Body of Suspect in Gatesville Police Chase Found in Lake Belton
The body of a man who led police on a chase from McGregor to Lake Belton on Wednesday has been recovered.
A McGregor police officer attempted to stop 38-year-old Joshua Joe Barnes of Gatesville around 2 a.m. that morning. Barnes refused to stop and even tried to hide his face from the officer before speeding off in a silver 1995 Dodge pickup. A second officer was called in to give chase, and the pursuit continued through McGregor and Gatesville before ending at the Long Bridge on Highway 36 over Lake Belton. There, Barnes crashed his truck into a guardrail and then jumped from the bridge – an approximately 60 foot drop into around 6 to 7 feet of water. A McGregor officer entered the water in an attempt to find Barnes, but was forced to return to shore due to the extreme cold.
Law enforcement officials from several agencies searched the area around the lake to make sure Barnes had not reached shore. Boats and dive teams searched the water in the area for several hours before finding Barnes’ body shortly after noon. The body was sent to the Southwest Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas for an autopsy.
Records indicate that Barnes had been released from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville on July 10 after serving a 10 year sentence for aggravated robbery. He had several prior arrests and convictions on his record as well.