UPDATE: Suspect charged with murder of KY woman - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Suspect charged with murder of KY woman

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CHARLESTON, WV -

UPDATE:

Kentucky authorities have made an arrest in the death of a Kentucky woman whose body was discovered in September. On Thursday, Oct. 24, an arrest warrant was served on 37-year-old Gary W. Ward, of Meally, in Johnson County, Kentucky.

The warrant was issued after a Knott County Grand Jury heard evidence presented to them by a Kentucky State Police Detective on Oct. 10. The case stemmed from the September death of 34-year-old Christina Barnett, of Sitka, in Johnson County. Barnett's body was discovered in Knott County on Sept. 25. 

13 News spoke with Barnett's mother Thursday evening. "I'm just relieved that he's finally behind bars. We had to keep our mouths shut for a month now. I'm just relieved," said Donna Hale.

Hale said that Barnett met Ward on Facebook and they dated for several months. She said that her daughter told her that she was going on a road trip to London, KY, and would be back later in the night, but she never returned. Hale said that Ward first used a fake name on Facebook and later told Barnett his real name.

Ward was arrested at his residence, without incident according to a news release from Kentucky State Police. He was charged with one count each of murder, tampering with physical evidence, and abuse of corpse. Ward was transported to the Kentucky River Regional Jail, in Hazard, where he is currently lodged.

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UPDATE:

The body of a woman found on Route 80 in Knott County, KY has been identified.

Christina Barnett's body was found about 2 p.m. on Sept. 25.  Barnett was reported missing after leaving her home on Sept. 18.

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ORIGINAL:

An investigation is underway after a body was found in Kentucky.

According to troopers with the Kentucky State Police, the body of a white female was found by family members searching for Christina Barnett along Route 80 in Knott County around 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Christina Barnett was reported missing after leaving her home in Sitka, KY on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

The body has not been officially identified.  An autopsy will be performed Thursday.