Man Arrested For Allegedly Killing Mother And Dismembering Her Body

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The shooting in Ohio occurred at a tense time with growing outrage against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States
The shooting in Ohio occurred at a tense time with growing outrage against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States AFP / Johannes EISELE

A man has been arrested after police found his mother's dismembered body in a wooden crate during a welfare check.

The accused, Robert Barnes, 36, has been charged with murder and tampering with a corpse in connection to the death of his 72-year-old mother Lucila Barnes.
 
According to the Harris County Sheriff's office, relatives reported her missing and said they had not heard from Lucila since Tuesday. They also informed the police that they tried reaching Lucila at her home but her son showed hostile behavior and confronted them with a firearm. He didn’t let them enter the house, KTRK-TV reported.
 
When deputies reached the residence at Cactus Point, near Cypress North Houston to run a welfare check, Robert gave them conflicting stories and was uncooperative.

"Actually brandished a firearm outside the residence and was not cooperative with investigators when they first arrived on scene," said Sergeant Jason Brown of the Homicide division, according to KHOU. "And wouldn’t let anybody else inside the house. That's what led the deputies to eventually get a search warrant to go inside the house," the officer added.

Once officers executed a search warrant, they found a large amount of blood inside the house. Homicide investigators were called to the scene and located Lucila's body inside a wooden crate in the garage. Investigators believe Robert had built the box.

According to the police, Robert confessed to killing and dismembering his mother, KHOU reported. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez described the case as "sad and horrific" in a Twitter post.

Neighbors of the Barnes family were stunned by the death of Lucila Barnes.

"We just see her out gardening and lawns and that kind of stuff like normal things," a neighbor named Brandon told the outlet. "We were all very neighborly. She was very nice. We got to, we talked to her probably more during the freeze than anything else and everybody, everybody here is super friendly and nice," the neighbor added.
 
The motive behind Lucila's murder is unclear and police are actively investigating the case.

This is not the first time Robert has had a brush with the law. Court document shows the suspect has a violent history dating back to at least 2003, KHOU reported. Robert had previously pleaded guilty to theft of a firearm, found guilty of aggravated assault and convicted of criminal mischief. 
 
In 2016, he threatened a woman with a knife, grabbed her by the hair and forced his fingers inside her mouth to keep her quiet. He was initially charged with aggravated kidnapping, but it was later lowered to a misdemeanor. In 2019, he also threatened to kill his girlfriend.


Police Line

Photo: AFP / Johannes EISELE

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