Details of Disappearance
Baker was last seen in Washington D.C. at approximately 3:00 a.m. on August 1, 1999. She was at her residence in the 400 block of 44th Street northeast at the time of her disappearance. Baker has never been heard from again. She was reported missing on August 4. Her 1999 Toyota Corolla was found abandoned nearly a week after her disappearance. There were drops of her blood in the trunk, which emitted a foul odor.
Baker was declared legally dead in February 2009. A cold case squad took over the investigation around that time and, in June 2009, Terrance Barnett was charged with her murder.
Barnett was Baker's boyfriend and the father of her twins. They had been a couple for seven years, living together off and on, and he was reportedly abusive towards her. Baker's loved ones had often seen her with injuries, such as bruises and hair pulled out of her scalp. She got an eighteen-month restraining order against Barnett in 1997; the order expired in early 1999 and she began seeing him again. She also sought child support from him.
One of Baker's sisters reported seeing Barnett just hours after Baker was last seen. She says she saw him on a bridge, pulling a large plastic-wrapped object out of the trunk of his car. His DNA, mixed with Baker's, was found on the walls, ceiling and floor of the house they shared, as well as the shirt Barnett was wearing the night Baker disappeared. Someone had tried to clean up the house with bleach and the carpet in the master bedroom was missing.
Barnett's attorney stated he is innocent and the DNA of two other men was found in the trunk of Baker's car, while Barnett's DNA was not present. These same men were reportedly seen driving Baker's car after her disappearance.
After three days of deliberation, a jury convicted Barnett of second-degree murder in March 2010. He'd been charged with first-degree murder, but the jury couldn't find sufficient evidence to prove he had planned Baker's killing. Foul play is suspected in Baker's case due to the circumstances involved.