Updated: Nov 25, 2022
Audreona Barnes was just 19 years old when she was discovered at her then-boyfriends residence, deceased. Bennie Washington, 39 has been charged.
Audreona was reported missing from Warrensville Heights, Ohio July 30, 2021 when she was last seen being dropped off at Washington's residence. Earlier that day she had met with a U.S. Army recruiting officer where they picked her up from his residence, then dropped her off there later that day. Then, a text came from Audreona's cell phone to Washington's cell phone asking that Audreona be picked up at a gas station. From that point her social media counts ceased activity and her phone was later turned off.
The apartment was on Warner Road near Laumar Avenue in the Cleveland, Ohio's Broadway-Slavic Village neighborhood.
During Audreona's disappearance, police reported that there were no signs of foul play but wasn't ruling it out. Attempts to speak with the suspect were rejected. Audreona's mother report that police did not do enough during her disappearance when she was considered a runaway.
March 11, 2022, Washington was evicted from the apartment where he lived.
March 17, 2022, Audreona's body was found by a housecleaner on the apartment balcony of her boyfriend's former apartment in Cleveland, Ohio, discovered beneath a pile of blankets and clothes. Investigators believe Washington kept her deceased body outside to quicken the decomposition of the body. The autopsy showed that Audreona was shot in the head, inside the apartment.
Washington had several prior felony convictions. One of those convictions included a 2010 case in which he shot and wounded a woman in the back over a $50 cocaine drug debt and was sentenced to seven years. Oxygen reported some of his convictions to include assaults, gun possession, vandalism, drug possession, arson and aggravated menacing.
Cleveland.com reported that in 2019, Washington was charged with allegedly raping a 3-year-old girl at a West Side home. The child’s grandmother alerted authorities to the alleged rape after the girl told her grandmother what had happened.
March 19, 2022 - Washington was charged with aggravated murder and gross abuse of a corpse in Audreona's death. His bond is set at $2 million.