Search for River Road leader Barnard continues - KMSP-TV

Search for River Road leader Barnard continues

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Hundreds of tips and dozens of sightings have been reported since the warrant for cult leader Victor Barnard was issued earlier this week. There is however no sign of the man who allegedly molested two of his young female followers. The tips have been wide in scope from sightings in several states but none have been confirmed so far and it seems as though everyone is on the lookout for Barnard except those who knew him best.

With law enforcement scouring his known locations, the man hunt has become a waiting game.

“People have not been really forthcoming. A great guy, best friend, known him forever, really believe in him, but I haven’t talked to him in two years,” said Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole. “There’s a lot of house hopping that has gone on. A lot of town hopping that has gone on and that’s just part of the pattern.”

A pattern that continued a week and a half ago when Barnard’s wife of 28 years, Stephanie left the couples $400,000 home in Spokane with her bags packed. That lead authorities in Washington to speculate that Victor Barnard might already be waiting for her in Brazil, where he fled to several years ago.


4/18- MAIDENS MANHUNT: 20-30 tips on Victor Barnard in Spokane area
4/17- The history of Victor Barnard
4/16- Why prosecutors waited so long to charge Victor Barnard
4/15- Alleged cult leader charged with molesting "Maidens"
2/26- FOX 9 investigates Victor Barnard and "Maidens of River Road"

Follow Tom Lyden on Twitter @LydenFOX9


What is known about the ‘Maidens of River Road’
There are many things that aren’t known about this case, but what is clear is two women, Jess Schweiss and Lindsay Tornambie have come forward to say Barnard sexually abused them beginning when they were just 12 and 13 years old. The Sheriff believes the other so-called ‘Maidens of River Road’ are still loyal to him.

Time finally on their side
After years of waiting to see charges filed, Sheriff Cole believes somewhere, somehow, Barnard will slip up.

“We’ll continue whether we find him this afternoon, tomorrow, four or six years. That warrant’s not going away,” Sheriff Cole said.

Law enforcement sources in Washington say in recent months, Barnard had talked about starting up a church overseas. He does have followers in Brazil, where is where he fled two years ago when authorities were literally on his trail all the way to the airport, but couldn’t get a warrant.


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