Boyfriend of missing pregnant Bethany woman arrested - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Boyfriend of missing pregnant Bethany woman arrested

Bethany_The boyfriend of a missing pregnant woman has been arrested on a first-degree murder complaint, police here said.

Eric K. Phan surrendered to authorities at his attorney's office Wednesday night, shortly after a news conference announcing a warrant for his arrest, Bethany Police Chief Neal Troutman said.

The arrest warrant for Phan was issued in connection with the disappearance of Lauren Barnes, who has been missing since Friday night. Bethany police obtained the warrant based on information gathered during their investigation.

Family members said Barnes, 20, who is five months pregnant, told her family that night she was going to Eldon Lyon Park to meet the father of her baby, police said.

Her car was found at the park Sunday afternoon, but family members have not heard from her.

When officers talked to Phan on Sunday, he said he went to the park to meet Barnes to talk about her pregnancy, but he didn't see her and left, Troutman said.

Phan also told police he did not think he was the father of the baby.

Meanwhile, about 300 volunteers showed up at Bethany city hall to help search for Barnes.

Tips related to Barnes' disappearance have been scarce, so officers decided to search the area, Troutman said. 

Volunteers combed through 1,000 acres in the Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge and near Council Road between N.W. 23rd and N.W. 50th streets before the search was called off at 12:30 p.m., Troutman said.

Russell Nowland, a Barnes family friend, said he took a vacation day to help search.

"This is unexpected and unfortunate," Nowland said. "You don't want anyone to go through it or suffer."

Searchers concentrated on brushy areas, duck-hunting blinds and wooded areas, Nowland said.

Barnes' father, Jeff Barnes, declined to comment after the search ended.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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