This is a continuation of an ongoing story. Please click category Romero Trial on the main page, located to the right of the screen, to read any/all previous posts on the topic.
The police officers outside explained they’d gotten a call they had to investigate and asked if they could come inside and look around. The front door was secured with a keyed double-lock and it took some time for Tim’s grandmother to get it unlocked for them, but she opened the door and let them in. She had nothing to hide, after all.
Several officers secured the house – meaning they moved all the inhabitants including the children to one space so they could look around without interference or interruption – and while some uniformed officers watched the family, others poked around.
Not one of them went out to check the garage. They did, however, indicate to Tim and Frankie that the basement needed to be cleaned up or they’d have to call social services. The mess down there was apparently not considered an acceptable environment for kids to live in.
They didn’t find a single firearm on their search. Tim was on probation, so that made some sense, but what they didn’t know is Tim’s mother – the drug addict – had come by sometime Saturday and taken his gun with her “for safekeeping.”
She testified she found it in the house. Others testified she was called upon to take it.
October 24, 2010.
Tim went across town to Alicia’s mother’s house first thing in the morning. His reason, as stated in one of his video interviews, was to discuss how he could help her find her missing daughter. While he was there, police arrived and asked him to come to the station to have his official statement taken.
During this first interview, the detective asked Tim a lot of questions about who was at the party and how to get in touch with them. Eventually, he asked Tim to show him exactly where M. lived in Westminster. I know they did this to build a timeline of events, i.e., to answer the question of how long it takes to drive between Tim’s house and M.’s., but Tim didn’t seem to understand that. He agreed and off they went.
About a block away from M.’s house, Tim asked them to pull the car over because he felt sick. He then stepped out of the vehicle and vomited. Once he seemed able to continue, they carried on their task, and Tim pointed out the house as they passed. They didn’t stop, nor did they engage M. or anyone else who lived there during the foray.
Tim asked if they could drop him off at a convenience store near his house and the officers obliged. When he got out of the car, however, he started acting all kinds of weird; he started yelling, making noises, flailing his arms, and generally acting like a Tourette sufferer.
The officers eventually calmed him down and talked him into a ride directly to his house.
In the late afternoon/early evening of that very same day, police once again asked Tim to come downtown and talk to them, so off he went. Unbeknownst to him, officers were also once again headed to his grandmother’s house to have a look around. This time it was Frankie who gave them permission to come in.
More importantly, though, this time they checked the garage.
One of the first officers on the scene described opening the garage door and getting blasted in the face with the smell of bleach. That’s all police needed, because when there is suspicion a crime has occurred, a full search warrant is easy to get.
Officers secured the entire property, front to back and side to side, and waited for investigators – the pros with the gloves and evidence-gathering knowledge – to arrive.
Tim was once again in a small room downtown being interviewed by yet another detective. This time, however, police had an inkling he knew more than he was letting on.
The entire 90+ minute interview was screened in court, and I have to say it was disturbing, but not just because Tim was guilty and he knew it. What bothered me is the way he wavered back and forth between saying he felt guilty about letting Alicia walk away and outright blaming J. for leaving the girl behind, all the while knowing exactly where the poor girl was.
Then again, Tim isn’t exactly the brightest crayon in the box … at one point he was allowed a brief smoke break and was overheard on his phone outside saying, very agitatedly: “Tell them it’s MY blood on the couch!”
The interviewing detective wasn’t supposed to allow Tim to use his phone at all, but that’s how he found out police were busy searching his house while he was indisposed.
And the person who overheard him? None other than Alicia’s mother.
She immediately reported it to detectives inside.
To be continued.