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Body found near missing woman’s apartment in Portsmouth

Posted at 8:41 AM, Jun 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-10 08:41:37-04

Portsmouth, Va. - A body that was found on Wednesday at Tejo Lane and Silver Maple Drive in Portsmouth may be identified on Thursday, NewsChannel 3 has learned.

The body was found in a wooded area -- and is so badly decomposed, officials cannot tell if it is a man or woman.

The location where the body was found is just a street away from where 32-year-old Kathleen “Katie” Barham was last seen. Barham has been missing since May 27 around 10:30 p.m. when she went to wash a load of clothing in her apartment building in the 6500 block of Bickford Lane.

Barham's family has been notified that a body was found, but they are waiting for the Medical Examiner to make an identification. That is expected to happen on Thursday.

"It was out there in the weather. The detective did tell me it was under a tarp. But part of the body, feet or hands or whatever was outside the tarp and partially decomposed," says Katie's mother's boyfriend, Robert Poisal.

Portsmouth Police say they never released information to anyone about the body being covered by a tarp. NewsChannel 3 went back to where the body was found and there was a blue tarp location near a tent.

Shortly after the remains were found on Tuesday night, Katie's boyfriend, Rich Fegan, told NewsChannel 3 that police wanted to question him and give him a polygraph test.

"They're going in the wrong direction. And now they know the news is all over it, whoever actually did do it could be fleeing the area as we speak, and maybe already has," Poisal says.

The family says another frustration they have come across has been that they've been calling Portsmouth Police for two weeks, and it wasn't until this week that a detective was put on the case.

The Chief of Police is now doing an internal investigation on why it took so long.

Stay with NewsChannel 3 as more details become available.

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Body found Wednesday confirmed to be missing Portsmouth woman

Police searching for missing Portsmouth mother