Neighbors relieved after Kyle Barnhill's arrest

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Kings Row Drive is typically a quiet, peaceful street. Most of its residents are retired and keep to themselves. "The police never come out here other than when someone throws toilet paper in your trees or something like that," said J.R. Wright, Melissa Barnhill's neighbor. But not this time, instead, Nacogdoches police were responding to frantic calls about the murder of Melissa Barnhill.

"I was scared at first. Until they caught him, we were still uneasy," said Jerry Sparks, Melissa Barnhill's neighbor. "I know my wife was very uneasy about it." Sparks said he thought Kyle Barnhill might be the suspect. "My wife says at first he's the one who did it and they'll catch him," said Sparks. "And they did."

Neighbors had their own suspicion about what Kyle Barnhill was doing nearly 500 miles away from home in Eagle Pass. "I imagine he was trying to cross the border," Sparks said.

On Tuesday afternoon, a Department of Public Safety plane took off to retrieve Kyle Barnhill from Eagle Pass. Meanwhile, neighbors are just trying to get back that sense of peace that was taken on the night someone fatally shot Melissa Barnhill.