Police Keep Murder Case on the Down Low – Trio Charged

WPS Public Information Officer Constable Rob Carver

On Friday, February 17, 2017, the Winnipeg Police Service issued a press release providing details of a shocking 2016 murder case that had yet to be reported.

Police identified the victim as Jennifer Barrett (42) whose decomposing body was found in a 45 gallon barrel filled with chemical agents designed to hasten the decomposition process.

Police laid charges against trio of alleged offenders who they identified as;

Perez Adaryll Cleveland (43) of Winnipeg

  • Cleveland is a Canadian citizen who was born in the USA
  • He is believed to have come to Winnipeg via Ontario
  • He stands charged with 1st degree murder
  • He is currently facing dozens of unrelated violent offences
  • He was arrested at the Headingley Goal and remains in custody

Jessica Elizabeth Reid (34) of Winnipeg

Holley Alyssa Sullivan (28) of Calgary, Alberta

  • Sullivan was arrested in Calgary, Alberta
  • She stands charged with Accessory after the fact to Murder
  • She was detained in custody

The Back Story

Police indicate Barrett and accused offenders shared a residence in the Waverley Heights area in Winnipeg.

In August, 2016, Barrett died from injuries suffered in an assault that lasted several days.  Her remains were placed in the barrel which was subsequently left on the property.  Some time after the murder Cleveland and company secured alternative living arrangements.

In the late fall of 2016 Homicide Detectives commenced and investigation into the recovery of Barrett’s remains.

DNA testing subsequently confirmed her identity.

Police managed to keep the investigation under wraps until such time as arrests were made.

“This was a difficult and complex investigation,” police spokesperson Constable Rob Carver told members of the media.

Carver indicated the investigation was not disclosed to the public due to the complexities of the case.

Not First Rodeo for Alleged Killer

To say Perez Cleveland is “known” to police might be an understatement.

In 1999, he was wanted by Sudbury Police for assault, assault cause bodily harm, uttering death threats and breach of probation.

In 2003, Cleveland was found guilty of 1st degree forgery in Georgia, Alabama and sentenced to a $2,000 fine and 10 years probation.

On September 29, 2016, the WPS issued a press release seeking the public’s assistance in locating Cleveland for a series of violent offences that took place in Winnipeg between August 14, 2016 and September 27, 2016.

On December 13, 2016, Cleveland was located in the North End and arrested by Police who laid an impressive fifty-five (55) criminal charges against him.

(The majority of these criminal allegations involve violent crime.)

Cleveland was detained in custody and was awaiting trial on these charges at the Headingley Correctional Institute when he was arrested for Barrett’s murder.

Insider Commentary;

It’s not easy keeping a complex, high-profile on-going homicide investigation out of the media.

In this case, keeping the case out of the public eye may have been important for a number of reasons.

The results of forensic analysis, including DNA, are critical to the progression of a homicide case.

These results can take considerable time to secure.

Homicide Investigators prefer to be in control of the timing of certain aspects of a homicide investigation, specifically the timing of arrests and interrogations.

The element of surprise can be a tremendous advantage in some cases.

The WPS deserves a great deal of credit for their ability to protect the integrity of this investigation.

The 25th Homicide Victim of 2016

With the news of this arrest, Jennifer Barrett becomes the 25th homicide victim of 2016.

All but three cases from 2016 have been solved – solvency rate = 88%.*

The WPS investigated a total of twenty-three (23) homicides in 2015.

*One case from 2016 involves the death of two victims – should that case be solved the solvency rate would jump to 96%.

Police Media Releases

WPS Media Release – Perez Adaryll Cleveland (Wanted)
WPS Media Release – Perez Adaryll Cleveland (Arrest)

One Comment

  1. Teresa Burnside

    Bravo to the WPS for solving this heinous crime! Keeping this “under wraps” must have been difficult enough, however the capture and now resolution for other victims is the reward. You guys deserve it! Congratulations and stay safe out there!

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