Police: Window broken; man found dead in home
Channel 4 is learning more details about the death of a 58-year-old man in his Westside home Friday night.
Investigators suspect foul play in the death of Barnat Bella.
Channel 4 spoke with Bella's wife Tuesday night. Sofia Bella described her late husband as a spunky man with a servants heart, she told Channel 4 she doesn't know who would want to hurt him. Bella's family set up a makeshift memorial at the door of his home, where friends and co-workers have left flowers and notes for a man, they told Channel 4, will be greatly missed.
Officers were called to his home in the 2400 block of Miss Muffet Lane West about 9:20 p.m. Friday in reference to an audible residential burglar alarm. When police arrived, they saw a bathroom window broken in the back of the home, the house shot up and signs of a struggle. They later found Bella dead in a hallway.
"Barnat was a good man, and he didn’t deserve to be gunned down by a bunch of crooks and thieves," said Bella's wife, Sofia. ”I want to see those who were involved brought to justice and I want them to serve their life in prison for what they’ve done. They don't deserve freedom."
Bella's wife said he'd gotten the burglar alarm because of prior break-ins.
"He had no enemies, he had no hatred toward anybody," said Bella. "Who would want to hurt him, I don't know."
Bella and his wife came to Jacksonville from India 12 years ago. His wife told Channel 4 that Bella was passionate about his work as a social worker in Jacksonville.
"He's given his extra time, above and beyond to them. He went above and beyond after work, he would stay sometimes until 7, 8 o'clock, 9 o'clock at night just to help the people he was helping," said Bella.
Investigators are asking for the community's help to solve this crime and find justice for Bella's family and friends.
"For someone to take him away from us and away from everybody and people we serve, it's not right," said Bella's employer, Heather Vaughan. "I really hope that whoever did this gets caught or turns himself in."
Anyone with any information about the killing is asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.
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