Missouri Man Charged in 1966 Suburban Chicago Killing After Decades-Long Cold Case Solved by DNA

Cold Case Heats Up After Nearly 60 Years

A 79-year-old Missouri man, James Barbier, was arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of 18-year-old Karen Snider in Calumet City, Illinois. The brutal crime occurred in November 1966, but thanks to advancements in DNA technology, a break in the cold case has finally come.

DNA Evidence Leads to Arrest

Authorities reopened the investigation in December 2022 and re-examined evidence from the crime scene. Blood samples were sent to a lab for analysis, and the results matched Barbier’s DNA. This crucial piece of evidence led to his arrest at his St. Louis County home.

Barbier Released Due to Age and Health Concerns

Following his extradition to Cook County, Illinois, Barbier was released on Thursday. Due to his age and reported “physical infirmity,” prosecutors did not request his continued detention. However, strict pre-trial conditions were imposed. He is prohibited from leaving Missouri or Illinois, must surrender his passport and firearms, and is scheduled for another court hearing on May 21st.

A Gruesome Discovery and Lingering Questions

Court documents reveal that Karen Snider was found stabbed approximately 125 times by her husband upon his return home on the night of the murder. Tragically, their two-month-old daughter was unharmed and found in a crib near the scene.

Interestingly, James Barbier, a colleague of Paul Snider at a railroad yard, was briefly arrested in 1966 but never charged. The reason behind this remains unclear.

Seeking Justice for Karen Snider

As the investigation continues and Barbier awaits his next court date, a sense of hope for closure emerges for Karen Snider’s family after all these years. The power of DNA technology has proven its worth once again, bringing a suspect to justice and potentially offering some long-awaited answers.