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home : news : law enforcement August 23, 2019

4/25/2019 3:27:00 PM
Murder Suspect In Custody
Photo Courtesy Catawba County Sheriff's Office
Photo Courtesy Catawba County Sheriff's Office


Catawba County Sheriff's Office
Press Release


NEWTON, N.C. – On Thursday, April 25 at approximately 1:40 p.m. the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office located Joseph Barker and took him into custody. More Information will be forthcoming.

The Initial Call on April 23 at 10:34 p.m.: Catawba County Communications received a call from a third party alleging that their family member was being held at gunpoint in their home at 4700 Plateau Road in Vale, located in the southwestern area of Catawba County.

The caller reported that Joseph Barker had his wife barricaded in a room in their home with a gun. Deputies and the Catawba County Special Tactics and Response Team responded to 4700 Plateau Road where it was determined that Joseph Barker had fled the scene, and a female was found deceased inside the home. The deceased female has been identified as Crystal Johnson Barker, aged 43, of 4700 Plateau Road Vale, NC.



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During the investigation, Deputies determined Joseph Barker may have left the residence in a black 1999 Toyota Camry.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation were contacted for assistance and also responded to the scene. The NCSHP shut down the road in the immediate area.

At approximately 5 a.m. on Wednesday April 24, a black Toyota Camry registered to Crystal Barker was found wrecked and abandoned on Highway 64 outside of Rosman, N.C. in Transylvania County.

A search for Joseph Barker ensued by the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office, aided by the US Marshals Service, Homeland Security, the NC State Bureau of Bureau of Investigation, and the NCSHP, along with other local emergency service agencies. Catawba County Sheriff’s Deputies and the Sheriff’s Office Special Enforcement Group also deployed to Transylvania County to aid in the search for Barker.

A warrant charging Joseph Barker with the murder of Crystal Barker was issued in Catawba County.

Sheriff Brown commented: “I would like to send a huge thank you to the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office, US Marshals Service, SBI, NCSHP, and all of the agencies involved in the search for Joseph Barker. They all worked tirelessly through the night and day to find Joseph Barker and to bring him to justice.”


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