Woman takes car to escape
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 12:00 AM
A Carthage man who awoke stuck in the mud in his Crown Vic on a remote Neshoba County logging road was so convinced he'd murdered his girlfriend and dogs had dragged her body off that he dialed 911 to report her missing early last Thursday morning, the authorities said.
Hours later, he was charged with kidnapping and raping the woman, who had escaped from the car and run to a nearby house where she took a vehicle that had the keys in the ignition.
Jeromaine Kentory Barnes, 34, of 165 Cedar Circle, Carthage, was charged with sexual battery and kidnapping after he was arrested last Thursday near a wooded area off Road 107 in the Kitchener community of Neshoba County near Sebastopol, said Neshoba County Sheriff's Investigator Ralph Sciple.
Additional charges are expected in Scott County.
Barnes told the authorities he thought dogs had dragged her off and he had left a suicide note apologizing.
The woman called 911 from a residence in the Lake community in Scott County where authorities there believe Barnes seriously injured the victim before kidnapping her last Wednesday, Sciple said.
"They found a large amount of blood in the house and evidence of a struggle," he said. "He forcibly took her from the residence and drove around in Scott and Newton counties and then just over the line into Neshoba."
Barnes drove a 2008 blue Ford Crown Victoria down an old logging road into a wooded area and got stuck, Sciple said.
Authorities charge that Barnes sexually assaulted the woman that night on the logging road and tied her up with a seatbelt, which was recovered from a nearby briar patch.
While Barnes was asleep in the wee hours of the morning, the victim escaped and went to a nearby house in Newton County.
After no one would come to the door, she took a car that had the keys in the ignition and drove it to her ex-husband's house in Scott County and called 911.
The woman was taken to a hospital in Newton County.
Sciple said when Barnes woke up he called 911 because that was the only number he had access to on his cell phone.
He was put through to the Scott County Sheriff's office where he reported the woman missing.
Through additional phone conversations with Barnes, Scott County officials were able to pinpoint his location.
He was arrested before noon Thursday morning following a manhunt by Sheriff's deputies from Neshoba, Scott and Newton counties and the Sebastopol Police Department.
Investigators later learned that Barnes thought he had killed the woman and "some dogs had dragged her body away," Sciple said. "He left a suicide note apologizing for what he had done."
His bond was set at $200,000.
Scott County authorities picked him up Tuesday morning for questioning there, Sciple said.