Missouri man charged in 1966 killing in suburban Chicago, based on DNA evidence

May 4, 2024, 8:42 AM

CREVE COEUR, Mo. (AP) — A 79-year-old Missouri man is accused of killing a woman in her suburban Chicago home — a crime that happened nearly six decades ago.

James Barbier was arrested Monday at his St. Louis County home and charged with first-degree murder in the November 1966 death of 18-year-old Karen Snider in Cook County, Illinois.

The break came when police reopened the cold case and sent blood evidence to a lab in December 2022, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The blood matched Barbier’s. Following his arrest, he was extradited to Cook County.

The state’s attorney office said Barbier was released Thursday — prosecutors didn’t seek to keep him in jail because of his age and “physical infirmity.” He is prohibited from leaving Missouri or Illinois and was required to give up his passport and firearms. He faces another court hearing May 21.

It wasn’t clear if Barbier had an attorney. Phone calls to his home on Saturday went unanswered.

Snider’s body was found by her husband, Paul, on the night of Nov. 12, 1966, after he came home late to their house in Calumet City, Illinois, prosecutors wrote in court documents. The couple’s 2-month-old daughter was in a crib, unharmed.

Karen Snider was stabbed about 125 times, according to the medical examiner. Barbier, who worked with Paul Snider at a railroad yard, was arrested in 1966 but never charged. Authorities didn’t say why.

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Missouri man charged in 1966 killing in suburban Chicago, based on DNA evidence