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Crime

Benjamin Colton Barnes, Suspected Mount Rainier Murderer, Represented Southern California With Riverside Raincross Tattoo

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Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 12:15 PM
click to enlarge Benjamin Colton Barnes. - ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Associated Press
  • Benjamin Colton Barnes.

As if SoCal needs more creepy people to its credit following the arrest of a man alleged to be the L.A. arsonist, it turns out that the weekend's Mount Rainier murderer is believed to by authorities to be a Riverside County native.

Not only that, but suspect Benjamin Colton Barnes was so down with the I.E. that he had a tattoo of Riverside's trademark Raincross on his abs.

Yeah, we're No. 1 ...

... in insane people (who are obviously proud of it).

Barnes is an Iraq war vet who allegedly fatally shot a U.S. park ranger at Mount Rainier National Park before he was found dead yestereday, submerged in an icy mountain creek, according to Associated Press and the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

There's speculation that Barnes was a victim of the elements as he fled the shooting scene in the rugged mountains outside Seattle.

The 24-year-old is suspected of shooting four people -- two of whom ended up in critical condition -- at a suburban Seattle New Year's Eve house party before fleeing into the mountains and confronting ranger Margaret Anderson, a mother of two, on Sunday.

She was fatally gunned down.

click to enlarge Barnes.
  • Barnes.

Barnes was said to have been feared by authorities: He was a hardened soldier with "survivalist" training.

Park spokesman Kevin Bacher said:

The speculation is he threw some stuff in the car and headed up here to hide out.

The P-E reports that ...

Barnes' family lives in a rural pocket of southwest Riverside County, between Canyon Lake and Menifee.

His dad is said to be a retired U.S. Marine. A Facebook page (we couldn't find it, and maybe it has since been taken down) stated that Barnes' latest address was in Seattle, according to the paper.

The P-E and AP report that the ex-soldier suffered from PTSD:

click to enlarge The Riverside flag, with trademark 'raincross.'
  • The Riverside flag, with trademark 'raincross.'

According to police and court documents, Barnes had a troubled transition to civilian life, with accusations in a child custody dispute that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following his Iraq deployments and was suicidal.

The mother of his toddler daughter sought a temporary restraining order against him, according to court documents.

She alleged that he got easily irritated, angry and depressed and kept an arsenal of weapons in his home.

The park remained closed today. Barnes' family in Riverside had no comment.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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