Paul Baker missing person's case still cold

By Jaime Dailey - bio | email

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - Remember the missing baby from Florida that was found alive in a wooden box under her babysitter's bed? The Florida courts convicted the babysitter, Susan Baker, and gave her 25 years in prison.

Now many in the Lowcountry are wandering what this will mean for her ties to a Lowcountry case involving her step son Paul Baker.

Paul Baker is a name many in Beaufort won't forget. He was just 3-years-old when he disappeared back in March of 1987. It's a case that stays close to Beaufort County Sheriff Investigator Brian Baird's heart.

"It's one you never forget about," said Baird. "You always keep it in the back of your mind, always wandering about it."

Investigator Baird has worked the case since the very beginning with a number of agencies. He says during the initial part of the investigation Paul's step mother, Susan Baker, was charged with child abuse against Paul's sister Nina.

"She had little patches of hair missing, bruising, throughout her body," said Baird. "It was clear she had been abused."

Baird says she only served a 90 day sentence before her and Paul's father, James, moved to Chipley, Florida.

Baird continued working the cold case and said years later authorities charged Baker with child abuse but the charges were dropped because the grand jury didn't indict.

"She admitted to child abuse against Nina," said Baird. "She admitted to child abuse against Paul. She never admitted to killing Paul. She often laughed when we talked about this."

He says while he doesn't have enough evidence to charge her, he believes she knows what happened.

"There was talk of Nina saying things about Mommy meaning Susan beating Paul with a broom stick," said Baird. "That he wouldn't stop crying but after she hit him, he stopped crying."

Even talk of Paul's body being put in a trash bag and thrown in a dumpster. While Paul's case hasn't been solved, Baird was relieved Baker was sentenced to 25 years for what she did to baby Shannon in Florida.

"I was happy to hear it mainly because this person is not on the street to do this to another child," said Baird.

Baird and others are hoping Baker will one day come clean about Paul.

"As to whether Susan will ever tell us, we can only hope and pray she does one day," said Baird. "I'd just like to be able to recover Paul's remains and give him a proper burial."

Baird says he is planning to reinterview Baker one day in prison, but says it may be awhile. They did try to talk to Baker during the sentencing phase in Florida, but she refused to cooperate.

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