3rd arrest made in connection with Butler Co. woman's slaying

3rd arrest made in connection with Butler Co. woman's slaying

NESHANNOCK TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A third arrest has been made in the case of a Butler County woman who is believed to have been killed.

Melissa Barto's body was found in Neshannock Township near New Castle in Lawrence County.

A farmer came across Barto's body along Old Pulaski Road around 7 p.m. Monday night. State Police Lt. Eric Hermick told Channel 11 News it was a "horrific scene" and Barto's body had been burned.

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Barto was reported missing Thursday when she failed to show up to her daughter's kindergarten graduation, according to Hermick.

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"My sister was a beautiful girl," said Barto's brother, Jeremy Barto,

The victim's mother, Lisa Barto, described her daughter as a beautiful woman who cared about people.

Ishemer Ramsey, Melissa Barto's boyfriend, was charged with homicide on Sunday. When police pulled Ramsey over, they found significant damage to the interior of his vehicle and a bullet that had pierced the door panel.

Police said they believe Ramsey was jealous and shot Barto inside his car and then dumped her body.

A second suspect, James Howard George, is in custody and is charged with conspiracy and abuse of a corpse. He confessed to helping move and dispose of Barto's body, according to police paperwork.

Police said Ramsey and George used lighter fluid to set Barto's body on fire.  She had been shot at least one time.

A third person was arrested on Tuesday. According to police paperwork, Joshua Bowser knew a crime had occurred and knew that a body was going to be put in the trunk of his car, but still loaned out his car.

Police said they are charging Bowser with criminal conspiracy, tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice.

More arrests in this case are expected in the coming days, Hermick said.

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