STORY FIVE – Grandma’s House
Kaydee Manon, social worker and Police Officer Rhodes take the child, Sophie Miller to her grandmother’s house. Sandra Miller is the suspects mother.
Kaydee: Mrs Miller? Kaydee Manon, social worker. We spoke on the phone.
Sandra: Yes, yes, come in. Sophie!
Kaydee: This is police officer Rhodes, is it ok to ask you a few questions?
Sandra: Of course, come in. I’ll put the kettle on.
Kaydee: Thank you. You have a lovely home.
Sandra: Thank you. It’s easy to keep clean when there’s only one of you. My husband died some years ago and the kids are all grown up now. So, what’s our Mel been up to? P.C Rhodes: We didn’t want to tell you over then phone but your daughter has been arrested on suspicion of murder, child cruelty and neglect.
Sandra: What! Not my Mel. Murder? Never! She’d not hurt a fly and wouldn’t dream of hurting Soph. Loves her to the moon and back. She’d never…
Kaydee: I’m afraid Sophie was found locked in a cupboard, Mrs Miller.
Sandra: Oh no, not Soph, poor thing. No, I can’t believe it. Mel wouldn’t do that, I could see Alex doing something like that but never my Mel. He’s been bad news from the start.
P.C Rhodes: Mrs Miller, Alex Lepinski is dead. Your daughter is suspected to have killed him.
Sandra: Sophie darling, do you want to get some toys out? In the big box in the dining room. Go on, go and find your favourite dolly.
Sandra: Why is she a suspect? If anything she is the victim in all of this.
P.C Rhodes: She was found covered in blood at the scene and told several officers that she killed him.
Sandra: Oh God. I can’t believe that either. Not Mel. No. There must be some mistake.
P.C Rhodes: There’s no mistake, Mrs Miller. What can you tell us about their relationship? Or about Melissa’s state of mind?
Sandra: Erm, well, let me see. They met when Mel was still in school, he was way older and I didn’t like it. She seemed happy though so all I could do was hope that it would fizzle out. You know, the way kids are. Anyway, it didn’t and things started to change. She dropped out of college, started drinking and god knows what else. He’s a real bad influence and I hate him for it. Mel and I fell out loads over him, over her drinking. They’d break up every now and again and I would get my Mel back but it never lasted long. He’d always weed his way back in. And on it would go. It put such a strain on our relationship that one day Alex suggested she move in with him and she jumped at the chance. She’d have been about 21 then. We didn’t speak for ages after that.
P.C Rhodes: You’ve obviously made up since, otherwise you wouldn’t know your granddaughter?
Sandra: Yes, it was thanks to that little angel that we are sort of back on speaking terms.
P.C Rhodes: Sort of?
Sandra: Yes, Mel’s drinking has been bad, so Alex tells me. He brings Sophie round or sleep overs when it’s really bad and he needs a break. He’d tell me she’d fallen down the stairs or something daft. Sometimes he’d come round with a black eye and said they’d been arguing but I never believed it was my Mel that caused it. She’s not like that, she was always shy and sensitive but maybe I’m wrong, maybe that’s what alcohol does to you.
P.C Rhodes: So, you never really saw Melissa in person?
Sandra: No, she hardly left the house according to Alex. I haven’t seen her face to face in years. She’d call me on the phone, in her more sober moments I guess. Always just spoke of Sophie, how she was growing and how much she loves her. I could always hear Sophie in the background playing and laughing. Mel loves that girl, she said she’d found the one thing worth living for. She’d do anything for her. She asked me to promise I’d look after Sophie if any thing happened.
P.C Rhodes: What do you think she meant by that?
Sandra: Well, I don’t know, maybe she knew the alcohol was a bad thing, maybe she worried about losing her. I don’t know, I didn’t ask. She just made me promise, so I did.
Kaydee: Did you ever have any concerns about Sophie? About her behaviour or health or anything?
Sandra: Nothing I could really put my finger on. She’s a smashing little kid. A bit withdrawn sometimes but her mother was like that. She plays on her own quite happily and gives lots of cuddles. That’s the one and only thing I’ll credit Alex for, he has looked after Sophie like a little princess. He’s very protective of her. A good dad but not much else. I just couldn’t trust him, he gave me the creeps. I shan’t mourn him but I’ll miss him for Sophie.
P.C Rhodes: Does Melissa have any friends that you know of?
Sandra: She used to, at school I mean.
P.C Rhodes: Does she still see them?
Sandra: Not that I know of, well none that she spoke to me about. I think they all slowly drifted off when she started seeing Alex. Then when she started drinking I think they’d had enough of her.
P.C Rhodes: Hmm, Ok. Thank you Mrs Miller. I think that’s all the questions I have for now. We will need to interview Sophie but we are just waiting on the specialist. We’ll need you to bring her down to the station.
Sandra: Right, yes, of course.