By Sam Terry
Jobe Publishing, Inc.
Thursday, April 12 marks the twenty-second anniversary of the day Alyne J. Lawrence Barrick disappeared from her home on Laurel Ridge Road in Edmonson County. The mystery continues to haunt her family – including descendants born after her disappearance and know her only by name, a handful of photographs, and her story that doesn’t seem to end.
Those who knew Barrick well, knew her routine in most situations. An organized person with habits of neatness and hard work, she was also noted for her acts of kindness – such as taking roses from her garden to friends and acquaintances – and helping friends in need. She was noted for her feistiness and she habitually let those around her know what she thought about things. As a young woman, she had been a working mother rearing her daughters and supporting them by selling Avon cosmetic products and doing farm work.
On April 12, 1996 at about 2:30 in the afternoon Barrick was outside walking Fifi, her Pomeranian dog, when she momentarily paused for a conversation, passing the pleasantries of the day with a young man who was staying in his parents’ nearby cabin. That encounter is the last known event that happened on that day, which was possibly the last day of Barrick’s life.
What else is known from piecing together information on her telephone answering machine and evidence in her house, is that Barrick was almost certainly getting ready for bed. Her dentures were in their container soaking, and a new plastic garbage bag was on the sink ready to be placed in the bathroom garbage can. A cigarette burned through a bathroom shelf, likely left there as Barrick’s bedtime routine was interrupted.
Authorities believe Barrick knew the person or persons who interrupted her evening. There was no sign of forced entry into the home. A key usually hidden in a fake rock outside was found to be missing. Her nearby truck contained the keys to her house and her house contained the keys to her truck. The person or persons who last left her house carefully turned off all the lights and locked the doors, leaving her dog inside her crate.
Three days passed before it occurred to another neighbor, Lawrence Nine, that he had not seen Barrick walking her dog. Nine was one of the permanent residents of the area filled with cabins and vacation homes, making him more aware of Barrick’s routines. He contacted the Edmonson County Sheriff’s Department to express concern. Soon, a window over the kitchen sink was broken to gain entry to the house and discover a disturbing scene.
Family and friends say Barrick would not have left her home without a fight and there was evidence to that effect. In the living room, a sofa was askew and there were bloodstains on the carpet. In the bedroom, the fitted sheet that should have been on the bed was missing. Other bed linens were piled in the middle of the bed and had blood on them. A glass believed to have been on the bedroom nightstand was on the floor.
The only things missing from Barrick’s home were her clutch purse, the fitted sheet, and Barrick. Because of the appearance of things in the house, authorities and family members believe she was abducted or killed. Some have theorized that the attacker could have wrapped her body in the missing sheet.
Within days, Barrick’s family offered a $5,000 reward which has gone unclaimed. Police interviewed a man Barrick knew and who some believe she may have been involved with or who may have been doing work near her home, but even that turned up little information. Family members even contacted a New Jersey psychic who said Barrick was within 15 miles of her home and that the crime was committed by more than one person, one of whom Barrick had seen at a social event at the local firehouse.
The case has been open so long that the detectives who originally investigated the mystery have retired and others have moved on to other positions.
For anyone who might have information about the disappearance of Alyne Barrick, Lt. Brian Whittaker now heads up the investigation; he can be reached by telephoning 270-781-2010.
Barrick’s case has also been entered into the National Crime Investigation Center (NCIC) database and assigned case number M-920856377 that can be used when contacting any law enforcement agency.