Interview: Det. Chris Harvey
Monday, April 9, 2012 - 11:34 a.m.
The witness was identified as a Detective with the Biloxi P.D who was interviewed via the phone. The interview was recorded on a portable audio tape recorder with the witness’s knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective C. Harvey
Detective Armstrong: For the record, would you please state your name?
Detective Harvey: Sure. Detective Chris Harvey, Biloxi Police Department.
Detective Murphy: Thanks. As we mentioned earlier, we want to talk to you about an unidentified human skull in our possession.
Detective Harvey: Yes, I understand.
Detective Armstrong: The family of the boy who brought the skull to school lived in Biloxi back before Katrina. I remember hearing the storm caused a lot of coffins to come up out of the ground. Was that true or just media frenzy?
Detective Harvey: The water did wash a few coffins out of their graves, but we're pretty sure we located all of those. There's always a possibility we missed a couple.
Detective Murphy: Is there a possibility that not all the storm victims' bodies have been recovered?
Detective Harvey: Sure. We searched and used cadaver dogs, the whole thing, and we recovered most of the bodies. But there are some people who were reported missing that we never found. Maybe they took off for higher ground and didn't tell anybody. Maybe they were washed away. We may never know.
Detective Armstrong: Do you have any record on a Ronald Brandt, goes by Ronny?
Detective Harvey: A couple of assaults and a domestic on his wife Heather from way back.
Detective Murphy: Any mention of his son in any of your reports?
Detective Harvey: There was a daughter, Gracie, who died from SIDS back before Katrina, and one report says that DCFS was called to check on the kids. No other mention of any action taken against the parents. Nothing recent though.
Detective Armstrong: That could be because they've been gracing our jurisdiction since the storm.
Detective Harvey: Lucky you.
Detective Armstrong: Yeah. You got anything on this Ronny's brother, Andrew Brandt?
Detective Harvey: Now there's a name I haven't heard in a while. He had a bad habit of walking off with other people's stuff. He got locked up a while back, and I haven't heard anything about him since then. Is he still in?
Detective Armstrong: Nope.
Detective Harvey: Don't tell me. You got him up there too?
Detective Armstrong: You got it. What do you know about him? Is he dangerous?
Detective Harvey: I doubt it. To your stuff? Sure. But I don't think he was ever really violent. Unless he picked up some new skills in lockup, which is always possible.
Detective Murphy: So this skull we're working, Ronny Brandt's son brought it to school with him. We know it's human, female, around two years old. Does that ring any bells for you?
Detective Harvey: You think the skull came from here?
Detective Armstrong: We don't know where it came from. The kid tells a different story every time someone asks him about it.
Detective Harvey: Mm. I don't know. A kid that young coming up missing or dead in Biloxi? I would've heard about something like that.
Detective Murphy: You'd think so. The Brandts' daughter who died, was there anything suspicious about that?
Detective Harvey: There's nothing in the file to indicate that. I could ask around.
Detective Murphy: That'd be great. Would you mind doing one other thing?
Detective Harvey: Sure, if I can.
Detective Murphy: Could you or one of your people check out that little girl's grave, make sure it hasn't been... disturbed?
Detective Harvey: You think‒ oh, hell.
Detective Murphy: We don't necessarily think anything. We just want to check. Just in case.
Detective Harvey: Yeah, I hear you. No problem. We'll check it out and let you know.
Detective Murphy: Thanks. If you find anything that seems interesting, we may want to come down and take a closer look.
Detective Harvey: Sure. Just let me know. If you need to talk to anybody local, I'll get you an interview room here at the station.
Detective Armstrong: Thanks, Chris. We appreciate all your help.
Detective Harvey: Happy to do it. I'll be in touch as soon as we've got something on the grave. You two have a great day.
Interview ends: 11:48 a.m.