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Family says 24-year-old stabbing victim was devoted father, brother

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Family members of a man stabbed to death in a Seminole County home said he was a working father who loved his family and his church.

Joshua Barnes, 24, was killed Monday. Deputies say his ex-roommates, Ian McClurg and Jake Bilotta, invited Barnes under the illusion there would be a party, but instead investigators say they stabbed him multiples times and made plans to bury his body.

Investigators said the suspects believed Barnes stole their PlayStation 4. Their other roommate walked in on the aftermath and called 911.

"I don't know exactly what just happened," the 911 caller said. "I walked in the house. They killed him."

Listen to the 911 call below:

Family members told News 6 Barnes had a 4-year-old son. His brother said he enjoyed basketball, video games and drawing. He described Barnes as his role model.

"I wanted to be smart just like him," Raymond Bynes said. "The way that they did it just makes me mad. He did not deserve that."

Barnes was a member of the Experience Christian Center in Pine Hills. His pastor said he was last at church on Sunday. 

"I just saw him, and little did we know that’ll be the last time we’d even see him here living," Pastor Derrick McRae said. "It was kind of shocking for all of us to know it happened and hear about how it happened."

Barnes' mentor, Marlon Daniels, said the 24-year-old was working hard to support his son and he saw so much promise.

"I think he was on the right path, and he was talking with me about things he wanted to do in life," said Daniels.

The victim's brother said he had a lot of friends, but he wants to warn others to be careful who they call a friend.

"If they’re not your family or haven’t been around your family or haven’t seen your family, don’t trust them," Raymond Bynes. 

Raymond Bynes said he’s going back to finish his high school diploma to make his brother proud.

"I wanted to be smart just like him," he said.  

The suspects, McClurg and Bilotta, remain at the Seminole County Jail on no bond. They're charged with first degree premeditated murder. They're due back before a judge on Jan. 15.


About the Author:

Jerry Askin

Jerry Askin is an Atlanta native who came to News 6 in March 2018 with an extensive background in breaking news.

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