October 6, 2023

Human remains found in Olive Branch lead to arrest of a Tennessee woman

Mary Apel

On Friday, September 8, while investigating a report of a missing person, Olive Branch Police Department detectives along with DeSoto County Search & Rescue personnel, discovered what appeared to be human remains at a location on Bethel Road in Olive Branch.

Throughout the following days, OBPD detectives worked closely with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, the Mississippi Crime Lab, the DeSoto County Coroner’s Office, along with investigators of the Hardeman County Indiana Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, to not only positively identify the remains, but also determine the circumstances surrounding the victim’s death that resulted in the remains being hidden within Olive Branch.

As a direct result of this collaboration and diligent investigative efforts, detectives with the Olive Branch Police Department and investigators with Hardeman County Sheriff’s Office identified a primary suspect in the suspicious death of this victim and were able to take this suspect into custody with the assistance of Henry County Virginia Sheriff’s Office.

Amanda Bailey Barber, 34, of Saulsberry, Tennessee, has been arrested and charged with murder for the slaying of John Barber, 50, by the Hardeman County Sheriff’s Office, for the crime occurring in Hardeman County. Additionally, she has been charged with desecration of a corpse and tampering with physical evidence by the Olive Branch Police Department.

This remains an active and ongoing investigation that may result in additional charges. If anyone has information related to this incident, please contact the Olive Branch Police Department at 662-892-9400 or the Hardeman County Sheriff’s Department at 731-609-2401.

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