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Homicide by blunt force ruled in 3-year-old Owen Collins’ death

Updated on May 31, 2017


Zachary Barnes, mommy's 30-year-old boyfriend was sentenced to a maximum of 50-years in prison, was given 109 days credit for the time he sat in jail and will be eligible for parole after he sits 75% of that sentence under the State law. Mommy dearest was sentenced to 20-years, not for killing her son, but for manufacturing meth amphetamines.

Breanna Arnold, and Zachary Barnes
Breanna Arnold, and Zachary Barnes | Source

Breanna Arnold and Zachary Barnes are the monsters.

For months, Collins’ 21-year-old mother, Breanna Arnold, and her 30-year-old boyfriend, Zachary Barnes have told authorities that they had put meth in the little boys bottle, along with his 6-year-old brother. Arnold maintains that she had checked on the little boy later in the evening to find that the little boy had not been breathing. They admitted that they had talked about dismembering the little boy; however, they decided to wrap him in plastic and store him in the bottom drawer of a dresser, until he was located by his 6-year-old brother warranting the need to move the body. Barnes and his 16-year-old accomplice then took the boy’s body, placed him into a cardboard box, solicited a ride from a female companion and drove out to a wooded area in Wells County, where they set the remains of Arnold’s 3-year-old old son on fire with nail polish remover and stone heartedly walked away.

Owen Collins official cause of death

Walking away from the little boy whose life was taken before it had a real chance to begin is a mistake that the cowards will have to live with for the rest of their lives, since they still have one. One of the reasons why the autopsy results took so long to come back is because the county coroner had to conduct a toxicology report to find any presence of methamphetamine or any other type of illicit or chemical substance that could have possibly contributed to the death of the toddler, however, the coroner found none. What the coroner did find however, is that little 3-year-old Owen Collins died from blunt force trauma to the head. Coroner Kent Gilbert signed Collins’ death certificate on May 11, 2015, ruling Owen Collins was murdered.

Arnold and Barnes’ charges should be upgraded to Homicide

So now that the official cause of death is back, 21-year-old Breanna Arnold and 30-year-old Zachary Barnes’ charges should be upgraded to murder. In January the duo was charged with

  • Neglect of a dependent resulting in death – level 1 felony
  • Two counts of neglect of a dependent – level 5 felony
  • Obstruction of justice – level 6 felony
  • Altering the scene of death – level 6 felony
  • Abuse of a corpse – level 6 felony
  • Dealing in Methamphetamine – level 4 felony

Although the Wells County Prosecutors office has not yet released information detailing where they go from here, it is pretty safe to say that murder charges are to come, and they are coming soon.

Owen Collins
Owen Collins | Source

Background on the case

While we sit back and wait for these monsters to be charged with murder; let’s examine how the two of them got to where they are today. Little Owen Collins was reported missing on January 18, 2015, when authorities arrived at the trailer the little boy shared with his mother, brother and mother’s boyfriend, they were informed that no one had seen the child since the night before. Arnold and Barnes told authorities that they were all “shooting dope” from Friday night into Saturday morning, and when Arnold went to check on her two sons Saturday, she found that Owen was dead. Authorities were told that Barnes had suggested to Arnold that they dispose of the little boy by means of dismemberment, but Arnold was not okay with that, so they decided to wrap the young boy in plastic wrap and put him in the drawer of a dresser.

Soliciting the help of a clueless woman to dispose of a murdered child

The following morning was when Barnes and his 16-year-old friend solicited the help of a woman who gave the duo a ride to Marion to dispose of the little boy. While in Marion, Barnes stopped and talked to his brother Joseph Barnes; alerting him that the little boy had gone missing. That was when Joseph contacted the Wells County Sheriff’s Department to see if any children were reported missing, only to find that none had been. Joseph Barnes asked the Sheriff’s department to look into the disappearance of the little boy, and they agreed they would. Police arrived at the trailer park home on Normandy Drive around 12:30 P.M on Sunday, January 18, 2015; but little Owen could not be located. Owen’s mother, Breanna Arnold said no one had seen the little boy since Saturday sometime. With that information; Arnold was taken to the sheriff’s station, along with her living son, a 6-year-old, so that she could sign a consent form for police to search their trailer home.

It was only after authorities located Barnes, the 16-year-old, and the woman that drove them that they were alerted to a wooded area in Marion where the remains of the little boy were found. The woman who drove the duo is not facing charges after telling police what she knew, presumably because she was unaware of what they had in the box. At one point, Barnes told police that they would sometimes put “dope in [the children’s] bottles and watch them have fun”, but now we know that Barnes once again lied about the drugs and someone beat little Owen Collins to death, that someone more than likely being 30-year-old Zachary Barnes.

© 2015 Amanda Seaton


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