Homicide suspect taken into custody in Transylvania Co.



Catawba County Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed on social media that a wanted homicide suspect has been taken into custody.

According to a post on Catawba County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page, Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office located Joseph Barker at around 1:40 p.m. Thursday and took him into custody.

Capt. Jeremy Queen, with the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office, said a news conference has been set for 3 p.m. 

Queen said he was found a short distance away from the initial crash site in Rosman.

TRANSYLVANIA Co., N.C. (WSPA) — The search for a murder suspect entered its second day Thursday in Transylvania County. 

Local and federal authorities are searching for Joseph “Joey” Barker. 

A car registered to Barker was discovered wrecked just before 5 a.m. Wednesday on Old Rosman Highway, said Chief Deputy Eddie Gunter with the Transylvania County Sheriffโ€™s Office. 

Barker, 47, is wanted for murder in a shooting Tuesday in Vale, NC, according to the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office.

He’s considered armed and dangerous. 

Barker is 6 feet 1 inch tall with short, brown hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing a red shirt and tan shorts or pants.

Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jeremy Queen said it’s possible that Barker was seriously hurt in the car crash. 

Law enforcement responded to nearby schools and all schools were placed on a soft lockdown.

Drones, a North Carolina Highway Patrol helicopter, as well as K9 units assisted in the search for Barker.

Transylvania County deputies urge residents in the area to stay inside, report suspicious activity and to not leave their keys in their cars.

Robert Crowe has lived in Transylvania County for nearly 60 years. 

“We have got a super good Sheriff’s Department and real good law enforcement, Iโ€™m not worried at all my family safe.โ€ 

At a news conference on Wednesday, officials said they don’t believe that Barker has left the area and said they had been searching in a heavily wooded area.

Officials requested more manpower, including more K9s, to assist in the search for Barker, who’s believed to have experience surviving in wooded areas.

Deputies think Barker has connections to Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, and Illinois. 

“Weโ€™re trying to expand our reach as far as we can now, These are mainly family and friends that we have established via investigative means,” Capt. Queen said Thursday. “We still donโ€™t know if he has left the area for sure or not.”

A $2,000 award is offered for information leading to Barker’s arrest.

Anyone with information of his whereabouts is asked to call 911 or 828-884-3188. 

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