Deputies find car involved in deadly hit-and-run crash

New developments in the search for a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed an elderly man who was out walking his dog Monday.

Deputies have recovered the car that struck 66-year-old Marvin Barnes near his Statham home and have located the car's owner. They also said they've identified some persons of interest.

“We have some suspects but we are not releasing that information now. We have a couple of people of interest we are looking at if you will,” said Sheriff Jud Smith, Barrow County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Smith said his detectives were following strong leads in the search for the hit and run driver who struck and killed Marvin Barnes Monday.

“Mr. Barnes was just walking his dog in his yard minding his own business and gets struck and this person walks away and doesn’t stop so we are going to find this person I can tell you that,” the sheriff said.

The 66-year-old retiree was walking his dog along a stretch of Jefferson Road in Statham at around 8 a.m. Monday morning when a passing motorist left the road and struck him, killing the elderly man and his dog.

Monday afternoon, deputies discovered the vehicle abandoned behind a house about a mile from the crime scene. They tracked down the car’s owner who was already in jail in Walton County when Barnes was killed.

“The owner of the home cooperated with us. We did a search warrant on the house, search warrant on the car and have processed that since. We are hoping pieces of evidence from that car can help us trace back who was there,” said Sheriff Smith.

Recovering the vehicle was a big break for detectives who have also collected surveillance video and other evidence the sheriff is confident will lead them to the suspect.

“And it’s expanding not only through Barrow but into Jackson County. We are following some leads, several leads to find out who the driver was of the vehicle and if there was any passengers in the vehicle as well,” the sheriff said.

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