Sheriff: Victim In Fatal Hit-And-Run Crash Suspected In Break-In - WCMH: News, Weather, and Sports for Columbus, Ohio

Sheriff: Victim In Fatal Hit-And-Run Crash Suspected In Break-In

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Joshua Barnes was struck and killed by a vehicle on Lithopolis Road Wednesday morning. Joshua Barnes was struck and killed by a vehicle on Lithopolis Road Wednesday morning.
Tyler Paul, 22, of Groveport, was arrested and charged with breaking and entering, theft, and possession of criminal tools. Tyler Paul, 22, of Groveport, was arrested and charged with breaking and entering, theft, and possession of criminal tools.
FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Ohio -

The man who was killed in a hit-and-run pedestrian crash near Lithopolis Wednesday morning may have been involved in a break-in, officials said.

Deputies responded to the 10000 block of Lithopolis Road just south of the Village of Lithopolis on a report of a pedestrian struck at about 5:50 a.m. Wednesday.

According to the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office, Joshua Allen Barnes and Tyler Paul were walking along Lithopolis Road when the crash occurred.

Barnes, 24, of Canal Winchester, was struck and killed in the crash.

SLIDESHOW: Photos from the Scene

Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen said there has been trouble in the area recently, including burglaries, but specific information about the crimes was not released.

Phalen said that after the crash, Paul, 22, of Groveport, was arrested and charged with breaking and entering, theft, and possession of criminal tools.

He said investigators suspect that Barnes was involved in the break-ins as well.

Property not belonging to Paul or Barnes was found in the area of the crash, the sheriff's office said. Investigators determined that the property was stolen from a vehicle and an outbuilding in the area of the crash.

The driver of the vehicle involved in the crash did not stop after the crash, deputies said.

Troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported finding a detached bumper that was painted with gray or silver primer. Investigators do not believe the vehicle is gray or silver.

Troopers began searching for a white 2000 Jeep Cherokee with what they described as having sustained light to moderate damage. It is missing the left side mirror and may have plastic missing from the front bumper.

According to the patrol, a vehicle matching the description of the Jeep was found at the Gap Distribution Center at Commerce Center Drive and Gap Online Drive in Groveport. No further information was released immediately.

Investigators are questioning the suspected driver of the vehicle, but said no charges have been filed.

"He had a smile and a personality that made everybody feel welcomed and loved right away," said Jennifer Barnes, Joshua's sister. "He had a lot of friends and a lot of goals and aspirations. Josh was a really great kid. He had a huge heart and means a lot to a lot of people."

Lithopolis Road was closed between Salem-Church and Sitterly roads during the investigation. The roadway reopened at about 10:30 a.m.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the patrol at 740-983-2539.

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