Interview: Ole Miss Motel canvass
Investigators determined that the victim, Rolf Warner, had been staying at the Ole Miss Motel along with two traveling companions, Gus Heller and Lita Harrison, since Monday, December 26, 2011. Motel employees were questioned about anything they witnessed involving Warner and/or Heller and/or Harrison, including the subjects' arrivals and departures, their interactions with each other, and other activities. The interviews summarized are some of the most typical or relevant to the investigation and are representative of all interviews conducted.
Name: Fred Austin
Title / Address: Front desk clerk / 805 College Hill Road, Oxford
Austin said he works the night shift at the front desk. He said he saw the subjects returning to the motel on the nights since they checked in. He said the three of them typically returned together, often before 11:00 pm. He added that on the nights of Monday, December 26 and Tuesday, December 27, he saw Harrison go back out alone a little while later. Austin stated he saw Harrison return on those nights between 1:00 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. and she appeared to be alone.
Name: Gloria Lively
Title / Address: Housekeeper / 1537 University, Oxford
Lively said she cleaned the subjects' rooms on Tuesday, December 27, 2011. She said she first arrived to clean the room occupied by Warner and Heller at approximately 10:00 a.m. She said she heard loud voices inside, but thought it was the television. She knocked and announced herself, and when she received no response, she let herself into the room using the master key. When she opened the door, she observed Warner and Heller in a heated argument. They asked her to return later and she left the room. Lively said she did not hear what the subjects were arguing about and believed they may have been talking in a foreign language. Lively said she then proceeded next door to the room occupied by Harrison, but found a "Do Not Disturb" tag on the door and continued on to the next room.
Lively said she returned to the room occupied by Warner and Heller at approximately 11:15 a.m. and found the room empty. After she cleaned it, she checked Harrison's room next door to find out whether the "Do Not Disturb" tag was still in place. It was and she did not knock on the door. Lively said that, to her knowledge, Harrison's room was not cleaned on December 27, 2011.
Name: Bianca Lopez
Title / Address: Housekeeper / 2216 Church Street, Oxford
Lopez said she cleaned the subjects' rooms on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at approximately 11:00 a.m. She said Heller was alone in the room he shared with Warner when she arrived. Heller was working at a laptop computer but allowed her to clean the room while he was working. She said that Heller appeared upset or agitated, but was polite when he spoke with her. Lopez said she then went the room next door, occupied by Harrison, at about 11:15 a.m. She said the room was empty when she arrived and that Harrison did not return while she was cleaning.
Name: Margot West
Title / Address: Front desk clerk / 1217 Beanland, Oxford
West said she works the day shift at the front desk. She said she saw Warner and Heller leave the motel sometime between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 28, 2011. When asked how the subjects seemed to be getting along, West said they seemed "normal." She said they did not appear to be either noticeably angry or noticeably friendly with each other. West said she also observed Harrison leaving that morning around 9:00 a.m., after Warner and Heller had left. She said Harrison was picked up by a man driving a silver or gray Japanese-make pickup. When asked why she noticed the vehicle, she stated it had an unusually loud engine, which attracted her attention.
West said she saw Heller return alone shortly before 10:00 a.m. and that he appeared quite upset. She said he went directly to his room without checking for messages as he usually did. West also saw Harrison return sometime around 11:15 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. and said Harrison was dropped off in the same pickup truck she left in.