By Caleb Hutton
The sheriff’s office tied up a few loose ends in the death of Belinda Barnett, 45, on Friday afternoon, June 29.
Barnett died this week in a doublewide mobile home fire at 6128 Poppy Court, in the Paradise Lakes area. She was under investigation for a $105,710 theft from Swan’s Moving and Storage in Bellingham, the sheriff’s office disclosed Friday.
A detective had tried to talk to Barnett early Wednesday, first by knocking on her door, then by using a neighbor’s telephone. But Barnett didn’t answer the door.
Firefighters arrived about 9:15 a.m. to find her home on fire. Barnett’s body was found near the front door. She died from smoke inhalation, Dr. Gary Goldfogel said. Goldfogel called the death a “likely suicide.”
The sheriff’s office put the following in writing on Friday:
It is suspected that Barnett may have been despondent over the criminal investigation into a substantial theft from her employer, Swan’s Moving and Storage in Bellingham, where she worked between May 2010 and January 2012.
Deputies had probable cause to arrest her for three counts of first-degree theft.
Here are a few photos, shot on a cell phone Thursday evening, showing the home. In the first photo, taken from the driveway, you can see the worst of the damage is at the back of the house where the master bedroom was. Surprising how much of the home was left.