MUNCIE — A Muncie woman found dead on Friday was a defendant in a pending federal criminal case, WRTV Investigates has learned.
The Delaware County Coroner’s office confirmed the deaths of Sarah Barnes, 45, Doug Starr, 76, and Kevin Humphrey, 32.
They were found at a home located at 505 S. Rambler Road in Muncie.
Preliminary reports show all three died from gunshot wounds.
"Final results are pending are forensic, pathologist report and toxicology, which should be back in eight weeks," said Gavin Greene, Delaware County Coroner in an email to WRTV.
Federal prosecutors charged Sarah Barnes on November 15, 2022 with Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute and/or to Distribute Controlled Substances.
Barnes was accused of driving to San Diego, California to purchase methamphetamine and fentanyl with the intent to redistribute in Muncie.
“Barnes concealed the methamphetamine and fentanyl in the door panels of her Ford Explorer for transport back to Muncie, Indiana,” read the charging documents. “Barnes and an individual in Muncie, Indiana, communicated with one another via cell phone about Barnes delivering methamphetamine and fentanyl to Muncie, Indiana.”
The case was set for trial on January 9, 2024.
However, on October 18, 2023, Barnes entered a guilty plea to the federal drug charge.
She had faced a 10-year prison sentence, however, as part of the plea agreement federal prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence at the low end of the guideline range.
The court had not yet set a date for sentencing Barnes, court records show.
A U.S. Department of Justice official released a statement about the death of Barnes.
“Our office was saddened to learn of this tragic incident. The late Sarah Barnes was previously charged in a federal indictment and she was still awaiting trial when she was killed. As with any deceased defendant, the federal charges against her will be dropped. We cannot comment as to whether any of the other deceased individuals were involved in any federal matter.”
WRTV Investigates has reached out to Barnes’ attorney Harold Samuel Ansell, Muncie Police and the FBI for more information.
The FBI provided a statement to WRTV on Tuesday.
"At the request of the Muncie Police Department the FBI provided assistance on this matter," read the FBI statement. "The lead agency in this investigation is the Muncie Police Dept.”