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Public’s help sought finding woman’s body

VADNAIS HEIGHTS - More than a week after Ramsey County prosecutors charged Timothy James Barr with murder, the Vadnais Heights woman he's accused of killing remains missing. The Ramsey County and Cass County, N.D., sheriff's offices on Monday ask...

VADNAIS HEIGHTS - More than a week after Ramsey County prosecutors charged Timothy James Barr with murder, the Vadnais Heights woman he’s accused of killing remains missing. The Ramsey County and Cass County, N.D., sheriff’s offices on Monday asked the public to help find Michelle Newell’s body.

Newell, 45, was last seen and heard from Aug. 29.

Authorities suspect Barr, 51, killed Newell by running her over with a car and then disposed of her body, based on comments he made to police informants, according to the criminal complaint. Two friends of Newell’s described Barr as a friend she had been spending time with recently.

Authorities say Barr told associates he left Newell’s remains in South Dakota, covered with hay in an abandoned barn or farm building, the Ramsey County sheriff’s office said Monday.

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Authorities say Barr told associates he left Newell’s remains in South Dakota, covered with hay in an abandoned barn or farm building.

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Barr was seen in Cass County, N.D., on Aug. 30 and 31 and had contact with law enforcement there on Aug. 31, before a missing-persons report about Newell was filed. Officials believe Barr headed south through eastern North and South Dakota before returning to the Twin Cities area.

The two sheriff’s offices are asking anyone who lives east of Jamestown, N.D., and Aberdeen, S.D., to search their outbuildings and barns for anything suspicious. They also are asking Twin Cities residents to pass the message along to people who live in those areas or who go hunting there.

The route that Barr took isn’t known and the potential search area “is huge and sparsely populated,” said Ramsey County sheriff’s office inspector Booker Hodges. “That’s the problem.”

Barr did not speak with investigators after his Sept. 20 arrest, according to the criminal complaint.

But Hodges said Newell’s family “deserves closure. If the public could help us with that, we’d be really grateful.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Ramsey County sheriff’s office at 651-266-7320.

Related Topics: RAMSEY COUNTY
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