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Interview: Anita Simms
Anita Simms agreed to be interviewed via telephone. Information pertaining to her current whereabouts and to her current custody of the child have been omitted for their protection.



N = Det. Terry Nelson
S = Anita Simms
N: For the record, please state your name, date of birth, and residence address, please.
S: Anita Simms, date of birth June 12, 1938. I live XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX[information deleted/inked out by police for security reasons].
N: Thank you. First, describe your relationship with Dylan Tull.
S: Well, he's my grandkid. Bonnie is my daughter, I had her back when I was 29 and she had Dylan.
N: Do you know him well?
S: I'd say so. He spends just about every summer with me. Weekends to, from time to time. My Bonnie, she's in a bit of trouble. Her marriage was rough going, and I'm glad it's over, but raising a kid by yourself is rough too. I try to help her out however I can, so she can have time to rest and take care of herself.
N: Do you have a husband yourself?
S: No. Harold died in 1994. Heart attack.
N: I'm sorry to hear that. So you live alone now?
S: Yes, except for Dylan. I like to see him, he gives me company.
N: When was the last time you saw him, before the current incident?
S: Oh gosh, I guess it was the first week of June or thereabouts.
N: Can you be more specific?
S: I think he must have come Thursday the 6th. Yes. He stayed just for the weekend, I took him home Sunday.
N: Was there anything unusual about that visit?
S: No, not that I recall. We went out to XXXXXXXX and we had a grand old time. The rest of the time we just hung around here. He seemed fine with that. I think he liked being in a house where someone was around a little more. I think he liked the attention.
N: Did he have any nightmares?
S: Not that I recall. Well, sure, now that I think about it, he did wake up once or twice in the middle of the night, but I didn't think much of it. He's had nightmares when he stayed over with me before. He's a funny kid - I guess most boys like mysteries, Hardy Boys and so on, but he loves ghost stories like no one I know. He'll read himself into a tizzy and then stay up all night being scared. He's always asking me to tell him scary stories, and I hate to do it because I know he'll end up awake half the night. Lately he's been reading more adventure stories, you know, Treasure Island and all that, but he still reads lots of ghost stories too. So nightmares don't surprise me.
N: Did he tell you what those nightmares in June were about?
S: Yes. I always go in and talk with him about what he's dreamed. I don't remember really well at this point, but I think it had something to do with being chased through the woods. Maybe once he was being eaten by a tree. As far as I understand from what I've read about dreams, none of what he said struck me as being too unusual. I think being chased is pretty common for nightmares. Anyhow, once he told me about it he calmed right down and went back to sleep.
N: What about drawings? Did you and he draw at all?
S: No. I was busy working on a blanket I wanted to enter in the fair, and he was reading a book pretty seriously. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or something. He tried knitting once or twice, but other than that, no art projects really. Just reading and watching TV. He didn't seem too interested in drawing this time -- I guess usually we might spend some time drawing, but it's not a major interest for him as far as I can tell.
N: Anything else eventful during that visit?
S: No. Dylan's a pretty quiet kid and I just let him be, I think he's happy just to have someone around. He's very helpful and does the dishes and keeps his room all tidy. He likes to help out. He sometimes helps out with chores in the barn.
N: Had you heard about the Knight case? The disappearance?
S: Yes. It was on the evening news a couple of times. I didn't really think much about it, to be honest. I didn't make any kind of connection, if that's what you mean. Why should I have? As far as I knew Dylan was fine.
N: When you brought him home did you notice anything unusual?
S: No, nothing. Except maybe that Bonnie seemed in real good spirits and I was glad for that. We had lunch before I set off for home and she was talking away about how she planned to paint the kitchen a brighter color.
N: When did you learn about the murder?
S: Same as everyone else, I guess. Monday night or Tuesday.
N: And did you make any connection?
S: No. Nothing. As far as I knew there was no reason to.
N: If we could, I'd like to talk a little more about Bonnie. What was the breakup of her marriage like?
S: Ugly is the best word for it, but I'm glad she got out of it. I didn't know him well, but Ray seemed like a real sleazy type. The kind of man who's always bullying and making other people feel small. I can't imagine he was a really good dad. Bonnie took it pretty hard, but I think she's been better off since he left.
N: Do you think she can raise Dylan on her own?
S: I don't think any one person can raise a kid all by themselves, but I prefer it to him having a bad dad. I don't think it matters that he doesn't have a dad right now, he's doing okay with Bonnie and me. Bonnie is having a hard time with it, all right, but I think she's doing okay. She's real supportive of Dylan as much as she can be with her working and all. I think she wants the best for him.
N: All right. Well, thank you very much for talking.
S: Thank you.

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