Thornville Couple Murder-Suicide

Local News

There has been a second murder-suicide in southeastern Ohio in less than 24 hours.

The latest case happened at 10734 Zion Road in Thornville, where authorities say a husband shot his wife.

The 911 call was made shortly after 9:30 Tuesday night. The father of 28-year-old Grant Barnhart and a friend went out to check on Grant and his wife 19-year-old Eva at their Zion Road home.

Barnhart’s father became concerned after he noticed a rifle missing from his house. After forcing their way into the home they found the couple dead in a bedroom.

The Perry County Sheriff’s Office says Grant Barnhart shot Eva and then turned the gun on himself.

“It sounds like he might have been a little bit jealous and was accusatory of her thinking that she had been having an affair on him,” Sgt. James McCall, Perry County Sheriff’s Department.

Sgt. McCall though there’s no documented history of domestic violence the couple was having problems and Eva had been threatening divorce.

“The parents of the female victim said that she was scared of him, just wanted to get away from him and then finally decided to try to make the marriage work and went back to him on Sunday,” says Sgt. McCall.

That decision proved to be fatal. Neighbors did not want to go on camera, but they say the murder-suicide of the young couple has completely shaken the country neighborhood.

“I was very upset, could not sleep all night and am still very upset, because it is in our backyard,” says a neighbor.

Neighbors said they’ve heard loud music coming from the house, they’ve heard their pitbulls barking, they may have even heard the couple fighting a time or two, but they never thought something like this would happen in their small community.

“It’s not right. I mean if he was going to do something he should have done something to his self and not taken another life with him,” says a neighbor.

Luckily as tensions escalated between the couple Tuesday, Barhart’s ex-wife picked up his children from the home before the violence occurred.

The Perry County Sheriff’s Department says they have only been called out to the couple’s home for issues like an unruly juvenile and a theft from the Barnhart’s property. However, they say Grant Barnhart was a convicted felon who had spent time in prison for burglary.