Family Reacts to Arrest of Murder Suspect - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Scopus, MO

Family Reacts to Arrest of Murder Suspect

Family Reacts to Arrest of Murder Suspect
By: CJ Cassidy

SCOPUS, Mo. - The family of a Scopus man who was shot in his home reacts to the arrest of his girlfriend.

Michael Strong, 49, from Bollinger County was found dead at his home last weekend from a single gunshot wound.

Strong's girlfiriend, 42-year-old Lisa Ann Barlow, faces charges of murder and armed criminal action.

According to court documents, people who knew Lisa Barlow told police she was having an affair with her ex-husband, and Michael Strong recently found out about it.

Strong's children tell Heartland News they can't believe that's the reason their dad is gone.

"I try not to let hatred take over but it's really hard. If you don't want to be with someone, just tell them. Don't take them away from the people they love or who love him," said Laura Roark, Strong's daughter.

For days Roark forced herself to concentrate, trying to make sense of the story her dad's girlfriend told police.

Barlow claimed an intruder argued with Michael Strong Friday night and then shot him.

"There's no way someone would have snuck up on my dad like that. He's a light sleeper and he would make sure all the doors were locked," Roark said.

Barlow told police she didn't think Michael owned any guns.  Court documents show Strong had several handguns in a suitcase under Barlow's side of the bed, the same side she claims she hid under when she overheard her boyfriend getting shot.

Reports also show Strong lying on the love seat in a "relaxed sleeping position" after he was shot "not in a position" to verbally confront anyone.

Medical examiners later removed a .44 caliber bullet from Strong's colon, similar to bullets from a gun missing from Strong's home, ever since the shooting.

"He was stolen at the most innocent time in his life when he was sleeping, no way to defend himself," Roark said her voice husky with emotion.

Roark held up a card Barlow sent her dad. In it she writes -"you are my life. I want to spend every day loving you and being loved by you."

She signs it, "Forever Yours, Lisa."

"I want to know why she did. What he did to deserve it. He was a good man," said Bryan, Strong's son.

"I want her to pay because my dad got stolen from me and my kids. Nothing she says or does will bring him back or make this any easier," Roark added.

Family members plan on being around when Barlow appears in court.

She's being held at the Cape Girardeau County Jail on $ 500,000 bond.

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