'I don’t know where she is': What accused killer told police
MURDER accused Brenden Jacob Bennetts insisted Jayde Kendall would "come back" when cops asked him about the missing 16-year-old.
The Gatton schoolgirl disappeared on Friday August 14, 2015.
At Brisbane Supreme Court this week, Mr Bennetts, 21, he pleaded guilty to interfering with a corpse, and to manslaughter.
But he pleaded not guilty to murdering Jayde.
After Jayde's disappearance, and before her body was found on August 27, homicide detectives Christopher Knight and Murray O'Connell interviewed Mr Bennetts.
"I don't know where she is. I swear, if I knew, I would tell you guys," Mr Bennetts told police.
"She'll come back when she's ready."
Mr Bennetts claimed he consoled Jayde when she was upset.
"I said 'nothing lasts forever' and 'even the darkest points will end eventually. She seemed to like that'."
He claimed Jayde wanted to go to Brisbane.
"Something about seeing the city lights at night," Mr Bennetts added.
The detectives asked if Mr Bennetts saw Jayde hurt herself.
"I saw a cut on her leg," was the reply. "She pulled up her tracksuit pants and I was…'Why are you doing that to yourself'?"
Earlier, Mr Bennetts was confronted with CCTV footage showing him near the cash machine where money was taken from schoolgirl Jayde Kendall's account.
In a statement Mr Bennetts gave police on August 18, he said the last time he saw Jayde was at the McDonald's restaurant where she worked, before the day she disappeared.
He told police the pair had a conversation which ended somewhat awkwardly.
"I've never been very good at conversing with other people."
Mr Knight told the court he confronted Mr Bennetts with a CCTV image taken at or near the ATM in Gatton.
Mr Knight said Mr Bennetts denied the person depicted was him.
"I said 'I believe that is you and I believe you made two withdrawals from the ATM'."
According to the detective, Mr Bennetts then admitted it was him, and added: "She gave me her PIN for petrol money'".
Mr Bennetts said he drove Jayde to a train station in Ipswich, then drove back to Gatton.
He said Jayde left the car and said she would make contact when she calmed down.
But Jayde's phone data showed she never left Gatton.
Mr Bennetts then said Jayde was upset for reasons unknown to him and said "she needed to get away".
He said at one point on Friday August 14, Jayde went up a water tower and he approached "to try and talk her down because she was agitated".
The Crown this week rejected the manslaughter claim.
The trial continues.