Details of Disappearance
Barrell was last seen in Virginia Beach, Virginia sometime in early December 2001. He lived with a roommate, Carl Ellison, in an apartment on 22nd Street. Barrell, a construction worker, had never had a steady job and frequently had financial problems. He sometimes smoked marijuana and used LSD, and he had been discharged from the Navy for drug use.
He maintained regular phone contact with his father in Louisiana. The last call was in the first week of December. Barrell told his father he had given his Social Security number to a man he'd worked for, and he was concerned about it.
At 1:00 a.m. on December 9, Ellison called Barrell's father and said he was worried because he hadn't seen Barrell all week. The police took a missing persons report on December 10, but they were initially unconcerned because Barrell's thought he might simply have gone to visit friends in Florida or in northern Virginia. In early January 2002, Barrell's father still hadn't heard from him so he contacted the police again and urged them to investigate.
About ten days after his disappearance, a neighbor and friend of Barrell's noticed his car, a champagne Nissan Sentra, was missing also. Ellison had dropped out of sight by the end of the December; investigators believe he left the country. Barrell's neighbor witnessed people she did not know go and clean out Barrell's apartment. When she asked them what was going on, they refused to tell her. Barrell's drawings, keyboard, furniture and pet iguana all disappeared.
In April 2002, Troy P. Baudoin purchased a house in Granite Falls, North Carolina under Barrell's name. Authorities discovered he had stolen Barrell's identity. Baudoin, an insurance adjuster, had once hired Barrell to do some work on his home in Norfolk, Virginia. He was fired from his job with the insurance company in November 2001 after the company discovered he had stolen more than $200,000 from their accounts.
Baudoin fled the area and assumed Barrell's identity to avoid prosecution. Between December 2001 and January 2002, he got three identity cards in Barrell's name from the state Department of Motor Vehicles. He also got a copy of Barrell's birth certificate, renewed Barrell's passport using his own photo, and got some credit cards in Barrell's name.
Baudoin, under Barrell's identity, got a job with an insurance company in North Carolina and began embezzling from them as well. The FBI knew he was using the alias name but didn't realize he had stolen a missing person's identity.
In May 2002, after the FBI tracked Baudoin to North Carolina, he returned to Virginia Beach to work out a plea deal with them. When one of his girlfriends told him the police had questioned her about Barrell's case, Baudoin took his own life at his room at the Days Inn on Bonney Road. He didn't leave a note.
Authorities believe Baudoin killed Barrell and concealed his body. They think Ellison may have information about the case, but they have been unable to locate him. Barrell was declared legally dead in 2009. His case remains unsolved.