MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – The daughter of a Mobile woman who was found dead outside her burning home tells WKRG News 5 she is shocked that her 16-year-old brother is being charged with her murder.
Danica “Pebbles” Barney was found dead outside her home early Tuesday morning after police say firefighters responded to the house on Cedar Avenue for a report of fire.
Firefighters say when they arrived at the scene, flames were visible from the back of the home. They quickly put out the fire and discovered Danica’s body outside.
Her son, 16-year-old Terrance Barney Jr., was arrested and charged with her murder several hours later.
“How did we allow this to happen? God forbid it is my brother, that it was him that did this, how did we miss the signs of the help that he needed?” said Kristen Howard, who is Danica’s daughter.
Howard says she recently learned Terrance had schizophrenia and had been off his medication. However, she says it’s unclear if his mental health had anything to do with Danica’s murder.
“There are a lot of things that don’t add up. How could he move a body like my mom’s body, I don’t see it. I don’t think he would have or could have,” said Howard. “However I’m a social worker, I work very closely with patients who have personality disorders as well as schizophrenia disorders, so I really couldn’t put it past him.”
Howard says Terrance has maintained his innocence and is insistent that he did not murder his mother.
Howard says police told her when they interviewed Terrance, he had blood on his clothes. In addition to murder, he is also being charged with arson.
His bond was set at $175,000.
Howard says police told her that her mother was killed in the bedroom, dragged out the back door, and then set of fire. She says that’s what caused the home to go up in flames.
Danica’s autopsy is still pending.
Howard says she is still supportive of her brother. She says if he did kill her, she wants to get her brother the help he needs. But if he did not, she is hopeful police will find whoever is responsible and her brother’s name will be cleared.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the cost of funeral expenses.
There will be a vigil held at Vigor High School on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. to celebrate Danica’s life. The public is invited to attend.