Family members remember life of Jini Barnum - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Family members remember life of Jini Barnum

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EAST HAMPTON, CT (WFSB) -

Relatives of a missing mother from East Hampton have lost a lot of sleep over the past six weeks while they hoped that she would be found alive.

The remains of Jini Barnum were found on a dirt trail known as Windham Road in Glastonbury after a woman discovered the remains while walking her dog Sunday morning.

"We're thankful for that dog and the lady who was walking her dog," said Barnum's grandfather, Ronald Devey. "We are thankful for the closure."

Later this week, her family will visit the shallow grave in a heavily wooded area where her remains were found. 

"We'd love to have all the answers, though just finding her and having her back is huge," said Becci Hopkins, her mother.

Barnum, 30, the mother of an infant, was last seen on July 28 after getting in a fight with her boyfriend, Anthony Garofalo. He told police that Barnum stormed out of their apartment on foot after an argument about her drinking and driving.

On Tuesday, the state medical examiner ruled the cause of death as homicide from traumatic asphyxia or suffocation.

The former boyfriend, who was the last person to see Barnum before she vanished, is being considered as a suspect in the case among with others. However, Garofalo, who is a convicted rapist, is currently in lockup on unrelated charges.

Eyewitness News has learned that in high school Garofalo hunted on the land where Barnum's body was found.

Family from California, Arizona and Washington state flew into Connecticut after hearing the news.

"We love you Jini," Hopkins said. "Life will never be the same without you."

According to family members, Barnum's wallet and cell phone have not been recovered. Those were the only items that Barnum took with her when she left the apartment on July 28.

Glastonbury and East Hampton police, along with the Connecticut State Police Major Crimes Unit, are collaborating on the investigation.

"If someone knows something that could help us with this," Hopkins said. "They need to come forward."

Family members said Barnum's body will be cremated and later buried at family plot in Massachusetts.

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