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Murder of Lauren Barnes and her unborn baby by Eric Phan profiled on Evil Lives Here

Mugshot of Eric Phan
Eric Phan will be spending the rest o his life in prison for the murder of Lauren Barnes. Pic credit: Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office

Evil Lives Here is in Bethany, Oklahoma, to investigate the brutal murder of Lauren Barnes and her unborn child by the alleged father, Eric Phan.

On November 23, 2007, five-month pregnant Lauren Barnes told her family that she was going to meet the father of her child, Eric Phan, at a park in Bethany to discuss the pregnancy. She was not seen alive again.

Lauren had previously told her sister that she was nervous about the meeting; she’d already told Phan’s current girlfriend that he was the father of her baby, and she was worried about how he’d react.

On the following day, she was reported missing, and her car was subsequently discovered locked and abandoned at the park. There was no sign of a struggle but also no clue as to what happened to Lauren.

In the ensuing investigation, Phan seemed outwardly cooperative with the detectives who he spoke with every day. He told them he had gone to the park to meet Lauren but that he’d gone home when she failed to show up.

The cops interviewed another potential suspect, but after concluding he was “not the guy,” the investigation zeroed in on Oklahoma City-born college student Phan.

Eric Phan arrested on two counts of murder

On November 29, he was arrested while in a meeting with his attorney and was charged with the murder of Lauren and the unborn baby, who Lauren had named Avery. The arrest happened after a friend of Phan’s, David Huynh, claimed the killer had confessed to him.

Phan eventually confessed to killing 20-year-old Lauren and their unborn baby because he was concerned about bringing shame on his family and worried that his parents would disown him.

The killer explained that he and Lauren had argued about the pregnancy but that he then told her that he would finish with his current girlfriend and build a life with her and the baby. However, he claimed that as she hugged and kissed him, he began to strangle her.

Phan said the last thing Lauren said to him before she died was that she would get an abortion. He buried her remains in a shallow grave in the nearby Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge.

In October 2008, he was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole. He was only spared the death penalty because he’d revealed where he had buried Lauren.

More from Evil Lives Here

Follow the links to read about more murderous monsters profiled on Evil Lives Here.

Police Officer Mark Ganz was gunned down in front of his young nephew during a routine traffic stop in Manhattan Beach, Ca. The killer, Roger Brady, was uncovered in Washington state following another murder in Oregon.

Howard Hawk Willis murdered teenage married couple Adam and Samantha Chrismer and hacked their bodies into pieces in Johnson City, Tennessee. He confessed his crime to his ex-wife, who was wearing a wire. He couldn’t explain why he did what he did.

Evil Lives Here: Shadows of Death airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

Jerry was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, but is now based in the UK. He specializes in true crime and entertainment news stories. When... read more
Jerry Brown


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