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Warrant filed to access accounts of men accused of fatally stabbing former roommate

Sheriff's Office wants Instagram to send it digital communication

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – The Seminole County Sheriff's Office hopes a search warrant filed Thursday will uncover new digital evidence linked to the death of Joshua Barnes on Nov. 26.

Investigators said roommates Ian McClurg and Jake Bilotta devised a plan and used social media as a gateway to lure and kill Barnes in revenge for breaking into their home and stealing a PlayStation 4.

A roommate who lived at the house with Bilotta and McClurg called 911 and said he returned home from a Tinder date to find 24-year-old Barnes dead from apparent stab wounds and his roommates, Bilotta and McClurg, attempting to stuff his body in a plastic bag.

The roommate identified Barnes as a former tenant who moved out three weeks prior. In the search warrant filed, the Sheriff's Office wants Instagram to send it the digital communication from Bilotta and McClurg's accounts.

The roommate who called police told investigators Bilotta sent numerous messages to Barnes' known Instagram account and lured Barnes over under the guise of going to a party.

Both men remain in custody at the Seminole County Jail with no bond.

Bilotta and McClurg's next court appearance is scheduled in March.


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