Police search for suspect in Crown Inn murder - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Police search for suspect in Crown Inn murder

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -

Toledo detectives say a woman wanted for murder is still on the run.  Now police want your help in tracking down Cathy Barnett, charged in the city's first murder of 2005.

Investigators say Cathy Barnett and Ernest Smith acted together to kill 48-year-old James Dillingham. Smith was captured 10 days ago, but police have no idea where Barnett is.

On the night of Jan. 2, police say Barnett spent time with Dillingham at the Crown Inn Motel on Alexis Road. Hours later, detectives say she returned with Smith, who used a 22-caliber pistol to kill Dillingham.  

"James Dillingham had just cashed his check earlier that Sunday evening in a bar," said Toledo Police Capt. Ron Spann. "It was around $1,300, I believe, so when she went to the motel, she obviously saw the money and decided she wanted it all."

Those closest to Dillingham say they still feel devastated. 

"Heartache all the time. He was my best friend even though we were divorced," said ex-wife Cissy Diaz. "We were always in touch. He called me on New Year's Eve, as a matter of fact, and wished me a happy New Year. That was two days before they killed him."

On Jan. 21, the FBI tracked down Smith while he was trying to get a job at a tattoo parlor in Nashville, TN.  

"It brings a lot of closure to this awful person, but not persons, because they didn't catch her (Barnett) yet," said Diaz.

Barnett is from Toledo, but police say it's possible she also took off from the area.  

"We get tips occasionally on crimes like this and then we follow them up," Capt. Spann said. "If they're outside our jurisdiction, which several of them have been, we either notify the local police to go check that location or follow up that investigation for us." 

If you have any information on where police can find Barnett, call Crime Stopper at 419-255-1111.

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