About two hours after Joseph Delle left for work the morning of Tuesday, January 8, 1991, he called home to make sure Jeremy was awake for school and to tell him that it would be cold that day. Jeremy did dress warmly, putting on a gray sweatshirt over his gray T-shirt, white thermal underwear under his jeans and two pairs of white socks under his brown leather work boots.
But before leaving for school, Jeremy called Nancy N.
It was about 7:30 a.m. when Nancy answered Jeremy’s phone call. She also was about to leave her house for school, but she decided to stay for a few minutes to talk. She listened as Jeremy told her that he and his dad would be moving to Tokyo that day. Their flight was at 3 o’clock, and “he wanted to know,” she said, “that if he came back, that I was going to be there.”
She assured him she would be.
He then told her that he had gotten a ring from his dad’s girlfriend’s house that he would be “putting in a letter for me.” He also “wanted to make sure that I would be OK if he was gone,” she said.
She again assured him she would be.
The conversation left Nancy thinking it was strange that Jeremy and his father would make such a move so abruptly. But on the phone, Jeremy had sounded “so at peace, so much more than I had ever seen him.” He must be relieved that he was getting new start, she concluded.
At about 8:20 that morning, Joseph got a page from Jeremy letting him know that he had arrived at school. It wasn’t until about 9 o’clock that a Richardson High School assistant principal phoned Joseph to tell him that Jeremy was absent from in-school suspension.
Jeremy had arrived on campus, but instead of going to in-school suspension, he ended up at the Eagle’s Nest, a student commons area named for the school mascot. There, he saw Andi Z. sitting at a table with her friend, Jennifer. The two sophomore girls were skipping their first-period study hall. As Jeremy approached them, Andi greeted him.
“Where have you been?” she asked. “I haven’t seen you in weeks.”
Jeremy had been not in his regular math class with Andi since mid-December. Instead of revealing that he had been confined to the in-school suspension program, he told Andi that he had been absent because he was visiting his girlfriend, Michelle, in Houston. He also said that Michelle was pregnant with his child and that he would be moving there soon to be with her.
He then asked Andi for a favor.
“He reaches in his jacket and he pulls out this letter,” Andi recalled. “It was already in an envelope, addressed, but it wasn’t sealed. And he says, ‘Can you mail this for me? I’m not going to be around after school.’”
She replied, “No problem.” Then, she recalled, “he reaches back into his jacket and he pulls out … a diamond ring.” It was the same ring that he had shown Jessica B. when they talked earlier that morning.
Holding the ring in front of her, Andi recalled, “he says, ‘I wanted to do this in front of you,’ putting it [the ring] in the envelope. ‘I wanted you to see this so you knew how important it was to get mailed.’”
He gave the unsealed envelope to Andi and he left.
“He didn’t look disturbed at all,” Andi told police later that day.
Also in the Eagle’s Nest that morning, Jeremy had approached another girl, handed her a cigarette butt and said, “This is mine and something to remember me by.”
After taking the envelope from Jeremy, Andi put it in her purse and went to the restroom to freshen her makeup and fix her hair before second period. There, “I had every intention of reading that letter,” she said. “I reached in [her] bag to get it … and the bell rang.” Faced with a choice of reading the letter or being late to class, she thought to herself, “Well, I’m going to have it all day. I’m not mailing it until the end of the day.” So she put the letter back in her purse and went to her second-period class.
9:40 a.m. – Jeremy comes to class late.
9:47 a.m. – Suicide reported to police
10:30 a.m. – Medical examiner notified
11:00 a.m. – Medical examiner arrives at the scene; Jeremy pronounced dead
12:01 p.m. – Medical examiner orders body to morgue
12:02-12:15 p.m. – Police inspect Jeremy’s locker, #540
12:30 p.m. – Medical examiner transports body by ambulance to morgue
12:50 p.m. – Police attempt to contact Wanda; Joseph already has been contacted, and he notified Wanda's husband
1:20 p.m. – Police arrive at Wanda’s work, after Joseph and his girlfriend; Wanda's husband was expected at 1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. – Medical examiner performs an autopsy on 5-foot-8, 128-pound Jeremy. He had green eyes, straight brown hair and three tattoos: a cross on his upper left chest, a "13" on the back of his left hand, and an unspecified one on his left arm.
1:30-2:15 p.m. – Police notify Wanda of the suicide
4:39 p.m. – Police arrive at Timberlawn to interview Michelle, who tells detectives that she is pregnant, but not by Jeremy
5 p.m. – Police interview interrupted when Michelle sees newscast of Jeremy’s death and becomes emotional.
The Jeremy Story >