Suspect in grisly murder arrested in Ohio

Robert Barnes
Robert Barnes

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Murder suspect Richard Lambert was apprehended Thursday night in Cincinnati, Ohio. Harrison County investigators are now headed to Ohio, where Lambert will be charged with capital murder. Lambert is wanted for the murder of 79-year-old Robert Barnes, whose remains were found in Pass Christian.

Red Creek Road in Long Beach is lined with well-tended gardens, older homes, and neighbors who look out for each other. But a horrible murder in a small, blue house rocked this tranquil, close-knit neighborhood.

"It was heartbreaking," said Linda Favre.  "As the news kept coming in, kept coming in, it was like 'God, I can't believe this! I just can't believe this happened out here!'"

Linda Favre lives just a few doors down from the house where Barnes lived.

"He was just a good neighbor you know.  He worked around his house.  We used to see him doing landscape work like around Burger King and the chicken place in Gulfport and we'd always wave at him and he'd wave back," said Favre.

Mr. Barnes was a retired landscaper and lived alone after his wife and son passed away.

"They were very fine people," said Eva Reynolds.

Reynolds remembers Mr. Barnes as a loving family man, hard worker, and caring neighbor.

"He did work for people on Scenic Drive in Pass Christian. Practically every day he went down there, mowed and cleaned yards and did things. And when he mowed the yards, he would pick up the good oak leaves and bring them up here for my garden," said Reynolds.

Reynolds can't understand why such a kind, gentle man was stabbed and dismembered. His body parts were discovered in a bay on Tuesday. And what was more shocking was that the murder suspect, 31-year-old Richard Lambert, was staying at an inn right across the street from Mr. Barnes' house.

"It was frightening," Reynolds said. "It's just upsetting knowing that someone like that was living in our neighborhood and we didn't know about it."

Neighbors say the crime has left them with grief, and for Linda Favre, regrets.

"We're sorry and we'll regret it the rest of our lives," Favre said.  "Maybe if we did have closer ties to this man, that maybe would have prevented something like this from happening to him."

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