STAN BURCH: June the 10th, time is now 10:35. I’m 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-shirt…and…
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 didn’t want to talk to me.
STAN BURCH: Strange in what way?
MR.LOVELESS: Well, he wouldn’t look at me.
STAN BURCH: He wouldn’t make eye contact with you?
MR.LOVELESS: He wouldn’t 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 I’d like to talk to you. And he, he took three more steps and I said, I hollered at him again that I’d 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 didn’t he know where he was buried at?
STAN BURCH: That’s true. Uh, there’s 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 didn’t stop, he turned around and come back.
STAN BURCH: Then he stood up and walked away from the grave?
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 don’t 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 wasn’t 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 didn’t watch him anymore.
STAN BURCH: O.k. he walked-
MRS.LOVELESS: I don’t 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 didn’t see him anymore after he was headed that way.
STAN BURCH: O.k. And you have no prior knowledge of this youth whatsoever. You haven’t seen him before?
MR.LOVELESS: I’ve 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?
STAN BURCH: O.k. This concludes the statement at this time which is 10:40.