SARASOTA — A Sarasota woman has been arrested on a charge of accessory to murder after authorities say she drove the dismembered body of Roy Barnes Jr. from Sarasota to where authorities found his body dumped and lit on fire in Manatee.
Sarasota police arrested Lori S. Blaisdell, 50, of North Lake Drive, as the driver of a pick-up truck seen by a witness driving away from where Barnes body was found July 22.
The witness spotted what he first reported as a “rubbish fire” behind businesses on U.S. 41, at Somerset Avenue adjacent to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.
When firefighters approached the blaze, they determined it to be human body parts on fire. Detectives later determined Barnes, 35, had been shot and killed by a shotgun blast, chopped into 10 pieces and stuffed in garbage bags.
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Authorities are still searching for two men wanted on murder warrants in connection with Barnes’ killing. Police say Corderia Davis, 19, and Jemar Davis, 17, may have fled the area and could possibly be in their native Arkansas. They are believed to be armed and dangerous.
Sarasota Police Lt. Pat Ledwith declined to say how Blaisdell knew the Davis brothers or how she became connected to the case. Even though Barnes’ body was found in Manatee, Sarasota police have taken over the investigation because detectives have determined the killing took place in the city, Ledwith said.
On the day Barnes’ remains were discovered, the motorist who first spotted the fire saw her truck being driven from the area and took her license tag down. Within hours Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies had seized her truck and began forensics tests on blood found in the bed of the truck, according to search warrant affidavits.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the Davis brothers is asked to call the Sarasota Police Department at (941) 954-7070.