Murder probe: Autopsy revisited

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By Elizabeth Dinan

Hampton Union, May 09, 2006

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union,and Seacoast Online.]


EPPING -- While forensic experts study burned evidence collected from murder suspect Sheila LaBarre's farmland, the ashes of Wilfred LaBarre, from whom she inherited the farm, may be among that evidence.

Sheila "made all (Wilfred's) funeral arrangements," including the decision to have him cremated, said Wilfred's son-in-law, John Melisi.

Asked where Wilfred's ashes are, Melisi said "she took them."

"Supposedly, she spread them out over the farm," he told the Herald.

That farm, located at 70 Red Oak Hill Lane, is where Sheila LaBarre murdered and incinerated 24-year-old Kenneth Countie, N.H. authorities allege. The investigation has widened to include a search for another man, Michael Deloge, whose last known address was LaBarre's farm.

Police found severa* burn piles" on the property - one with clothing remnants including a zipper - another containing a bone with "meaty mass," according to a police affidavit.

Melosi said Sheila arranged for the cremation of his late father-in-law, a Hampton chiropractor she never married; she adopted his surname regardless. Those arrangements were made through a legitimate Epping funeral home, he said, but without input from his two children.

"She took over everything," he said.

Wilfred LaBarre's daughter, Laura Melisi, said state investigators are now re-examining her father's autopsy reports.

"They want to look back at how Dr. LaBarre died to see if there might have been foul play involved," said her husband. "As part of the entire investigation, they need to take another look at this."

Prosecutor and Assistant Attorney General Peter Odom said he could not confirm or deny details of the massive and ongoing investigation.

"Some day, all will be told," he said of the case, which is on hold until LaBarre is brought before a Rockingham County grand jury.

Since LaBarre's March 21 arrest, Wilfred LaBarre's children have successfully petitioned a Rockingham County Superior Court judge to freeze her assets, including the Epping farm. They allege she wrongfully inherited the 115-acre estate using a 1988 will, in spite of one written 12 years later, providing for Wilfred LaBarre's children.

Sheila LaBarre, 47, is charged with the first-degree murder of Countie, while forensic experts in at least three different states study blood, tissue, teeth, bones and charred unknowns found at the farm during a 17-day police search. Investigators have asked for information about missing people who may have come in contact with her.

LaBarre is being held without bail in Dover's Strafford County House of Corrections.

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