Missing Man Was Killed By Own Gang, Arrest Made in Murder
Walla Walla County law enforcement officers say an arrest has been made in the death of 20-year-old Arcane J. (AJ) Wilkinson of College Place, whose body was found floating in the Walla Walla River by a kayaker January 29th
Authorities now say Wilkinson, who was reported missing December 28th, was shot by members of his own gang. He'd reportedly has a gun stolen by a member of a rival gang. December 16th, Wilkinson and other members of his gang went to North River Shore Road supposedly to retrieve the gun, but it was actually a ploy to get Wilkinson by himself so they could beat him up as punishsment for losing the gun.
Authorities say after a fight, Wilkinson ran about five miles upstream along the river. A gang member fired several shots at him, hitting him, and his body was left at the water's edge.
Over the next few months, the arrested suspect, 28-year-old-Joey C. Barnes, claimed he didn't know where the victim was, and used a variety of ruses to try to make Wilkinson's girlfriend and other family members think that he'd been either kidnapped by a rival gang, or had willingly left or fled the area.
He even used the victim's Facebook page to message Willkinson's sister, to convince her to not report him missing. The investigation finally led to Barnes, and now he is in jail on $1 Million dollars bail, facing Second Degree Murder.