WSAZ - HomePage - Local News, Severe Weather and Breaking News Coverage for West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky

UPDATE: Cause of Death Released in Johnson County Woman's Murder

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 11/6/13 @ 11a.m.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) – The Kentucky State Medical Examiner’s Office has released the cause in the murder of Christina Barnett.

Barnett, 34, of Sitka, in Johnson County was reported missing on September 19.

On September 25, family and friends found her decomposed body in Knott County.

On October 24, Kentucky State Police arrested Gary Ward, 37, of Meally, and charged him with Barnett’s murder.

Knott County Coroner Jeff Blair tells WSAZ.com that Barnett’s death has been ruled “homicide due to unspecified means.”

Blair says that ruling was due to the condition of the body and the circumstances on how it was found.

Blair can’t say when Barnett died due to the ongoing investigation.

Ward is charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence, and abuse to a corpse.

Barnett’s mother told investigators that her daughter was last seen at a gas station in Hazard. Family member also said Barnett was going to London, Ky. with a man.

Barnett's family said they suspected Ward from the beginning.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/25/13 @ 1:31 a.m.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A Johnson County, Ky., man has been arrested and charged with the murder of Christina Barnett.

Kentucky State Police arrested Gary Ward, 37, of Meally, at his home Thursday night.

Ward is accused of killing Barnett, 34, of Sitka.

Barnett was reported missing September 19.

On September 25, family and friends were searching in Knott County and found her decomposed body.

Barnett’s mother told investigators that her daughter was last seen at a gas station in Hazard. Family member also said Barnett was going to London, Ky. with a man.

Ward was arrested after being indicted by a grand jury in Knott County on Thursday.

He is charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence, and abuse to a corpse.

Thursday night, Christina Barnett's family said they suspected Ward from the beginning.

Barnett's mother told our NBC TV partner in Lexington that she believes Ward is the man her daughter met online.

Donna Hale says, "He's been arrested now and everyone is going to know he is the monster that killed my little girl, and it's a relief."

Ward is being held in the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard .

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/17/13 @ 12:26 a.m.
JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The case of a woman who went missing before her body was found along a Knott County roadway as been upgraded to a murder investigation.

The body of Christina Barnett, from Johnson County, was found on Sept. 25 by family members who were searching for her.

Barnett was reported missing on Sept. 19. The investigation is being handled by Kentucky State Police.



UPDATE 10/3/13
LOUISA, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Family and friends gathered Wednesday in Lawrence County to remember a woman found dead after she had been missing for a week.

Visitation and funeral services were held in Louisa for Christina Barnett.

Barnett, 34, of Sitka in Johnson County had been reported missing September 18.

Barnett’s mother told investigators that her daughter was last seen at a gas station in Hazard. Family member also say Barnett was going to London, Ky. with a man.

Family and friends were searching in Knott County and found Barnett's body. They said the body was badly burned and covered by a television.

No cause of death has been released.

"We don't want her memory to die," says Barnett's sister, Michelle Hale, "She was a beautiful person inside and out. The heart she had was just beautiful. Anyone that knew her loved her."

Hale says her family relied on Christina to care for her kids and help her mother with health issues.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 9/26/13 @ 5:15 p.m.
KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A body found in Knott County has been identified as a missing woman from Johnson County.

The Knott County Coroner says Christina Barnett's body was found along Ky. 80 Wednesday afternoon.

Barnett, 34, of Sitka was last seen September 18 in Hazard.

Family and friends were searching for Barnett Wednesday when they say they found her body. They said the body was badly burned and covered by a television.

Barnett’s mother told investigators that her daughter was last seen at a gas station in Hazard. Family member also say Barnett was going to London, Ky. with a man.

Kentucky State Police are not saying how Barnett died.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 9/25/13
KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A body found Wednesday along Ky. 80 in Knott County has a Johnson County family fearing the worst about a missing loved one.

Christina Barnett of Johnson County was last seen Wednesday, Sept. 18, in Hazard. Family and friends were searching for her when they found what they believe is Barnett's body -- badly burned and covered by a television.

Family and friends had been searching for Barnett for days along Ky. 80.

Troopers and the county coroner have not confirmed the identity of the body or any details in the case. The body will be sent to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

Kentucky State Police troopers have not said if foul play is suspected.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 225281572