Charlotte County cold case murder trial begins Tuesday

PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- Fourteen years after investigators say Phillip Barr murdered Tara Sidarovich, he sits in a Charlotte County courtroom on trial.

The 19-year-old disappeared from her Punta Gorda home on October 1, 2001. Family members said she was home alone waiting for septic workers. Deputies found her remains in the woods nine months later.

The septic workers she was waiting for, Phillip Barr and David McMannis, are now charged with her murder. It took authorities 11 years to make an arrest in the case. Jury selection was completed Monday for Barr’s trial.

Only WINK News obtained hundreds of pages of evidence, that share new insight into Sidarovich’s death. Barr admitted to detectives, that Sidarovich had invited him into the home to fix the toilets the day of the murder, but he says he was only in there for 10 minutes.

Other documents show three different friends told Charlotte County deputies, Barr admitted to being “a klepto, someone who steals from every place he goes to.”

One goes on to say that Barr told her that “he took some of the missing jewelry, from the missing girl’s house.”

The State Attorney’s Office says they plan to use the evidence of Barr’s theft to show proof of motive or intent in Sidarovich’s murder. Detectives confirm the teenager was killed by blunt force trauma to the ribs.

Opening statements in Barr’s trial will begin Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

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