Newton County lake becomes center of murder investigation

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New clues have been pulled from a Newton County lake which could be instrumental in one, perhaps two murders in Monroe.

“We’ve been in and around the lake for the last few days,” said Chief Keith Glass with the Monroe Police Department.

The search in the water and around the area of Lake Varner in Newton County has been relentless for evidence connected to a murder on Sunday afternoon May 6.

Investigators said gunfire broke out at an apartment on Tanglewood Lane which left 33-year-old Shaun Barfield dead.

Chief Glass said the lake search is key in the murder investigation.

“Our efforts have yielded some items we feel are related to the Barfield case,” said Chief Glass.

The chief did not say exactly what items were recovered at Lake Varner but he did say there is a felony murder warrant for the suspect in that case, 24-year-old Qumentiz McKibben.

The chief also told FOX 5 News McKibben could help clarify what happened on Saturday, May 5, at a Cinco De Mayo gathering also on Tanglewood Lane, where 43-year-old Darrin Barnes was shot to death.

“Yes, he is. I think he could clear up several things,” said Chief Glass in response to questions by FOX 5’s George Franco on if Mr. McKibben is key to the case.

The chief said the search at Lake Varner involved the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and Hall County Sheriff’s divers.

Chief Glass said they will return to the lake on Wednesday in the ongoing murder investigation.

The Chief had a message for McKibben.

“Look him in the eye if he’s watching and tell him it’s in your best interest to surrender to law enforcement,” said Chief Glass.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of McKibben is asked to contact the Monroe Police Department.

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