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Alabama suspect caught in Duncan

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Maxwell Barnes Maxwell Barnes

DUNCAN, Okla._An Alabama woman, wanted for murder, was found in Duncan after leading police on a late-night car chase. Now officers are searching for her passenger.

Early Wednesday, around midnight, police were led on a chase by a burgundy car with Alabama tags from Bois D'Arc Avenue to Highway 7. The chase reached speeds of 100 miles an hour before the driver finally lost control thirty miles later near Ratliff City. That's when those Alabama tags came back to murder suspect Barbara Wood. Officers took her into custody and later learned from an Alabama sheriff that she had a 76-year-old passenger with her when she left that state.

The Butler County Sheriff's Department in Greenville, Alabama said that 76-year-old Maxwell Barnes was in the car with Wood when they left the area and at least in the state of Tennessee. Wood's murder case is being handled back in Greenville, but now Duncan police are entering the investigation as they search for this missing person.

It took Duncan detectives nearly an hour to go through everything that was in Barbara Wood's sedan, searching for clues on where her passenger could be.

"It's like she packed up everything that she needed right then to get away. Some paper documents showing they were in Tennessee and the elderly man was in that vehicle with her at some point in time," said Detective John Byers.

Wood has been on the run for nearly two years after she never showed back up for court for the 2012 murder of a 40-year-old man near Greenville, Alabama. Police said investigators believed she and Maxwell Barnes could've been as far east as Florida before she was seen at a convenience store in Duncan.

Several clues, including bedding pulled from the car with what looks like blood were found. The evidence they pulled from the car will have to be tested an analyzed. In the meantime, it's unclear what her relationship is to Barnes, but while Wood safely sits behind bars, police said finding him is imperative.

"It's mainly just safety and well-being to make sure he's alive. If he's missing on his own free will, that’s up to him but mainly just finding him and making sure he's safe," said Detective Byers.

Barbara Wood will sit in the Stephens County jail until Duncan police and Alabama law enforcement can decide whether she'll face her Oklahoma charges of drug possession, eluding police, and others before she's extradited to Alabama.

If you have any information on where 76-year-old Maxwell Barnes is, you're asked to contact the Duncan Police Department at 580-255-2112.


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