MANATEE — Authorities searched a Sarasota home and seized a pickup truck as part of their investigation of the death of a 35-year-old man found this morning near Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. A spokesman described the case as a “gruesome” homicide.
A fire investigation report said the body of Roy Barnes Jr. had been dismembered before being burned.
Bristow said firefighters found the body ablaze after a motorist reported at 5:30 a.m. seeing a fire on the east side of the 7900 block of U.S. 41.
Detectives taped off the area for hours and placed a black barricade around the body as crime scene technicians searched for evidence. Bristow said the body was badly burned, and fingerprints needed to be used to identify the victim. Barnes' name was released shortly after 5 p.m.
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“It is gruesome,” said Bristow. “I can’t think of a time we have ever had somebody deliberately set a body on fire.”
Bristow said the motive for the killing is unknown, but detectives were following early leads that came in from Sarasota.
Based on some of those leads, investigators searched a home on Lalani Boulevard in Sarasota and seized a blue pickup truck parked outside. Bristow said detectives were not sure if the house and vehicle were connected to the case.
Anyone with information on the killing can call the sheriff’s office at 747-3011, or Crimestoppers are (866) 634-TIPS.