Transcription of Mr. and Mrs. Loveless and Guthrie Interviews:

MR. AND MRS. LOVELESS INTERVIEW:

STAN BURCH: June the 10th, time is now 10:35. Im talking to Mr. Loveless and Mrs. Loveless at their home in Steele, Missouri. Mr. Loveless, I was reading your statement here and you state that on the 21st or the 22nd day of May, a youth visited the gravesite of Steven Branch. You said he the youth was around 15 years old?

MR.LOVELESS: 15 years old.

STAN BURCH: O.k. How was he dressed?

MR.LOVELESS: Just had casual clothes on, white t-shirt,

STAN BURCH: A white t-shirtand

MR.LOVELESS: And he had, had a cap on.

STAN BURCH: And a cap? O.k. How did he act when you was talking to him?

MR.LOVELESS: Very strange. Like he didnt want to talk to me.

STAN BURCH: Strange in what way?

MR.LOVELESS: Well, he wouldnt look at me.

STAN BURCH: He wouldnt make eye contact with you?

MR.LOVELESS: He wouldnt make eye contact with me.

STAN BURCH: O.k. And where was the first place you observed him at?

MR.LOVELESS: Walkin, comin across to the cemetery. He was he come from a southeast comin northeast.

STAN BURCH: And then he went to the grave. What did he do at the gravesite?

MR.LOVELESS: He he stood at the gravesite for a minute, and then he kneeled down, like he was praying. Stayed there for quite some time.

STAN BURCH: Was it on one knee or two knees?

MR.LOVELESS: One knee.

STAN BURCH: O.k. Was it at the foot of the gravesite or

MR.LOVELESS: At the foot of the gravesite.

STAN BURCH: How does he know where the gravesite was at?

MR.LOVELESS: He he asked my buddy, Lance Guthrie, and he was running a weed eater, and he asked him where the little boys grave was.

STAN BURCH: When you talked to him, what did you ask him?

MR.LOVELESS: I stopped my mower, and I said uh, hey Id like to talk to you. And he, he took three more steps and I said, I hollered at him again that Id like to talk to him. And uh, I asked him I said was you kin to the little Branch boy? And he turned around and said yes.

STAN BURCH: O.k.

MR.LOVELESS: But I, I observed one thing: If he was kin to the little boy, why didnt he know where he was buried at?

STAN BURCH: Thats true. Uh, theres an incident that took place about an automobile approaching the area. You wanna explain that to me?

MR.LOVELESS: There was a, there was a car coming through the cemetery, it resembled a police car a whole lot. But when he saw this car he thought it was stopping, he got ready to take off fast. But when he realized the car didnt stop, he turned around and come back.

STAN BURCH: Then he stood up and walked away from the grave?

MR.LOVELESS: Yes.

STAN BURCH: Then after the vehicle left, he came back?

MR.LOVELESS: He came back.

STAN BURCH: O.k. Mrs. Loveless, you have something you want to say?

MRS.LOVELESS: Yeah, when he seen the car, he started to walk off this way. I dont know what direction that is.

MR.LOVELESS: That would be south, southeast.

STAN BURCH: That would be southeast, yes.

MRS.LOVELESS: And then when, then when he seen the car wasnt stopping, he come back to the grave. Then when he left, he walked off that way a little.

STAN BURCH: Which would be-

MRS.LOVELESS: And then I didnt watch him anymore.

STAN BURCH: O.k. he walked-

MRS.LOVELESS: I dont know where he went when he got to the blacktop.

MR.LOVELESS: Well see, he walked off that way then he come back, and uh, he was talking to Lance about a Taylor grave or something there.

MRS.LOVELESS: Well I didnt see him anymore after he was headed that way.

STAN BURCH: O.k. And you have no prior knowledge of this youth whatsoever. You havent seen him before?

MR.LOVELESS: Ive never seen him before.

STAN BURCH: Alright in the photographs that I showed you, could you ID any one of the, the photographs as being him?

MR.LOVELESS: No.

STAN BURCH: O.k. This concludes the statement at this time which is 10:40.



GUTHRIE INTERVIEW:

STAN BURCH: This is detective Stan Burch. Im at the Mount Zion Cemetery. Im talking to a Mr

GUTHRIE: Lance

STAN BURCH: Lance

GUTHRIE: E. Guthrie

STAN BURCH: E. Guthrie. UhMr. Guthrie. Ive read your statement here and Id like to ask you some other questions concerning this young man that you observed out on the cemetery grounds at approximately 21 May. Are you sure of the date?

GUTHRIE: Yes, Im positive that was the date because I was weed eating around the headstones.

STAN BURCH: Alright. And about uhyou state in your statement here that the youth was somewhere between 13 and 14 years old?

GUTHRIE: About that age.

STAN BURCH: How was he how was he dressed?

GUTHRIE: He had blue jeans and a checkedy(?) shirt on and tennis shoes. And blond hair.

STAN BURCH: O.k. I am going to show you a picture, and could you possibly relate whether or not this is the youth you seen or not?

GUTHRIE: No that aint him nuh, uh, his hair wasnt long.

STAN BURCH: O.k. You say his hair was shorter than this?

GUTHRIE: Yeah, it was shorter.

STAN BURCH: O.k. About how short, what would you say?

GUTHRIE: It was up above the collar length, you know.

STAN BURCH: O.k. Uh, he asked you about the Steve Branch gravesite. What did you tell him?

GUTHRIE: I told him where Steve Branch was buried at. I asked him was he any kin to him, he said yeah, Im a cousin. And I said well, hes buried up there by that oak tree close to Jessie Scott. And then he told me hes kin to Bob Ziller (?), and was lookin around. I looked at his headstone and the date showed that he died way back there. I felt something funny about it but I didnt say nothin. I told him well if you wanna find the little Branch boy hes buried up there. And he went up there.

STAN BURCH: O.k. Did you observe anything that he did up there at the gravesite?

GUTHRIE: Nah, I went back to weed eating.

STAN BURCH: O.k. Did you see him again after that?

GUTHRIE: I seen him walk out of the graveyard but I didnt see which way he went.

STAN BURCH: O.k., which direction was he headed when you seen him walk-

GUTHRIE: Towards the interstate.

STAN BURCH: Towards the interstate? Which would besoutheast-

GUTHRIE: Southeast.

STAN BURCH: Of here? O.k. Is there anything else that youd like to add to this statement?

GUTHRIE: Nothing I can think of after I talked to old D about it. Mr. Dempsey here told me that he kneeled down by the grave and prayed, but I aint doubting his word because hes always been truthful to me.

STAN BURCH: O.k.

GUTHRIE: But I didnt see which way the boy went. I went back doing my weed eating job.

STAN BURCH: O.k. Thank you sir. This concludes the statement at this time. The time is 11:10 on the 10th of June.