A homeless woman dies in her car; nobody notices for months

Police in Fargo, N.D., don’t think a woman whose body was found in a car in a shopping center died in the recent cold snap — she died several months ago.

The car in which Barbara Anne Barry, 65, was found dead on Wednesday, had been sitting near a snowbank in the 13th Avenue Cash Wise grocery store parking lot for months, the Fargo Forum says.

Nobody noticed Barry, who was homeless, until this week. Nobody had ever reported her missing, police say.

There have been several snowstorms in the time she sat there dead. The lot was plowed around her and her car.

  • It’s curious that no one checked the car out. It was obviously parked in a prominent location close to the store, and any vehicle that didn’t move overnight – on multiple nights – should have been a target for local police or store security or staff. No one reported her missing, either – perhaps the saddest thing of all. We need to do better as a society and provide the means for people to access housing and remain active members of our communities.

    • kevins

      I live across the river. Terrible event, and indeed inexplicable that nobody checked the vehicle sooner.

  • Sybil Twilight

    A few years ago while I worked at a retail establishment earning just slightly more than minimum wage we had a homeless woman living in her car behind the strip mall. The store manager reported her to the building owner, who found out after contacting the other stores that she was an employee of the business next door. She went away for a couple of days but was back a week later. I didn’t say anything but warned her to move her car when my boss was around, and told her what times of day to avoid being seen. (I also secretly slipped her money and info on local support for finding housing,putting it under her windshield wiper when she was not around.) The manager did see her again and was about to call the police and I kind of lost it at him. I told him he should be angrier at the idea that she wasn’t being paid enough to afford a place to live. I also let him know that if I didn’t have an employed husband I’d be homeless if I had to support myself on my take home pay. I pointed out that as a man who claimed to be Christian he should be helping her, not trying to cause further harm. It left him speechless.

    My point being is that the stigma of being homeless can often prevent people from seeking help, or helping others.

  • Guest

    Having someone around who CARES is bigger than we realize.