Authorities still searching for weapon used in Angelina Co. double murder

Rosa and Pepe Piña (Source: Facebook)
Rosa and Pepe Piña (Source: Facebook)

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Funeral services have been set for the brother and sister killed in a brutal attack by a Center man. Rosa Piña and her brother Pepe were stabbed to death in her home on John Kolb Road in Angelina County early Thursday morning. 31-year-old Terrance Barnes is charged with capital murder for their deaths. While Barnes awaits arraignment, the search continues now for the missing weapon.

"I assured them that night that we were not going to stop. I talked to the sheriff, we're not going stop until we find him," said Captain Allen Hill of the Angelina County Sheriff's Department.

Days after the arrest of Barnes, authorities are still looking for the weapon used in the attack. One thing they are now sure of, 31-year-old Terrance Barnes killed the pair before fleeing into a wooded area miles away from the home on John Kolb Road.

"He confessed to killing them," said Hill.

For the victims' brother, Raul Simms-Piña, it was the last thing he ever expected. Raul's daughter witnessed the longtime family friend kill her aunt and uncle.

"You would think that would be someone that would protect your child, not put your kid in that kind of situation," said Simms-Piña.

Before capturing Barnes, authorities called in help from more than a dozen of law enforcement agencies across East Texas to aid in the 11-hour search of the woods. Authorities are now speaking out about the hardest part.

"Not knowing, the heat, you know, you worried about you know are they going to break into somebody's house and hurt somebody else. I mean, because that was a big concern. There's already two people dead, you know. You don't know what the person's thinking. They're desperate," said Hill.

The biggest help in the search, authorities say, was when nightfall came.

"Because fleer sees through all the trees and the woods and the bushes. And, he couldn't, wouldn't have them to hide anymore," said Hill.

A sensor located on the helicopter was able to pick up Barnes' body heat and lead officials to him. For now, authorities will continue looking for Barnes' weapon, which they're told he dropped in the woods.

Barnes is set to be arraigned in an Angelina County courtroom Monday morning.

Funeral services for Rosa and Pepe will take place Monday at Watson and Sons Funeral Home in Center at 10 a.m. The family is still accepting donations to help cover funeral costs. Donations can be made to the "Rosa and Pepe Piña Memorial fund" at any Lufkin or Nacogdoches Bancorp South location.

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