Bolivar: Murder suspect Found

BOLIVAR, Mo. – A bucket of paint spilled during the commission of a crime helped police in Bolivar find a murder suspect at an apartment where he was arrested Monday.
Michael Ybarra, 28, was identified by witnesses as the person who shot and killed Joshua Phillips, 35, at an address in the 200 block of Buffalo Street Monday morning, according to a probable cause statement.

He was charged today (3/24/20) with first-degree murder and armed criminal action, online court records show.

Ybarra was arrested at a West College Street apartment about 9:30 a.m. Monday, according to court documents that also state he had been identified by two witnesses at the Buffalo Street address after police responded to reports of shots fired about 5:30 a.m. Monday.

The probable cause statement says the witnesses told officers they saw Ybarra shoot Phillips several times with a semi-automatic pistol before fleeing the scene. In the process, a large bucket of white paint was knocked over and the suspect tracked through it as he fled.

In a search of the apartment on College, police found footprints in white paint at the front door and a pair of boots belonging to Ybarra inside with white paint on them. They also found a 9mm handgun, the probable cause state shows. Officers had earlier found 9mm shell casings near Phillips’ body.

Ybarra has an extensive criminal history, court documents show, including charges of assault, possession of narcotics, tampering, and theft. He is a fugitive from justice out of Texas and was out on bond for earlier felony charges in Polk County, documents state.

He is being held without bond in the Polk County Jail and is to appear in court on May 6.