Woman charged for dismembering a missing person 20 years ago

Justin Barnett

A woman has been arrested for murdering a 23-year-old man that has not been seen since 1995.

Tricia Abney, 40, from Avondale was arrested on July 22 for the murder of Justin Barnett after the Birmingham Police received new tips from a person who said they witnessed the crime scene.

“He stated he had information on a murder that he did not actually witness but walked in on after it happened,” Detective Jonathan Ross told My Fox Alabama.  “It started bothering his conscious……He decided to talk.”

Barnett is believed to have been killed at an apartment in the 7700 block of Sunrise Lane in Birmingham after Abney lured him there to rob him.  Afterwards she and her boyfriend dismembered the body and then buried the remains in Bibb County. 

Tricia Abney

Abney and her boyfriend split up and he moved to Mobile and married and spent the next 20 years living a normal life. 

After the tips came in and the police began to question Abney she confessed to the murder.  The police went to talk to Abney’s old boyfriend on July 22, and he requested an attorney.  He committed suicide soon after.

Ross and his partner Det. Talana Brown who worked on this case created a Facebook page for Cold Cases and were instrumental in bringing this case to a closure. 

“If we can bring closure or justice, that means a lot to a family that is hurting,” Ross told AL.com.

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.