.

Jini Barnum Murder: Case Against Garofalo Centers on Witnesses, Physical Evidence

The man accused of killing the East Hampton woman by strangulation will appear back in Middletown court on March 13. He is held on a $1 million bond.

 

In the nearly six months since police unearthed Jini Barnum’s body from a shallow grave in the woods of Glastonbury, detectives in East Hampton appear to have methodically built a case against her boyfriend, who was arrested Monday on charges that he strangled Barnum to death, buried her remains and concocted a story that she disappeared following an argument one summer night.

But the 13-page warrant in the case, released Monday following 38-year-old Anthony Garofalo’s arraignment in Middlesex Superior Court, details a mystery that police unraveled by pulling together pieces of evidence to tie Garofalo to the crime.

One glaring ommission in the warrant, however, is a motive.

According to the document, Garofalo called police at 1:06 a.m. on June 29 to report that He told police she had come home the night before after drinking and was driving their Kia while intoxicated. A verbal argument ensued — with no physical contact — ending with Barnum leaving the couple's Main Street apartment around 11 p.m. on June. 28.

Let Patch save you time. Get great local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone every day with our free newsletter. Simple, fast sign-up here.

Barnum left behind her infant daughter, and all of it was behavior her friends and relatives found peculiar.

That was Garofalo’s version of events, recorded during a police interview Aug. 3, according to the warrant. The lengthy report includes numerous details gleaned from interviews with friends, acquaintances, family members and others which police tied to together to secure their arrest warrant. Garofalo — a registered sex offender who served an eight-year sentence for charges of sexual assault and kidnapping — has been in jail since August for allegedly violating his parole, a charge brought against him shortly after he was interviewed on Barnum's disapperance. 

Barnum's body was discovered on Sept. 3 off Windham Road in Glastonbury. An autopsy determined she was strangled. Garofalo faces charges of murder, tampering with evidence and strangulation.

The Middletown Press has posted a redacted version of the warrant.

Some of the evidence police included in the warrant:

Neighbors Report Arguments, 'Thud' Noises

  • All four of the neighbors living in Garofalo’s and Barnum’s apartment building heard very loud noises and what appeared to be fighting going, items being thrown around, and a tussle happening in their apartment, starting at 8:30 p.m. and ending around midnight. Garofalo told police Barnum was out all day and came home around 10:30 p.m. when the fighting started.
  • One neighbor said that, sometime between 11:30 p.m. and midnight, he was in bed when he heard “what sounded like ‘thumping down the stairs.'" The neighbor noted that his bedroom is adjacent to the building's inner stairway, the warrant stated.
  • When police confronted Garofalo with the statements from his neighbors, he replied, “Barnum and he were stomping their feet on the floor that night during the verbal argument and slamming doors.”
  • Then, Garofalo admitted to police for the first time that he dragged a “tote” or storage bin down the back stairs case, saying the bin contacted dirty laundry. He said he moved his Kia vehicle closer to the building to load the laundry bin into it, and then drove around the block and half way around the lake looking for Barnum.

Rake, Shovel Found in Garofalo's Truck

  • When police first met with Garofalo they took photos of the home and the area, noting that they also found a shovel with some dirt caked on the face portion and an iron rake. Both of the items were found in Garofalo’s truck.

Garofalo Had Keys To Gated-Road Where Barnum's Body Was Found

  • Barnum’s body was recovered in a remote wooded area located off of Windham Road in Glastonbury. The road is is blocked off by a gate that is usually closed and locked with a padlock to prevent unauthorized cars from access it — as this road is mostly state property, town of Glastonbury property and some privately owned parcels of land. But a friend of Garofalo’s told police in an interview on Sept. 11 that he became “sick to my stomach” finding out that Barnum’s body was found there, because Garofalo knew that area and even went hunting with the friend there between 2011-12.
  • The friend told police that Garofalo has had a key to that gate for selver years. When police executed a search warrant of Garofalo’s prison cell, they found three keys in his property that all opened the lock on the gate, police said.

Garofalo Tells Friend to Get Somone to 'See' Barnum Somewhere

  • On Sept. 13, the friend told police Garofalo sent him a letter from prison on Aug. 6, in which the letter primarilys peaks about the investigation into Barnum's wherabouts. According to an excerpt published in the warrant, Garofalo wrote: "Still not letting me out until she's found. If they never find her, I could end up doing 4 1/2 years. What the f***? I may need a huge favor. Might need someone to see her somewhere w/out cameras in a couple of days. Somebody who will swear they talked her (sic) + she said "I'm Not Going Home". Hate to ask, but no way I can be out of Taylor's life until she's 4 years old. Remember sitting in a Florida court room w/ you a while back. Asking Please."

Right After Barnum's Disapperance, Garofalo Tells Friend He Doesn't Care She's Missing

  • After Barnum’s body was found, a woman called police to alert investigators that her daughter, a 22-year-old Portland woman, had been in contact with Garofalo just days after Barnum’s disappearance. They had been engaging in text conversations and Garofalo had confided in her that he wanted someone to talk to and hang out with given Barnum’s disappearance. After the pair went to Burger King in Portland one night, they drove back to Garofalo’s house, where his “mood was totally different,” the woman told police. He acted like he didn't care that Barnum was gone and made a statement like "I don't care if I ever see her again." He then began to “hit on her in a sexual way,” the woman said which she said she found unusual given the fact that Garofalo’s girlfriend was missing.
  • The woman told police Garofalo never joined in the search parties.

Garofalo Told Police Barnum Took Her Wallet, But The Woman Saw the Wallet on the Counter After Barnum Went Missing

  • The woman reported to police that, on July 31, she saw a small, black woman’s wallet on the counter in the kitchen of Garofalo's home. She later found out through her involvement with the civilian search parties that the wallet was one of the things which Jini supposedly took with her when she went missing.
  • On Oct. 1, a Department of Environmental and Energy Protection personnel reported to police he found Barnum’s wallet floating along the shoreline at the boach launch in East Haddam. The black wallet, which had a pink-and-white monkey character pattern on it, contained Connecticut and New York driver licenses of Jnin Barnum, as well as her Social Security Card, health insurance cards, bank coards and library cards. When police showed this wallet to the woman on Nov. 11, she said she recognized it as the same one as the wallant.

Cell Phone Records Show Garofalo Made Calls to The Barnum's Cell Phone in Glastonbury

  • Cell phone records showed that Garofalo was within a quarter of a mile of Barnums’ burial site when he made phone calls to Barnum’s cell phone. Given the trajectory of the cell phone towers in the area, this was the only time within a 90-day period in which his cell phone made a call out in this area.
ShellsCorneroftheWorld January 29, 2013 at 02:13 AM
Why did the neighbors not call police when the heard loud noises and a scuffle?
Stephanie S May 09, 2013 at 08:36 PM
I happen to know the deceased rather intimately. Unfortunately it is not out of character for her to abandon her children. She has an older son that she did that to years ago. She had problems with drugs and alcohol. I am sad that she is gone but in no way surprised

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »