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Man accused of killing girlfriend, leaving body underneath pile of clothes on balcony held without bond

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Posted at 10:29 AM, Apr 05, 2022
and last updated 2023-06-12 12:20:32-04

CLEVELAND — A man accused of killing his girlfriend and leaving her body underneath a pile of blankets and clothes on a balcony of a Cleveland apartment is being held without bond Tuesday.

Bennie Washington, 39, was arrested after police said his girlfriend's body, Audreona Barnes, was found on a balcony of a home on Warner Road by a cleaning crew on St. Patrick's Day.

Washington has been charged with aggravated murder and abuse of a corpse. He was arrested two days after her body was found.

An autopsy revealed Barnes had a gunshot wound to the head and police said they found several shell casings near her body.

Her family said she disappeared from Warrensville Heights after visiting a Cleveland Armed Service Recruiting Office in July 2021.

During his arraignment Tuesday, Judge ordered a no bond and entered a not guilty plea on Washington's behalf.

Barnes' mother said police didn't do enough to find her daughter after they believed she was a runaway.

"Where was y'all at when I asked for help," she said. "She would never walk away from me or her siblings, never, and now we don't have her."

The state asked for a $1 million bond.

The pretrial has been set for April 18 at 9 a.m. with Judge William McGinty.

RELATED: 'Where was y'all at when I asked for help': Mother grieves after missing daughter found dead on balcony

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