According to several sources, a body found in Neshannock Township has been identified as a missing Butler County woman.
After being reported missing since Thursday of last week, the body of 26-year-old Melissa “Missy” Barto was found along Old Pulaski Road by a farmer, around 7 p.m. Monday night.
The body of the young mother had been burnt, and state police officer Lt. Eric Hermick described the scene as “horrific.”
Prior to discovering the body, state police arrested Barto’s 21-year-old boyfriend, Ishemer D. Ramsey, on Sunday with charges of committing homicide after pulling him over in Connoquenessing Township.
When police pulled Ramsey over, they were struck by an overpowering scent of bleach in the car and they also noted that the front passenger seat and the passenger side carpet were missing and a bullet had pierced his door panel.
The defendant had a 1911-style .45 caliber pistol in a drop holster at the time of arrest.
Police said Ramsey immediately asked for an attorney and would not talk. Surveillance video was collected of Ramsey at a car wash cleaning out his vehicle, as well as buying rope and a tarp from a store.
A second suspect, James Howard-George, 23, of Butler, is also in custody and expected to be charged with conspiracy and abuse of a corpse.
After receiving a tip from a woman who claimed to have seen Ramsey and Howard-George in the Butler Walmart together, police detained and interviewed Howard-George.
During Howard-George’s interview he confessed that Ramsey drove to Howard-George’s residence to pick him up around 11p.m. Thursday evening, and “began to vent” about Barto – believing that she was cheating and that he “wanted her gone.”
Ramsey dropped Howard-George back off at his home and later returned to pick him up.
According to Howard-George, it was during this time that Ramsey admitted to killing his girlfriend, stating he shot Melissa Barto in the head two times, “and she said ‘you shot me,’ so Ramsey shot her a third time,” the affidavit claims.
Barto was the mother of a 6-year-old girl who had just graduated from kindergarten. Family members of Barto have set up a GoFundMe to help pay for the funeral costs, which has already received over half of the amount asked.
Boldly, Ramsey posted this status to his Facebook page one day before his arrest, which has received a lot of negative backlash:
More information to follow.