Orange City Man Could Face Murder In Neighbor's Death


Orange City, FL - An Orange City man sitting in an out-of-state jail for driving while impaired tells police he murdered a woman who didn't deserve it.

Based on a tip from the Hillsville (Virginia) Police Department, Orange City Police Department detectives are on their way there today to interview 49-year-old Matthew A. Barber about the death of 58-year-old Hilda Bailey.

OCPD Lieutenant Jason Sampsell say Barber hasn't been formally charged with Bailey's murder yet, but his statement to a jail nurse soon after his DWI arrest over the weekend led to a well-being check at Bailey's Orange City Flats apartment on Enterprise Road around 5 p.m. yesterday.

"Orange City officers attempted contact at the door with no response," Sampsell added. "Forced entry was made into the residence. Once inside, officers located a deceased female located in a hallway."

That woman has since been identified as Bailey, whose body officers found lying in a pool of dried blood, according to the incident report.

"There were obvious signs of foul play located inside the residence," Sampsell stated. "There were no other persons located inside the residence. The investigation thus far indicates this was not a random act."

It's not clear in the report what kind of relationship Barber had with Bailey other than both were neighbors, with Barber living in an apartment near Bailey's.

It's also not clear why Bailey was murdered, but the report does show she had multiple stab wounds on her chest, torso, back and shouders. Police aren't sure at this point what kind of weapon was used, something which may become clearer once the autopsy is done later today.

The Hillsville PD report shows Barber was pulled over late Sunday night for speeding in a blue Hyundai with headlights off on Interstate 77. That vehicle has since been confirmed as Bailey's, per OCPD.

Per the report, Barber told the officer he wasn't paying attention to his speed because he was on his way to a funeral, but the officer smelled alcohol in the vehicle and Barber was the only once inside.

HPD says that officer took possession of a gun laying under a hat in the Hyundai's passenger seat and Barber left the scene while the officer was putting that gun in his patrol car, leading to a brief police pursuit which ended with Barber dropping a knife from his hand and being tased after not obeying to officer commands.

When questioned after Bailey's body was discovered, Barber told the HPD detective he'd prefer to wait until OCPD detectives arrived before speaking about what happened, according to the report.

Besides DWI, Barber is also held without bond on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, hit & run, reckless driving, disregarding police commands, vandalism and obstruction of justice.

OCPD is asking anyone with information on this case to call Detective Kenneth Jones at 386-775-5478.


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