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Body of man wanted in wife's slaying found in apartment

NORCROSS - A man wanted in connection with the death of his wife was found dead Friday on a sofa with apparently self-inflicted gunshot wounds, authorities said.

According to a statement from the Gwinnett County Police Department, police received a 911 phone call Friday at 4:10 p.m. saying that 24-year-old Dantel Marquis Barnes had committed suicide.

Authorities said the injuries were consistent with self-inflicted gunshot injuries but a final determination will not be made until after an autopsy. Police don't know who owned the handgun or how he came in possession of it.

The call reportedly was made by one of his brothers in an apartment at the Country Club Village Apartments at 3256 Medlock Bridge Road. Police suspect the apartment complex is owned by one or more of Barnes' brothers. It is unknown how Barnes arrived at the apartment or how long he had been there.

Earlier Friday, Henry County authorities charged Barnes with murder in the death of his 27-year-old wife, Shawntel Renae Barnes, who was reported missing Oct 20 by family members. Her nude body was found six days later by a jogger running past the lake near Stockbridge in Henry County. Authorities have said she was stabbed to death.

Before Henry County police issued an arrest warrant charging Barnes with murder, they searched his home on Lenox Drive in the Nob Hill subdivision.

"The information and evidence gathered during the execution of that search warrant played a big part in issuing the arrest warrant, said Lt. Jason Bolton, spokesman for the Henry County Police Department. He declined to elaborate on what they found.

In earlier statements made to police Oct. 20 regarding his wife's disappearance, Barnes said he had been awakened about 4 a.m. by the sound of his garage door opening. He told Rockdale County sheriff's investigators at the time that he had seen his wife get into an SUV with a man who he believed to be armed. He was unable to tell investigators what kind of SUV he had seen his wife enter or the race of the man he said he saw driving it.

Henry County authorities would have to decide if Barnes' death would close the investigation into his wife's death, said Sgt. Jodi Shupe, a spokeswoman for the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.

- Rockdale Citizen editor Jeff Johnson contributed to this report.