Local News

Police Await DNA Results Before Making Arrest In Spring Hope Murder

Posted January 16, 2004 4:02 a.m. EST

— Police said they are just a test result away from arresting someone for the murder of a Spring Hope woman, but they cannot bring him in without a DNA match. Authorities said they are not sure when those results will come in.

Many in the quiet town of Spring Hope are still on edge about an unsolved murder. Yolanda Barfield was found strangled in her car in a parking lot in December. Her mother said she and the three children Barfield left behind want closure.

"The longer it takes, the worse it gets for me and them," said Jerlene Carroll, Yolanda's mother.

Carroll said she and her family just got more frustrating news from police.

"They said they had a suspect, but they were waiting for some testing to come back on it," she said.

Spring Hope police confirm they have a suspect, but officers cannot arrest him until they get DNA test results. They said the evidence is stuck in a backlog at the SBI lab. The lead investigator in Barfield's case said authorities have even asked investigators to rush the tests, but there are still no results.

Spring Hope investigators said while they have not picked up their suspect in the case, they are watching him closely to make sure he does not run. They also said they are confident they can make a quick arrest as soon as the test results come in.

Carroll said she and her grandchildren will not feel safe until that happens.

"I'm very concerned for my life and for their lives to have someone out there commit a murder like that and they're still walking," she said.

A representative from the SBI confirmed they have a rush order for evidence in Barfield's case. Agents said DNA testing is under way and the results could come back as early as next week.

The Raleigh office of the State Bureau of Investigation was recognized Friday for its crime-fighting tools and technology. It is the first in the country to be accredited under new standards put in place last year. The SBI lab processed evidence from more than 34,000 cases last year.