CHEVERLY, Md. – With the investigation into the murder of a local mail carrier still wide open a week after he was found shot near the end of his route, dozens of investigators are fanning out around Cheverly on Saturday.
“No piece of information is too small,” says county police officer Nicole Hubbard says. “We’re hoping that anyone that would like to report anything on this crime, that has seen anything, even if they’d like to remain anonymous, will call our crime solvers tip line at 866-411-TIPS.”
Barnette was killed last Saturday night while delivering mail on Reed Street, not far from the Cheverly Metro station. There are not many streetlights in the area.
There is a combined reward from the police and postal inspectors of up to $125,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.
Since Barnette was a federal employee killed while carrying out his duties, anyone prosecuted for the murder could face the death penalty.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service says Barnette was a city carrier assistant who helped deliver overflow mail for other mail carriers.
“Hopefully there’s someone that knows something,” Postal Inspector Frank Schissler says. “It may not be something that happened right immediately before he was killed or after he was killed. It may have occurred on another day, that there could have been some incident that could have led to this.”
He says investigators are exploring all possible leads and motives, including robbery or something having to do with the mail Barnette was assigned for that day.
The vehicle Barnette was driving and other evidence are being analyzed for forensic evidence.
“There’s a lot of evidence to go through, but in addition, as part of the investigation, we are trying to develop new information as well,” Schissler says.
Neighbors say they heard several loud bangs, but that the noises are not unusual in the area since there is a recycling plant nearby where there are sometimes loud blasts.