ORONO — State police are hoping the television program “America’s Most Wanted” will help them find a man suspected of killing his mother.
Mark John Barnes, 29, was last seen in Boston at 5 a.m. Dec. 21, about 2 1/2 hours before the body of Barbara Barnes was discovered in her Dryden Terrace apartment.
Detectives sent a packet of information about the case off to the show’s producers Thursday afternoon, according to Lt. J. Darrell Ouellette, who is heading up the investigation of the death of the 59-year-old waitress.
Officials have also requested the FBI notify its fugitive task force to help in the search for the murder suspect, and have given information on Mark Barnes to Boston area media, according to Ouellette.
Barnes was convicted of assaulting his mother in 1998 and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and counseling as part of his probation. An April 1999 warrant said Barnes had violated those conditions, but a District Court judge disagreed and terminated the murder suspect’s probation in July.
Barbara Barnes told family and friends, as well as the police, that her son needed treatment for mental illness and should not be in jail. Mark Barnes repeatedly refused treatment and was financially supported by his mother, according to Barbara Barnes’ co-workers at Pat’s Pizza. He was living at the Link View Motel in Orono up until the day of her death, police said.
Police believe Barnes left the area via taxi after stabbing his mother on Dec. 20. Barbara Barnes kept large amounts of cash on her person and in her home, according to police. Officials have not found a murder weapon nor have they said what kind of weapon might have been used to inflict the multiple stab wounds found on Barbara Barnes’ body.
State police previously have located fugitives through “America’s Most Wanted,” according to spokesperson Stephen McCausland. Three years ago, Jeffrey Sibley, 41, was arrested in a Valley City, N.D., motel four hours after the show aired his profile. Sibley was wanted in connection with the shooting death of 23-year-old Aaron White of Exeter, N.H.
Ouellette said he did not know how soon a segment on Barnes could be produced and aired. However, the Sibley segment was aired in late November 1996, a month after a television crew visited Maine. The warrant for Sibley was issued Aug. 31 of that year.
The nationally televised show is produced by the FOX network and airs at various times. It has resulted in the capture of 595 fugitives since its debut in 1988. The show’s Web site is www.amw.com.