TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – A massive manhunt is over for people in a Western North Carolina community.
“It’s been a nightmare,” said homeowner Susan Arnold. “Keeping your doors locked, making sure your kids don’t go out without you right beside them because somebody killed someone, that’s pretty bad.”
Dozens of first responders swarmed her neighborhood in the Rosman area of Transylvania County this week.
They were looking for murder suspect Joseph Barker.
Catawba County deputies say Barker shot his wife to death at their home in Vale on Tuesday.
“It kinda hurt my heart because of what’s happened in my life,” said Arnold.
His car was found wrecked off Highway 64 around 5:00 a.m. Wednesday.
“I heard something loud, you know, but I didn’t know what it was,” recalled Arnold, who said the wreck happened just below her house.
Local and state law enforcement agents scoured the area for a man they said was armed and dangerous.
After searching the perimeter near where Barker’s car wrecked deputies expanded the search area.
The Transylvania County Sheriff found Barker about a mile from the wreck.
“Just boots on the ground – a lot of good old fashioned police work,” said Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jeremy Queen.
He said Barker had spent 33 hours in the woods.
“Sheriff Mahoney and his team – he had led a team into the woods – from the new highway. It appears as though they kind of surprised him,” said Captain Queen. “We’re not a hundred percent sure. He might have been resting.”
The folks who live nearby can rest easier in their homes.
“I’m thankful that they were there and they got the job done, you know,” said Arnold. “I’m blessed with that. I’m so thankful to the good Lord that they actually caught him. ”
Barker was taken to the hospital.
Online records show he’s now booked into the Catawba County jail, charged with murder.