Autopsy says Barr didn’t have terminal illness
An autopsy report shows Robert Barr was not dying of lung cancer when a bullet entered behind his left ear and ended his life.
Investigators had reported that a doctor from Washington examined Barr and found terminal cancer. But that was not the Robert Barr from Portland, Ore., who was found floating dead in a Tahoe Keys lagoon April 23.
“The autopsy doesn’t show any sign of cancer,” said El Dorado County sheriff’s Sgt. Bob Johnston. “The autopsy doesn’t indicate any other cause of death. My personal opinion is that it was suicide.”
Investigators are still waiting for the California Department of Justice to analyze the 9mm pistol found in shallow water near Barr’s body. They expect results from the test will prove the 9mm was also used in the murder of Barr’s 45-year-old wife, Rebecca.
A hiker found Rebecca Barr dead in the woods about 50 feet from the side of Fallen Leaf Lake Road on March 26. Abrasions on her body indicate she may have had been dragged before she was shot execution-style, Johnston said.
The Barrs, who had been married several years, came to South Lake Tahoe from Portland in March to escape financial trouble and possibly start a new life. They did not tell family members about their trip.
Investigators know the couple stayed two nights at Horizon Casino Resort. Then the story goes fuzzy.
Robert Barr pawned some construction tools before he took off in the couple’s rental car to visit his wife’s brother in Missouri. Barr was alone when he asked the brother for money, saying the couple’s luggage had been stolen.
The brother rejected his plea and Barr drove back to South Shore. In late April, four boys in a canoe looking for beaver nests found his bloated body. The rental car was parked in the driveway of a vacation home nearby.
Investigators said the body had been in the water for weeks.
Barr, who served time for robbery in Oregon, is also a suspect in the missing person’s case of a former girlfriend. Detectives in Oregon are anxious for the result the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department investigation because they believe Barr may have murdered her, Johnston said.
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