Monday, July 16, 2014 - 10:00 a.m.
Cindy Fine was Andy Fine's wife and reported him missing on July 7, 2014. Prior to this interview, Mrs. Fine identified her husband's body at the Coroner's Office in the presence of the detectives.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy talked to her at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was recorded with the witness's knowledge and consent.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Cynthia Fine
Detective Murphy: Mrs. Fine, thank you for coming in to speak with us today. I know it's difficult.
Cindy Fine: I just want to help.
Detective Armstrong: We're grateful for that. For the record, could you state your full name and address?
Cindy Fine: Cindy — Cynthia Campbell Fine. We live at 596 Hathorn Road here in Oxford.
Detective Murphy: Thank you. Now, Mrs. Fine, we understand you filed a missing persons report for your husband on July 7. Was that the last time you saw him?
Cindy Fine: Yes. Actually, it was Thursday night. I never saw him after that.
Detective Armstrong: So that was July 3?
Cindy Fine: Right.
Detective Murphy: Can you tell us a little about that? About what happened?
Cindy Fine: I'll try. It's just so hard right now.
Detective Murphy: Take your time.
Cindy Fine: Andy… Andy came home after work and wanted to party. It was the holiday weekend and all that. We went out to Duffy's and stayed there for a few hours. I — well, I was never into partying as much as he is, and I wanted to go home. I was tired. Carl was there so I figured he could give him a ride. I — never saw him after that. Oh gosh … I'm sorry. I get so emotional. It's stupid.
Detective Murphy: It's understandable, Mrs. Fine. Whenever you're ready.
Cindy Fine: Well, after that, when, um, when he… didn't come home, I was a little worried, but I figured he might've gone to Carl's or something. They were both kind of drunk, so maybe Carl didn't want to drive too much.
Detective Murphy: And Carl is?
Cindy Fine: He's Andy's brother. Well, half-brother, but that doesn't matter to them.
Detective Murphy: I see. Go ahead. You were saying? When your husband didn't come home that night?
Cindy Fine: Anyway, the next day, I really started to get worried, but then I thought maybe he was making a run to Memphis or something and just forgot to tell me.
Detective Armstrong: Memphis?
Cindy Fine: He sometimes goes there — went there — for work.
Detective Armstrong: What for?
Cindy Fine: I don't know. He didn't really tell me much about his job.
Detective Armstrong: That's quite a trip.
Cindy Fine: I guess so.
Detective Armstrong: How often would he go?
Cindy Fine: Maybe twice a month, I guess. He didn't always tell me. He — well, he had so much on his mind, sometimes he'd forget. He worked so hard. I just tried to make him happy when he got home — forget his troubles.
Detective Armstrong: I see. So just to be clear, you were home all night July 3 when you left Duffy's?
Cindy Fine: That's right.
Detective Armstrong: And then, on July 4, when he didn't show up, you figured he was in Memphis?
Cindy Fine: I guess. Or with Carl, maybe, or — well, Andy was sort of a free spirit. He came and went a lot.
Detective Armstrong: Without telling you?
Cindy Fine: I guess. I mean, sometimes he just needed to be on his own. Sometimes he stayed out at Aunt Minnie's. He didn't want to be burdened with me all the time.
Detective Armstrong: So then what made you file the report when you did — Monday morning?
Cindy Fine: Well, Andy's responsible — I mean, he likes to party, but he never missed work, hardly ever. We only have the one car. He would drop me off and then head out to Laughlin's. It's a few miles, so he wouldn't walk. Monday morning, he wasn't home for work so — well, I knew something was wrong. If only I knew… I'm sorry. Go ahead.
Detective Murphy: You mentioned Aunt Minnie's. Where is that exactly?
Cindy Fine: I — it's so awful. It's that old house near where — you know, where you… where you found him. He and Carl and Antoinette inherited it. They were going to fix it up one of these days. He liked going there. It was so peaceful. He could just relax without me bothering him all the time. I'm sorry. He's in a better place now. I just need to keep remembering that. He's with God. I need to accept that. I need to be stronger.
Detective Murphy: Take your time.
Cindy Fine: No… no. I'm ready.
Detective Murphy: So the three of them own this house?
Cindy Fine: Yes. Aunt Minnie didn't really have much in the way of family, no kids to call her own. So when she was sick, before she died, Grace really helped her out. That's Andy's mother. Carl and Antoinette were there for her practically every night, and Andy too. He would tell jokes to try to cheer her up. He really did have a caring heart.
Detective Murphy: When was this?
Cindy Fine: Um, back in 1996 or something. A long time ago. I guess they never really decided what to do with it. None of them wanted to live there back then because it's so far out of town, and the house got kind of run down over the years with no one living there. And now — Antoinette's in Florida now, and I don't know — Andy never said anything about Carl using it. Everyone's so busy, it just never came up. Now I — well, it's too late…. I'm sorry. I just need to get a hold of myself.
Detective Murphy: That's OK.
Cindy Fine: Go ahead.
Detective Murphy: OK. So over the July 4th weekend, did you stay at home the whole time?
Cindy Fine: I went to see Robyn — my sister. I was at her house on the 4th. She was having a cookout. I was trying to just relax and have a good time and not worry so much. She always tells me I worry too much about him. I — well, I left after a couple of hours. It was just too hard to pretend to have fun when I didn't know where he was, and I didn't want to spoil it for everyone else. Robyn wanted me to stay, but I just decided to come home.
Detective Murphy: And after that, did you stay at home the rest of the weekend?
Cindy Fine: I don't remember exactly — I'm sorry. I guess I must've run a couple of errands. And I went to church on Sunday, and there was a meeting — I'm on the committee for the summer camp retreat. After that I — I was definitely at home. I cleaned the house as usual. I wanted it to be perfect for when he came back.
Detective Murphy: Mrs. Fine, when you came in to file that report, you looked a little beat up.
Cindy Fine: Well, gosh, I was tired. I mean, the whole weekend, I was worried. I tried to just have faith it would work out, but I guess I knew deep down something was wrong. I didn't really sleep much.
Detective Murphy: Actually, I meant it looked like you'd been beaten up. You had a real shiner.
Cindy Fine: Oh, well, I was cleaning under the sink and I just bumped my head. I'm a real klutz like that. Andy was always making fun of me.
Detective Murphy: I see. Mrs. Fine, this may be difficult to talk about, but are you sure everything was all right between you and your husband?
Cindy Fine: Of course!
Detective Armstrong: He wasn't hitting you?
Cindy Fine: No! Never. He would never do something like that. I — I mean, he — well, he — he kind of came and went a lot, but that didn't mean anything was wrong.
Detective Murphy: What did it mean?
Cindy Fine: He just needed his freedom. He worked so hard. He deserved to not be burdened all the time. I just wanted to help him. That's what a wife's supposed to do — help. I tried however I could. I kept the apartment real nice — as nice as it could be anyway. We didn't have much money to spend on that stuff, but I kept it clean. I wanted to sew new curtains for the bedroom.
Detective Murphy: OK. How about Andy? Did he help you like you helped him?
Cindy Fine: I — I'm not sure what you mean.
Detective Murphy: Did he go to church with you?
Cindy Fine: Oh. No. I mean, sometimes he would. For holidays, he would come along. But he was usually so tired out from work, he didn't want to get involved in committees. Sometimes we read from the Bible on our own — in the evenings, sometimes.
Detective Murphy: Did that bother you? That he didn't go to church with you regularly?
Cindy Fine: Well… yes. I mean, I was worried for his salvation. It was my job to try to help him see that — see it was important. I tried, I guess, but everyone has to choose their own path too — choose their path and commit to it on their own. I didn't want to bother him too much — and, well, he had to want to do it on his own. Choose his path and commit to it, and stick with it for better or worse.
Detective Armstrong: Is that what you did — stick with your marriage for better or worse?
Cindy Fine: I — I don't feel comfortable answering that question. Marriage is sacred. I'm going to honor that. I mean, I want to help, but there weren't any problems to discuss. I was glad to be married to Andy. He was my calling.
Detective Murphy: All right then. Let's go back to the night y'all were at Duffy's. You mentioned Carl was there.
Cindy Fine: Yes, that's right.
Detective Murphy: Anyone else you knew?
Cindy Fine: Yes. It was the usual crowd. Eddie Dooley was there. He sat at our table for a while. We talked a little bit. I don't know him very well, but he and Andy are friends. Oh, and Dudley Brinkman came over for a while.
Detective Murphy: Did Andy know him?
Cindy Fine: Not real well, no. I mean, we all went to school together, you know. I — he just stopped by to say hello.
Detective Murphy: Anyone else?
Cindy Fine: Well, Andy and Carl were shooting pool. They were betting. They played a bunch of people, but I didn't recognize any of them. Andy was really having a ball. Um, other than that, I just knew the bartender. We were kind of regulars there.
Detective Murphy: What time did you leave?
Cindy Fine: A little after midnight, I guess. To be honest, I didn't notice. I was tired, really tired. I'm sorry.
Detective Armstrong: That's OK. I'm sure you're pretty tired now. Just a couple more questions.
Cindy Fine: That's OK. I can keep going. I want to help.
Detective Armstrong: Mrs. Fine, is there anyone you know of who might have wanted to hurt Andy?
Cindy Fine: No. No. I can't believe it.
Detective Armstrong: He didn't have any enemies?
Cindy Fine: No. Andy — he would never hurt anyone. He wouldn't hold a grudge like that. He didn't hate anybody.
Detective Armstrong: All right. Thank you for everything, Mrs. Fine. You can go home and rest now.
Cindy Fine: All right.
Detective Murphy: If anything else comes to mind, just give us a call.
Cindy Fine: OK. I will. Thank you.
End interview - 10:41 a.m.