive case where most people are made out to be suspicious and are treated as such, so we can engage in roleplay solving a crime, why should the detective refrain from asking personal questions just because he may get the info somewhere else or else possibly hurt someones feelings? If I was interviewing, I would not only be on the lookout for answers but body language, emotional responses, etc. as well. This cannot be gathered in any other way.
To illustrate my point:
How would checking out Biloxi, like you suggest, prove fruitful in ascertaining how RJ felt about the death of his sister, like the detective asked? Apart from that, sure she has the right to be emotional, but then again she may be hiding behind her emotions or feigning them. Detectives cannot let their emotions lead the way in an inquiry...

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  1. rimamaria    Kimbers_case

I happen to like this detective a lot

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  1. msdetective

If a skull is found theres probably more before bringing up painful past things give the benefit of the doubt, until then you have the boy take you to where he found it, do research first, then i think the latter stuff, seems to me finding a...

If a skull is found theres probably more before bringing up painful past things give the benefit of the doubt, until then you have the boy take you to where he found it, do research first, then i think the latter stuff, seems to me finding a skull is pretty fascinating, as there might b someone out there missing some closure in there life, i would definately want to help find out.

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  1. rimamaria

Heather Brandt: That's terrible, but kids used to die a lot more back in the olden days, didn't they?

Detective Murphy: I'm not sure I know what you mean.


She is a strange woman, to refer to the OLDEN DAYS

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