Police were called to the Alta Legacy Oaks apartment complex on Baxter Lane around 3 p.m. Sunday to check on the welfare of the woman. When officers arrived, they found her dead inside the apartment.
Investigators have revealed that Barnette's vehicle was discovered by Virginia State Troopers on Thursday. The vehicle was reported to authorities as a disabled motorist, and troopers found Barnettt's brother - 70-year-old John Wesley Winters, Jr. - inside the vehicle upon their arrival.
Winters was initially transported to Sentara Hospital in Woodbridge, Virginia for medical evaluation. He has since been charged in connection with the theft of the vehicle, and is currently being held by authorities in Prince William County.
Knightdale Police are continuing their investigation to determine Winters' involvement in the death of Barnette. Police say Winters had been living with Barnette for several weeks.
While he was named as a suspect in her death, he has not been officially charged.
The news of Barnette's death came as a surprise to fellow residents in the Knightdale apartment complex.
"I've never seen anything going on here that I question, and I question anything I see. And the neighbors are all very nice, very nice neighbors, I just can't believe it," said resident Raye Dunn.
Dunn lives nearby and said it is not the type of area where you would expect something like this to happen.
"It's very nice here, and I feel so safe here, but you can't feel too safe anywhere, I know that," added Dunn.