REPORTING OFFICER'S NARRATIVE (Brief narrative of the facts surrounding the offense and the arrest.)
At 10:06 a.m., Dispatch received a 911 call regarding the discovery of a body at Rowan Oak. The caller identified herself as Sherry Chapman, Office Manager at the University of Mississippi Physical Plant. Caller reported that Physical Plant staff members had found a body on the grounds of Rowan Oak and requested that she notify authorities.
Unit #224 (Officer Steve Harding) was immediately dispatched to the scene. Detectives Armstrong and Murphy were assigned and proceeded directly to the scene. Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson was notified at R/Is' request to respond to scene. Reporting Officer (R/O) Steve Harding arrived at the scene at 10:13 a.m. At R/O's request, Unit #216 (Officer Kennon Winters) was dispatched to the scene to provide backup and assistance and arrived at 10:20 a.m.
Reporting Investigators (R/I) arrived at the scene at 10:28 a.m. and found R/Os Harding and Winters had secured the area. Environmental conditions at scene upon arrival are as follows: Weather: clear/dry; Ambient temperature: 45º F / 7º C; Relative Humidity: 61%.
R/O Harding made the following verbal report, which is stated in summary and not verbatim, upon R/Is arrival. R/O Harding said he was met at the scene by an adult male, who identified himself as Ben Moreland. The witness Moreland escorted R/O Harding to the location of the body, where R/O Harding observed a second adult male witness, who identified himself as Steve Potter. R/O Harding confirmed the presence of the body and reported same to Dispatch. R/Os Harding and Winters then secured the scene and detained witnesses at the scene including Moreland, Potter, and an adult female, who arrived on the scene shortly after R/Os and identified herself as Pilar Adams. R/O Harding further stated that, to the best of his knowledge, the following personnel have had occasion to enter the crime scene area and must be excluded by CSU personnel: R/O Winters, witnesses Ben Moreland and Steve Potter, and himself. R/O Harding said that witness Pilar Adams was not permitted to enter the crime scene area.
After receiving the report from R/O Harding, R/I Murphy contacted Dispatch regarding the status of the Coroner's Inspector and the Crime Scene Unit. Dispatch indicated the Inspector's ETA was approximately 10 minutes and CSU's ETA was approximately 12 minutes.
R/Is then proceeded to the location of the body. R/Is observed a lifeless human body, apparently a male in his late thirties, lying on the ground partially supported by a tree, approximately 50 feet southwest from the Rowan Oak museum building. Visual inspection indicated the victim was wearing a black medium to heavy weight coat, a white cotton t-shirt, black denim jeans, and black shoes. The body lay face up with the left arm alongside he body. The right arm was extended to the side at an approximate 45º angle to the body. The head of the body faced in an northeasterly direction and the feet in a southwesterly direction. A passport recovered from the pocket of the victim's coat tentatively identified him as Rolf Warner, a German citizen.
The body displayed signs of trauma to the head. No other injuries were immediately apparent. Pending official analysis by the coroner's office, initial observation indicated the deceased was apparently the victim of a single, penetrating blow to the head. R/Is also observed a digital camera and a pickaxe with reddish-brown stains in the immediate vicinity of the body. R/Is also noted possible bloodstains on the ground within a 10-foot radius of the body. interviewed the witness Ben Moreland at the scene. A transcript of Moreland's interview is attached to this report. Additional interviews with other witnesses are being scheduled.
Before leaving, R/I Murphy instructed CSU to seal the scene upon completion or end of day suspension of processing. CSU to notify R/Is of progress by the end of this date. As of this filing, CSU is still actively processing at the scene.
Body of the deceased remanded into the custody of Coroner's Inspector Luwinda Johnson. Deceased was removed from scene at 11:21 a.m. and transported to the Coroner's Office for autopsy. A preliminary autopsy report is expected within fourteen days of this report.
Evidence remanded into the custody of Forensics officer T. R. Douglas for transport to the state crime lab for routine analysis. CSU is expected to submit an inventory of items taken into evidence within fourteen days of this report, with detailed report(s) of their findings to follow at a later date.