News Release

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Trooper Jody Sims
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Kentucky State Police
Post 13, Hazard
(606) 435-6069
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Meally Man Charged with Murdering Christina Barnett

Date of News Release: 10/24/2013

(Hazard, KY) - On Thursday, October 24, 2013, at approximately 7:16 p.m., an arrest warrant was served on 37 year old Gary W. Ward, of Meally, in Johnson County, Kentucky.

The indictment warrant was issued today, after a Knott County Grand Jury heard evidence presented to them by a KSP detective, on October 10, 2013. The case presented stemmed from a homicide investigation into the September 2013 death of 34 year old Christina Barnett, of Sitka, in Johnson County. Barnett's body was discovered in Knott County on September 25, 2013.

Gary Ward was arrested at his residence, without incident, and charged with one count each of murder, tampering with physical evidence, and abuse of corpse. Ward was transported to the Kentucky River Regional Jail, in Hazard, where he is currently lodged. This case is continuing by KSP Post 13 detectives.

Original News Release Below:


Update to Body Discovered in Knott County

Date of News Release: 10/16/2013

(Hazard, KY) - Detectives with Kentucky State Police Post 13, in Hazard, are presently investigating the discovery of a body in Knott County as a homicide. The body of Christina Barnett, 34 years old, of Sitka, KY, was located just east of Hindman, on September 25, 2013. Initially, the body was sent to the Kentucky State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy and positive identification. Preliminary results from the autopsy confirmed the identity as that of Christina Barnett. Barnett was reported missing to KSP, by family members, on September 19, 2013. A search party located the body on September 25, 2013, at which time detectives initiated a death investigation. Once the preliminary autopsy report and identification of the victim were confirmed, the death investigation transitioned to a homicide. The investigation is continuing by KSP Post 13 detectives. Further updates will follow as they become available.

Original News Release Below:


Body Discovered in Knott County

Date of News Release: 09/26/2013

(Hindman, KY) - On Wednesday, September 25, 2013, at approximately 2:00 pm, Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard received a call that a body had been discovered just off of KY 80, approximately one mile east of the Hindman exit. Troopers arrived at the scene; a wooded area accessed by a gravel road, at the nine mile marker on KY 80 eastbound, and was led to the location of the body by subjects who were in the area searching for a missing relative. The body, which appeared to be that of a white female, was recovered by members of the Ball Creek Fire and Rescue Squad, and was removed from the scene by the Knott County Coroners Office. The body was taken to the State Medical Examiners Office for an autopsy and positive identification. This incident remains under investigation by Post 13 detectives.

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