Donald Lee Baker

Above: Donald, circa 1956


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 6, 1956 from Los Angeles County, California
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: January 1, 1941
  • Age: 15 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'1, 100 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Donald's nicknames are Don and Donnie.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A white t-shirt, blue jeans and a burgundy jacket with stripes on the sleeves.
  • Bar

    Details of Disappearance

    Donald was last seen on August 6, 1956. He was accompanied by a friend, Brenda Jo Howell, at the time. The two of them rode their bicycles to the San Gabriel Canyon area near Glendora Mountain Road and disappeared. A days later, Donald's jacket and Brenda's bicycle were found near Morris Dam, a quarter of a mile south of where they were last seen. Donald's bicycle was located a month later. Neither of the children have been heard from again.

    Authorities initially believed the children had run away from home, but later events altered their opinion. In 1970, Mack Ray Edwards pleaded guilty to killing three California children and sentenced to death at his own request. He subsquently confessed to the murders of three others, including Donald, Brenda and Roger Madison.

    Edwards directed investigators to a site where he said he had disposed of their bodies, but a search of the area turned up no signs of any remains. Edwards was never charged in connection with any other cases due to lack of evidence. He committed suicide on death row in 1971. A photograph of Edwards is posted below this case summary. Brenda was his sister-in-law and Donald was one of his neighbors.

    Two other children disappeared from the San Gabriel Mountains in the 1950s and 1960s; the others are Bruce Kremen and Thomas Bowman. Authorities believe Edwards was most likely responsible for their disappearances, as well as the disappearances of Ramona Price and Karen Tompkins. His alleged victims ranged in age from seven to sixteen years old.

    Donald lived with his parents in the 5700 block of Rockdale Avenue in Azusa, California in 1956. Foul play is suspected in his case due to the circumstances involved. His case was reopened in 2007 as authorities renewed the search for the bodies of Edwards's victims. He was employed as a heavy equipment operator in the 1950s and 1960s, and helped construct many highways across the state of California. Investigators believe he may have buried the children's remains under the highways.

    Mack Ray Edwards
    Above: Mack Ray Edwards


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department


    Source Information
    California Attorney General's Office
    The Los Angeles Times
    The Whittier Daily News
    The Doe Network


    Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated March 30, 2008; date of birth added.

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