ST. PAUL, Minn. – Volunteer searchers and members of Minnesota Community Policing helped search an area near Irvine Park on Saturday for clues in the disappearance and suspected murder of 45-year-old Michelle Newell of Vadnais Heights.
Fifty one-year-old Timothy Barr was arrested after court documents say he was seen cleaning his car with bleach near Irvine Park last month. Barr was charged with murder in her disappearance after he allegedly told confidential informants he hit and killed her with his car and left her body in North or South Dakota, investigators say.
Barr pleaded guilty to fleeing police. But Ramsey County prosecutors dropped the more serious charges, saying the court lacks jurisdiction because there's no evidence the alleged crimes were committed in Minnesota.
On Saturday, searchers hoped to find clues that would help shed some light on the case.
“There are some areas of concern here that we are searching today,” Chief David Singleton of Minnesota Community Policing said. “I don’t know the family or anyone involved, but I hope someone would be there for me and my family.” Volunteer searcher Greg Giles said.