Police Say Progress Made In Murder Probe

Wed 4:40 PM, Jan 28, 2009

The murder of an Omaha man is almost one week old. While life in the Bowling Green Park neighborhood has, for the most part, gotten back to normal, police are making progress in the investigation.

Officers found the body of 39-year-old Pete Barges in the driveway of his home near 71st and Lake around 2 a.m. last Thursday.

Neighborhood residents say it’s a good one, a place where people look out for each other. Even though they feel safe, most are taking added precautions as police search for the killer.

Deann Settles is one of the newest residents, having lived in the area with her family for six months. Settles feels safe despite what happened a few hundred feet from her front door.

“I know most of my neighbors, we moved in the weekend of that big storm and everybody was out and about helping each other and it’s a very friendly community. I know all my neighbors around me.”

Barges’ neighbors feel confident someone will step forward with information and police say they are making progress in the investigation.

“We are working on all tips and all leads that we have gathered on that case, we’re just not coming out and saying too much about it, that we can preserve a lot of the evidence that we’ve gathered,” says Omaha Police Officer Jacob Bettin.

Making an arrest is only half the job. Police want to hand a solid case over to prosecutors so they can get a conviction.

In the meantime, Barges’ neighbors will continue to keep an eye out for each other like they’ve always done, even before the murder. “It seems very isolated, we don’t even get that much traffic through here so I’m hoping it’s an isolated incident,” says Settles.

That seems to be the consensus in the neighborhood, that Pete’s murder was a tragic, but isolated incident, one everybody wants solved quickly.

A reward of $10,000 is being offered by the Barges family for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the murderer. Tips may be given to Omaha Police at 444-7867.

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