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Family of Trenton Murder Victim Speaks Out

By Emily Cassulo
By ecassulo@wbbjtv.com

TRENTON, Tenn. - It has been almost two weeks since an elderly Trenton man was found dead inside his home. Though an arrest has not been made, there have been new developments.

For the first time, Sylvane Barnett's family spoke with WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News about their loss and their search for answers.

Rev. David Bowens is trying to comfort his wife, Jeanette, the best he can.

"We're concerned because as of the moment, there's a possible murderer running loose here in Gibson County and Trenton, and we have no idea who it is, and it's scary. She's very frightened," Bowens said.

That is because her brother, Sylvane Barnett, was found dead inside his home February 9.

Investigators have since ruled his death a homicide.

"Initially they said he was stabbed to death, but we later found out that he had blunt force trauma to the head and was strangled," Bowens said.

Police said it could be a couple more months before they get the testing results back from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Investigators said they have a person of interest, but have not made an arrest and coinviction.

"Right now we believe that it was somebody that knew him," he said.

But family members said they do not know who could ever do something like that to the 63-year-old Vietnam veteran, and a man considered a good-hearted person by those who knew him.

"I've known Sylvane for years and years and years, and I've never known him to have a cross word with anybody," Bowens said.

For now, all Barnett's family can do is to continue to anxiously wait for answers.

Barnett's family told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News they are hosting a candlelight vigil for him on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church on Gibson Road in Trenton.

Trenton Police said they are offering a $1,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest.