BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Birmingham Police Department released information Monday that they obtained a capital murder warrant for the arrest of 40-year-old Tricia Abney in relation to a missing persons case from 1995 that police have now ruled as a homicide.
23-year-old Justin Barnett was reported missing in June of 1995 and never seen or head from again according to a press release from the BPD. His remains have not been found, but police said in a press conference Monday that they know the general area of the remains.
The BPD Cold Case Unit received information from a witness in January of 2015 which resulted in new leads in the case.
Evidence found during the investigation led to Barnett being declared the victim of a homicide.
Detective Jonathon Ross with the Birmingham Police said Monday in a press conference that two suspects murdered Barnett in 1995 in a Birmingham apartment complex in the 7700 block of Sunrise Lane. Reportedly, police believe at the time that the motive was robbery.
Upon Cold Case Unit detectives presenting their findings to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, a capital murder warrant was issued for Abney’s arrest. Abney was arrested on Wednesday, July 22, 2015.
The second suspect committed suicide on last Wednesday, July 22 according to Ross.
Ross said the witness saw Barnett’s body or remains inside the apartment, and was able to tell police certain things that happened inside the apartment. Ross believes the witness wanted his conscience to be cleared, so he came forward. The witness will not face charges.
Ross said that Abney made a statement that she did indeed participate in the murder of Barnett. He said they know Barnett was murdered inside the Birmingham apartment, then transported in a vehicle out to Bibb County, where police believe his remains are buried. “We know the location, we just can’t find the correct spot at this present time,” Ross said.
Police ask that anyone with information pertaining to the case contact the BPD Homicide Unit at 205-254-1764 or Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.
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