Sunday, August 29, 2021 – 4:07 pm
Sofia Church is a real estate agent at the Harte Agency.
Detectives Murphy and Parker interviewed her in one of the meeting rooms at the Harte Agency a few hours after she found Andrea Wyatt’s body.
- Detective S. Murphy
- Detective E. Parker
- Sofia Church
Detective Parker: Would you please state your name and address for the record?
Sofia Church: My name is Sofia Church, and I live at 102 Augusta Drive.
Detective Parker: Before we begin, I have to admit I'm a little confused. Someone told me your last name was Iglesias.
Sofia Church: While I took my husband's name when we married, I use the Anglicized version professionally. I find more people return my calls that way. Although sometimes I do use Iglesias if potential clients might find that name more comforting.
Detective Parker: Thanks for clearing that up.
Detective Murphy: Do you feel better able to answer our questions now?
Sofia Church: I am so sorry about earlier. I've never even seen a dead body before, and to find it how I did…
Detective Parker: Why don't we start before that? How did you spend your Sunday morning?
Sofia Church: Being the first up, I dealt with the animals. Then I woke, fed, and dressed the children.
Detective Parker: You have more than one?
Sofia Church: Three. Angela, Tony, and Daniel. Angela’s our oldest, although sometimes I think she wants to return to the terrible twos.
Detective Parker: Yes, ma’am. So you got the children ready. What then?
Sofia Parker: We went to church and then returned home, where I served Sunday dinner.
Detective Murphy: Did your husband attend services with you?
Sofia Church: My husband's a dentist, and as such, has been invited to join a poker game consisting of medical professionals. None of them apparently work on Sundays because they didn't cash out until after 4:00 in the morning. But that's not typical. Most Sundays, Angel goes to church with the rest of the family.
Detective Parker: What did you make for dinner?
Sofia Church: Lamb, my husband's favorite. The children push it around their plates and fill up on mint jelly. There are worse things they could eat. At least we're together.
Detective Parker: And after dinner? What did you do then?
Sofia Church: Since my husband was now prepared to take on the children, I decided to stop in at the office.
Detective Parker: Did you see any vehicles in the parking lot when you arrived?
Sofia Church: Yes. Annette's.
Detective Murphy: Were there any other vehicles parked nearby?
Sofia Church: Not that I noticed.
Detective Parker: You parked, and then what?
Sofia Church: I parked, walked to the front door, and found it open. I didn't think anything of it since I'd seen Annette's car.
Detective Murphy: Do you often go to work on Sunday afternoons?
Sofia Church: The real estate business never sleeps. Weekends are when most people are free to view properties, so it's not uncommon for me to work both Saturday and Sunday.
Detective Parker: You have a key to the office?
Sofia Church: We all do, rather than call Jeff every time we want access, which can really happen at any time.
Detective Murphy: Is that also true of Annette?
Sofia Church: Annette would sleep here if she could, just in case a client happened to come knocking at 2:00 a.m.
Detective Parker: You entered the building. Did you notice anything unusual?
Sofia Church: Nothing. I called out when I came in and went straight back to my desk. I was surprised not to see Annette at her desk, but then I figured she must have been in the restroom. The door was closed when I passed.
Detective Murphy: How did you feel when you saw Annette's vehicle in the parking lot?
Sofia Church: I wasn't surprised if that's what you mean.
Detective Murphy: Was Annette someone you enjoyed working alongside?
Sofia Church: She was pleasant enough. Of course, she wanted Jeff—Jeff Harte, the owner of the agency—to bring her in as a partner, and the fact that he wouldn't sometimes brought out her bitter side. That's when she wasn't so pleasant.
Detective Murphy: Do you know why he wouldn't bring her in as a partner?
Sofia Church: You'd have to ask Jeff. Or Meg Lancaster. She's his office manager.
Detective Parker: Okay, so you're at your desk. You think Annette is in the restroom. What did you do?
Sofia Church: I reviewed some files. I probably did that for a few minutes when out of the corner of my eye, I saw something strange on the floor on the other side of the break room. You saw how dark the floor is in there, but there was something light-colored on the floor. I couldn’t tell what it was, but I knew it didn’t belong there.
Detective Parker: You could see into the break room?
Sofia Church: That's right. The open door was at my back, but I sit at an angle. So I got up to investigate.
Detective Parker: Go on.
Sofia Church: I entered the break room, and over on the copy room side, I saw Annette lying on the floor. I thought she'd collapsed. I ran to her and crouched down next to her, and that's when I finally processed what I'd seen. There was a nail sticking out of Annette's neck.
Detective Parker: What did you do?
Sofia Church: I screamed. She had a nail in her neck. How do you explain something like that? How do you begin to comprehend such a sight? I checked to see if she was breathing, and when she wasn't, I ran to Jeff's office.
Detective Parker: Why?
Sofia Church: I don't know. He's in charge, so I felt as though I had to tell him about Annette, even though I knew he wasn't in his office. Otherwise, I would have seen his car. So I ran into his office and, of course, he wasn't there. But being there calmed me somehow, and that's when I used my phone to call 911.
Detective Parker: What did you do while you were waiting for help to arrive?
Sofia Church: I'm sure you'll think this sounds strange, but I walked up front to the waiting area. Kept my eyes forward as I passed the break room. My heart was pounding again. I half expected her to come staggering out of the break room with that nail sticking out of her neck. There's a couch in the waiting room, and I sat in the far corner and waited for the police to arrive.
Detective Parker: Did you return to the break room?
Sofia Church: No. In fact, I don't know if I can, not after seeing what I saw.
Detective Parker: Did you notice a weapon while you were in there?
Sofia Church: I didn't see anything but Annette with that nail.
Detective Murphy: Is there usually a nail gun on the premises?
Sofia Church: I don’t know. Maybe. Jeff owns the whole building. I’m not sure what kind of repairs he might do.
Detective Parker: While you were sitting there on that couch, were you thinking Annette had been murdered?
Sofia Church: Not in so many words because who could do such a thing?
Detective Murphy: What if she had been killed in another way? Is there anyone, in particular, you would have suspected?
Sofia Church: I don't know how to explain my reaction, only to say that finding her that way drove all rational thought out of my head.
Detective Murphy: Now that you've had some time to recover, who do you think could have done such a thing to her?
Sofia Church: I don't even want to know.
Detective Parker: What happened after first responders started to arrive?
Sofia Church: I told them where to go and tried to answer their questions, not that I probably made much sense. Can we finish this another time? I need to go see my family.
Detective Parker: Certainly. We'll be in touch.
Detective Murphy: Don't hesitate to call us if you need to talk.
Sofia Church: Thank you. Thank you both.
Interview ended – 4:21 p.m.