• Newsletters
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
°
Monday, September 25, 2017
View complete forecast
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Bluffton boy's death ruled homicide by blunt force trauma

The body of Owen Collins, 3, was found in a burned box in a woods in Wells County in January. An autopsy determined his death was a homicide due to blunt force trauma to the head. (File photo)
The body of Owen Collins, 3, was found in a burned box in a woods in Wells County in January. An autopsy determined his death was a homicide due to blunt force trauma to the head. (File photo)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

No drugs were found in his body.

Monday, May 11, 2015 06:37 pm
A 3-year-old Bluffton boy whose burned body was found in a woods in January died of blunt force trauma to the head, according to an autopsy report released today. Owen Collins' death has been ruled a homicide.Toxicology reports indicated no drugs were in his system, said Wells County Coroner Kent Gilbert.

Three people have been charged in connection with Owen's death. His mother, Breanna Arnold, 21, of Bluffton, and her boyfriend, Zachary Barnes, 30, also of Bluffton, face felony charges including neglect of a dependent resulting in death and two counts of neglect of a dependent. They also are charged with abuse of a corpse, obstruction of justice and altering the scene of death. A 16-year-old boy also faces felony charges for his alleged role in Owen's death.

Court documents say Arnold, Barnes and the 16-year-old were using methamphetamine the night of Jan. 16. Barnes told investigators they would put "dope" in Arnold's children's drinks to "watch them have fun." He said Owen was found dead sometime the morning of Jan. 17 as he, Arnold and the 16-year-old were "shooting dope" and that nobody in the home called police because they were scared.

According to court documents after Owen's body was discovered he was encased in plastic wrap and placed in a bedroom dresser drawer while the three decided what to do. At one point, the idea of "chopping him up and throwing him into the river" was discussed, the documents say, but they decided instead to put him in a cardboard box and take him to the woods.

Another woman who was unaware of the death drove Barnes and the youth to the wooded area, where Barnes doused the box with nail polish remover and set it on fire, according to court documents.

The body was discovered Jan. 18 after the female driver, who didn't know what was in the box and wasn't charged with a crime, led investigators to the wooded area where the burned box with Owen's body was discovered.

Comments

News-Sentinel.com reserves the right to remove any content appearing on its website. Our policy will be to remove postings that constitute profanity, obscenity, libel, spam, invasion of privacy, impersonation of another, or attacks on racial, ethnic or other groups. For more information, see our user rules page.
comments powered by Disqus