Select It Sunday: Erica Baker

Chosen by Tara H., this case is Erica Nicole Baker, a nine-year-old who disappeared from Kettering, Ohio on February 7, 1999. Kettering is a suburb of Dayton, and about an hour and a half south of the hamlet where I grew up.

Erica went out to walk her aunt’s dog and never returned. The dog was found running around unaccompanied with its leash still attached, and eventually got picked up by Animal Control, but there was no sign of Erica.

She has been missing for 18 years, but we pretty much know what happened: Christian Gabriel was convicted of evidence tampering and abuse of a corpse after he confessed to running over Erica with a van, panicking and then disposing of her body. There are two other suspects who were thought to have been in the van at the time, but one of them died and the grand jury declined to indict the other one. Gabriel, who has since been released from prison, has retracted his confession and nobody knows where Erica’s body is.

3 thoughts on “Select It Sunday: Erica Baker

  1. Patrick Kerrigan November 20, 2017 / 6:34 pm

    I wonder if they did any lab testing of his vehicle. If not it makes me wonder how they convicted him, of concealing a homicide.

    I would hope that they would have used some pressure on the other occupants of the vehicle.

    Also, why did he confess to allegedly to supposedly running her down.

    • Meaghan November 20, 2017 / 7:26 pm

      My guess is that by the time the cops were aware of what had happened, it was too late to test the vehicle — too long a time had passed.

      And for why he confessed — I suppose he did so for the same reasons most people do. He felt guilty and wanted to get it off his chest, he was afraid his confederates would roll on him and thought he should roll on them first to get a better deal, whatever.

      He wasn’t convicted of concealing a homicide, he was convicted of evidence tampering and abusing a corpse. He wasn’t even convicted of vehicular homicide.

  2. Meg November 26, 2017 / 2:13 am

    It seems mysterious to me that the lawyer wouldn’t share details of what her client said, even after the client died and even after the client’s husband waived her privilege.

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