Photo by: Duval County jail booking photo
William 'Ruben" Ebron, Jr.
William 'Ruben" Ebron, Jr.
The following report is republished with permission from The Florida Star.
William “Ruben” Ebron agreed to sit and talk with The Florida Star Newspaper. At this time, he is the only suspect in the disappearance of 21 month old Lonzie Barton. Chief Tom Hackney says his focus is on Ebron because he was the last person with Lonzie and he does not believe the story told about his car being stolen.
Ebron is in isolation and is not allowed to see or talk with anyone other than family, including his girlfriend. Since his arrest he has talked with his father and now The Florida Star.
The first question we asked was “why do you think you are the only suspect? “
Ebron: Because they say I am the last person to be with Lonzie.
The question was "why", so "because is the expected response. "They say" is to quote another, and not an embedded confession.
Florida Star: Chief Hackney is saying you are refusing to cooperate with the investigation. Are you withholding information?
Ebron: No, I told them everything I know. They want to talk about drugs and other things other than finding Lonzie. I did some things in the past that does not look good and I did not want to talk about them. I answered all of their questions about Lonzie. I want Lonzie to be found, he needs to be with his mother.
The subject qualified his cooperation in the yes or no question with "no"; keep in mind that "yes or no" questions are reduced stress for deception and are not reliable. It is is words after "no" that are important.
He stated that they wanted to talk about "drugs and other things" but does not tell us what "other things" consist of. He refused to talk about "them"; that is, things in his past that does not "look good."
This is to say that police believe that drugs and "other things" are related to the child's disappearance and this is where his cooperation ended. Note that there is no talk of immunity. He does not say that not related to Lonzie's disappearance, only that they are "other things than finding Lonzie.
This is to indicate that he is willing to talk about finding Lonzie, but not willing to talk about what caused Lonzie's disappearance.
This suggests possible knowledge of what "things" caused Lonzie to disappear.
Florida Star: Why did you leave the car running with the children inside?
Ebron: We were getting ready to go pick up my girlfriend from work and I remembered an item and decided to go back into the house to get it. The five year old followed me into the house. I took the keys but left the car running to allow me to open the front door. We often leave the car running because you have to raise the hood to start it the first time. After that, there is a switch inside. Once you turn the car off you have to go back under the hood to start it. Lonzie was asleep and the five year old was playing games on my phone. She wanted to stay there so I left her watching TV with my roommate. I had to re-charge the phone before being able to make the 911 call after I discovered the car was missing.
We often say to investigators, "your answer is found in the blues"; that is, the blue highlighting used to indicate the highest level of sensitivity in language.
When a person is asked "what happened" but explains why they did something without being asked, it indicates that this portion of the statement is extremely sensitive to them. When there is more than just one word in blue, it is said to be a 'cluster of blues' and the answer to the crime is found there. The need the subject has to explain why he did what he did is often where our deception is found. Here, we have 3 "blues" close together as he explains why he did what he did while not being asked making it the most sensitive part of his statement and where guilt lies, via missing information.
Note he even gives the reason why he took the keys, though he was not asked.
Note the entrance of "doors" in his statement is often associated with sexual abuse. Since drugs were part of his equation and "things" besides drugs, it may be that both drugs and possible sexual abuse are part of this crime.
Note the need to explain what he usually does
Note that this need is not what "he" usually does, but "we" usually do. This is distancing language since he was not with any other adult. This is to 'share' guilt or responsibility.
Note "the five year old" has no name. Note the need to explain why he left her, although he was not asked.
This is where information is deliberately withheld by the subject.
Note the passive language of "I discovered the car missing";
Note also what is missing from his "discovery": the child.
He discovered the "car missing" but not the child missing. This is a signal that he knows where the child is.
Note the need to explain the delay in calling 911.
The need to explain is all without being asked, making it extreme sensitivity in language.
Had this same person interviewed DeOrr's parents, we would have known far more than we do.
Florida Star: Is there anything you have not told the investigators that would help find Lonzie?
Ebron: No, they wanted to search the car so I let them. They were able to check my phone on the spot. I told them there were no passwords, no locks. The picture for the Amber Alert was off my phone. They talked with me about four or five hours that morning. This may sound selfish but they are trying to make me look like a monster and I got to start looking at my defense.
1. Note the need to explain why he "let" the police search his vehicle.
2. Note that he does not say he "let" them check his phone.
3. Note "they talked with me" uses "with" between himself and the police, indicating distance. There is no "we", that is, unity, cooperation, in the four to five hour interview. It was during this interview that the distance existed.
In every investigative interview, the Interviewer will have one or two impressions: That the subject is either working with the Interviewer to gain information, or the subject is working against or at distance, with the interviewer, to hinder or slow the flow of information.
His own wording tells us that he did not work for the flow of information.
Note that "monster" is not using their language, but his own description. This is likely very closely associated with both drugs and "other things" he did not want to talk about, that he sees as a "monster"; police should seek to learn, even if not charged or prosecuted, any links to child pornography or molestation. "Monster" is not the language of police, but his own. "The last to see him alive" is him quoting police, but "monster" is his own description. This is to say that he considers that what happened to the child will make him look like a "monster" and the defense is "my defense", that is, possessive pronoun taking ownership of what is his.
Here he tells us that he needs a defense, without issuing a reliable denial about causing the child's disappearance.
Florida Star: Who else should they be looking for?
Note the question is "who?"
Ebron: We had been warned to watch out for Lonzie's father as he may try to follow us to find out where we lived. I don't know .I just want Lonzie home with his mother.
He did not give a direct answer for himself, but began with "we had been warned...." but then says, "I don't know."
Note he does not want Lonzie back for himself, but only "with" (distancing language) his "mother" which avoids the child's mother's name, indicative of a bad relationship at this point in the statement.
There is an overwhelming sensitivity in the statement regarding the child's disappearance that shows the subject to be deceptive, specifically, about the event where the child went missing, in the vehicle.
He does not say that he did not cause the child's disappearance, therefore, we cannot say it for him. He adds "drugs" and "other things" to the disappearance of the child which police will likely uncover a link between these things and what caused the child to go missing.