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Author Topic: Travis Baker 19, Remains found after 2 years missing NC (suspect arrested)  (Read 14459 times)
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Nut44x4
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« on: June 24, 2009, 08:18:25 PM »

Skeletal remains found during search for teen missing since 2007
07:18 PM EDT on Wednesday, June 24, 2009

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. -- Tests are under way to determine if skeletal remains found in Catawba County are those of a teen who's been missing for two years.

Travis Baker was last seen on April 16, 2007, when he was 19 years old.

A search warrant says that Baker's acquaintance admitted to the murder to a confidential police informant. It also says that drugs may have been the motive.

We aren't naming the acquaintance because he hasn't been arrested or charged.

Baker's father, Dwayne, said on Wednesday he's not sure if the remains belong to his son.

"If I say yes, then there goes my possibility of finding Travis alive. If I say no there's more of a time period we have to go through wondering," Dwayne Baker said.

Investigators say they found skeletal remains, clothes and car parts during their search off Long Island Road, south of the town of Catawba.

Investigators would not say whether the car parts matched Travis Baker's 1998 red Camaro, which was never found after his disappearance.

A search warrant says a tip led deputies to the location, and the property owner admitted Travis Baker's acquaintance hid some of Baker's belongings there, including the bumper from Baker's Camaro.

"I know who you are talking about," Dwayne Baker said of the acquaintance.

Dwayne Baker says the acquaintance is the last person his son talked to before he disappeared.

Investigators asked NewsChannel 36 not to reveal his identity because it could jeopardize their case. Officers also believe he may be on the run.

"You have to start looking at what happened, why it happened, who did it, and that's just a different process that is going to be just as bad," Dwayne Baker said.

Both investigators and the family are waiting for a positive ID from a medical examiner.
http://www.wcnc.com/news/topstories/stories/wcnc-062409-mw-baker_search.169547b.html
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 05:02:45 PM by Nut44x4 » Logged

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Nut44x4
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2009, 08:21:12 PM »



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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009, 08:24:15 PM »

MISSING INFO
http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/b/baker_travis.html


http://www.wsoctv.com/news/19845254/detail.html

Travis Barker's Family Awaits Results On Body Found In Woods
Posted: 12:09 pm EDT June 24, 2009
Updated: 5:29 pm EDT June 24, 2009

CATAWBA CO., N.C. -- The State Bureau of Investigation found skeletal remains that they believe could be Travis Baker, a teenager who disappeared more than two years ago.

Travis Baker was last seen as he left for work in Hickory in April 2007. Since then, people have spent hundreds of hours looking for him and his red Camaro.

Right now investigators are on their way to Chapel Hill to positively identify the remains they found in the woods behind a house on Eulalia Lane in Catawba County.

The search warrant said Baker was murdered and that he and a piece of his car were buried in those woods.

Neighbors say investigators have been on the scene since Monday. Police are releasing very little information right now. They hope to have the remains identified by this afternoon.
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2009, 08:08:46 AM »

Arrest Made In Connection With Teen's Murder
Posted: 12:09 pm EDT June 24, 2009
Updated: 11:54 pm EDT June 24, 2009

CATAWBA CO., N.C. -- Deputies in Orange County, FL arrested John Mitchell, Jr. on first degree murder charges. Mitchell was booked just after 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Mitchell is listed on the search warrant Eyewitness News obtained for the murder of Travis Baker, 19.

According to the search warrant, Baker went to Mitchell’s house to deliver drugs. Investigators dug up skeletal remains Wednesday afternoon behind a home on Eulalia Lane near the town of Catawba.

Authorities believe they are Baker’s remains, but they are still waiting on confirmation from the medical examiner. The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office has scheduled a news conference for Thursday afternoon.

Travis Baker was last seen as he left for work in Hickory in April 2007. Since then, people have spent hundreds of hours looking for him and his red Camaro.

The search warrant said Baker was murdered and that he and a piece of his car were buried in those woods.

Neighbors said investigators have been on the scene since Monday.
http://www.wsoctv.com/news/19845254/detail.html
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Nut44x4
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2009, 08:13:01 AM »

  Takes a lot to shock me....I am shocked.  I knew he was dead, just didn't expect this.  I am so sad for his family...but I am glad they will have some peace when all is said and done. 
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2009, 04:24:11 PM »

More arrests possible in Catawba teen's murder

03:33 PM EDT on Thursday, June 25, 2009
CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. -- The man charged with killing 19-year-old Travis Baker in 2007 is suspected in another slaying in Catawba County that happened around the same time.

Authorities released that information at a news conference on Thursday but didn't elaborate on the case.

John Lee Mitchell, Jr., was arrested in Orange County, Fla., Wednesday night. He is charged with first-degree murder in Baker's death. Mitchell may be extradited to North Carolina as early as Friday.

The arrest came just hours after Catawba County authorities found skeletal remains buried in a field. Investigators believe the remains may belong to Baker, who disappeared in April 2007.

Investigators say that Mitchell was a suspect from the beginning of the case, but he consistently denied involvement and police didn't have enough evidence to connect him to the disappearance.

Catawba County authorities say they received a tip last Friday in regards to Mitchell. Investigators declined to give details on the tip but said the tipster will testify in court when Mitchell goes to trial.

Additional charges are likely in the case, including charges against the owner of the property where the skeletal remains were found.

The search warrant says that the property owner admitted Mitchell hid some of Baker's belongings there, including the bumper from Baker's Chevrolet Camaro.

Investigators say Mitchell was the last person to see Baker alive. Baker allegedly went to his house where the two got into an argument. Police say the argument escalated and Mitchell shot Baker.

According to the search warrant, the argument was about drugs. Investigators would not discuss the motive at the news conference Thursday.

Police believe Mitchell dumped Baker's body soon after the shooting. They also believe two other people were at Mitchell's house at the time. Those people could also face charges.
http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/stories/wcnc-062509-mw-travis_baker_case_arrest.74f4d7b.html
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2009, 04:26:48 PM »

A search warrant says that Mitchell admitted to the murder to a confidential police informant.

Investigators say they found skeletal remains, clothes and car parts during their search off Long Island Road, south of the town of Catawba.

Investigators would not say whether the car parts matched Travis Baker's 1998 red Camaro, which was never found after his disappearance.

A search warrant says a tip led deputies to the location, and the property owner admitted Travis Baker's acquaintance hid some of Baker's belongings there, including the bumper from Baker's Camaro.

Both investigators and the family are waiting for a positive ID from a medical examiner.
http://www.wcnc.com/news/topstories/stories/wcnc-062409-mw-baker_search.169547b.html

 

There was suppose to be a news conference today....still looking for it.
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009, 05:00:46 PM »

Positive ID
Published: June 25, 2009

NEWTON - The remains found near a hay field in Catawba have been identified as Travis Baker.

During a press conference with Baker's families and friends present, Chief Deputy Coy Reid, of the Catawba County Sheriff's Office, announced that the skeletal remains discovered Wednesday morning were those of the teen who disappeared more than two years ago.
http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/content/2009/jun/25/Police-Remains-those-of-Travis-Baker/
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« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2009, 02:30:52 AM »

Takes a lot to shock me....I am shocked.  I knew he was dead, just didn't expect this.  I am so sad for his family...but I am glad they will have some peace when all is said and done. 


Nut,
Thank you for your post about Travis.  I live in Catawba Co and I'm also in shock.  My computer crashed on the 10th and I just got it back up and running. I heard the news last night on one of our local stations.  I didn't know his family personally but I do have friends that are friends of his family.  The last two years have been excruciatingly painful for them. I pray they will find some peace in being able to lay him to rest and that God will begin to heal their broken hearts.  As I took his poster down today a harsh reality set in and I was deeply saddened that all hope of finding him alive was gone.....

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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2009, 01:52:47 PM »

You're welcome.

Reid detailed the investigation since the sheriff's office received a tip about Baker's disappearance June 15. That tip focused investigators on John Lee Mitchell Jr., whom Reid confirmed had been a suspect since early in the investigation.

Mitchell, 46, is being held in the Orange County, Fla., jail with no bond. He is charged with first-degree murder. Authorities expect Mitchell to be brought back to Catawba County this week if he waives extradition.

Reid said more arrests may come out of the ongoing investigation. Reid said two investigators from the sheriff's office were in Florida on Thursday, hoping to interview Mitchell.

Reid described what investigators believed happened before Baker disappeared April 16, 2007.

He said investigators think Baker went to Mitchell's house on Oxford School Road the day he disappeared, to deliver narcotics. Reid did not specify what kind of drugs were involved. He said the two men were "acquaintances," but declined to elaborate further because of the ongoing investigation.

"We believe the two men got into an argument, but we're not sure what the argument was over. We think Mitchell, during the argument, shot Travis," Reid said.

The Bakers have fought hard to find their son, offering a reward that topped out at $5,000. They assisted with 15 other disappearance cases, one in which the person was found. They called off the search temporarily when remains found in Charlotte last December were thought to be Travis, but restarted their efforts when their son was ruled out as the person found.

Investigators think Mitchell buried Baker's body near the field off Eulalia Lane in Catawba, 10 miles from his house, the same day he allegedly killed him.

Reid said Mitchell knew the owner of the property and had hunted there in the past. The property owner is not thought to be involved in the murder.

Questions still remain concerning a vehicle bumper, one piece of evidence found on the property where Baker's body was found.

Sheriff's Office Lt. Joel Fish said the bumper has been determined to belong to a Camero made between 1993 and 2000, so it could be from Baker's vehicle, a red 1998 Camero. But Reid said Baker's car was cut up and scattered over a junkyard in Florida.

Reid said detectives think Mitchell left North Carolina shortly after the murder, but had been interviewed by the sheriff's office. When initially questioned about Baker's disappearance, Mitchell claimed to know nothing about Baker's whereabouts, Reid said.

Reid said detectives worked the crime scene in Catawba for about a week, looking for anything resembling the description of the grave they had been given by the unidentified informant. On Monday, investigators took a cadaver dog to the site as they had found a few possibilities for the grave.

"The cadaver dog hit strong on one pile of wood, which we had been told a pile of wood would be on top of the grave," he said.

A backhoe was brought in to move dirt from the top of the area and one investigator, moving a few pieces of wood, discovered a skull.

At that point, Reid said, the sheriff's office called the North Carolina Program for Forensic Sciences at N.C. State University where many deputies have trained for forensic recoveries.

Warrants were drawn on Mitchell on Wednesday. He was arrested by Orange County, Fla., authorities at 8:20 p.m. at a business he was known to frequent, Reid said.

"When they found him, he was asleep," Reid said. "When they told him what they were there for, he said, 'North Carolina. I haven't been in North Carolina for a couple of years,' then dropped his head when he realized what he said."

http://www2.mooresvilletribune.com/content/2009/jun/26/baker-remains-identified-suspect-arrested/news/
TIMELINE
April 16, 2007 — Travis Baker goes missing

June 19, 2009 — Sgt. Aaron Turk, of the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, receives new information on the investigation, leading him to property on Eulalia Lane in Catawba

Consent search done on property reveals possible locations fitting description of Baker’s burial place

June 22 — Search warrant issued and executed on Eulalia Lane property

Officers seize skeletal remains, textiles and vehicle parts

June 24 — Skeletal remains sent to state Medical Examiner’s Office in Chapel Hill, confirmed through dental records as Travis Baker

John Lee Mitchell Jr. arrested in Orange County, Fla., charged with first-degree murder

June 25 — Catawba County Sheriff’s Office holds press conference to announce identity, arrest
« Last Edit: June 26, 2009, 01:55:04 PM by Nut44x4 » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2009, 07:01:07 PM »

http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/content/2009/jun/27/suspect-charged-baker-murder-waives-extradition/
Suspect charged in Baker murder waives extradition
Saturday, June 27, 2009
By Richard  Gould | Hickory Daily Record

Published: June 27, 2009

NEWTON - The man accused of murdering Travis Baker two years ago has waived extradition and will be transported back to Catawba County today from Orlando, Fla., according to Catawba County Sheriff's Office officials.

John Lee Mitchell Jr., 46, will be driven back by sheriff's office investigators who have been interviewing the suspect in Florida about Baker's murder, said Lt. Joel Fish. Fish said he expects Mitchell will arrive tonight and have his first court appearance Monday.

Baker was 19 when he was reported missing.

Tips led investigators to a field off Eulalia Lane in Catawba where they found Baker's skeletal remains under a pile of wood.

Catawba County Chief Deputy Coy Reid said investigators think Baker went to Mitchell's house on Oxford School Road on April 16, 2007, to deliver narcotics.

"We believe the two men got into an argument, but we're not sure what the argument was over. We think Mitchell, during the argument, shot Travis," Reid said.
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2009, 09:15:19 PM »

Thank you for this update.  I pray the Baker will have a sense of peace with the recovery of their son's remains.  Oh the prayers that will be needed for them for the trial.  Unfortunately, a different kind of hell is just beginning.
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2009, 02:33:33 PM »

Baker murder suspect in court
Local high-profile attorney named temporary counsel

Published: June 30, 2009

NEWTON - The man suspected of killing a 19-year-old two years ago was in a Catawba County courtroom Monday. He is charged with first-degree murder.

With a noticeably shorter haircut than the one in his previously published mug shot, John Lee Mitchell Jr. walked into the courtroom wearing a lime green jumpsuit for his first court appearance.

Mitchell, 46, is charged in the death of Travis Lee Baker, who was last seen alive April 16, 2007, in the Bunker Hill community.

Just prior to Mitchell's arrival in the courtroom, Catawba County Sheriff David Huffman came in. He remained in the room to watch the proceedings.

Mitchell stood quietly, and did not look over at the crowd. He spoke only to say Lisa Dubs was his attorney on a temporary basis. She represents Mitchell through his next court date, which is July 20. Mitchell requested a court-appointed attorney.

In addition to a shorter haircut, Mitchell also had a brace on his right wrist. Chief Deputy Coy Reid with the Catawba County Sheriff's Office said Mitchell had the brace on his arm in Florida, but declined to provide additional information on Mitchell's injury.

Baker's parents, godparents and other family members and friends came to watch the proceedings.

One of them was Baker's godfather, Jerry Sigmon. His family was especially close to Baker's. In addition to being Baker's godfather, Sigmon's son and Baker were close friends.

He remembers Baker as someone who was outgoing, who liked to play football and baseball and go fishing.

Baker was like Sigmon's own child, he said, adding the entire ordeal has been difficult on Baker's family and friends.

"It's been two years, two months and 11 days," he said. "We just want to give him the proper burial he deserves and the respect he needs."

Sigmon said that's been hard for him.

He said ending the search for Baker is the closure of one chapter.

"It's bittersweet," Sigmon said. "Travis was buried like a dog. It's good that we found him, but the anger's still there."

Baker's family held numerous searches for the missing teen throughout the county and region, searching for any signs of him or his candy apple red Camaro. They put up posters of Baker throughout the community shortly after his disappearance, as well as a few billboards. The family also held a vigil on the anniversary of his disappearance the last two years, remembering Baker and begging for anyone with information on Baker to contact authorities.

On June 19, investigators with the Catawba County Sheriff's Office received new information on the case, directing them to a field behind a home in Catawba where Baker might be buried. Baker's body was located in a hole covered with wood on June 22, along with textiles and a car bumper thought to be from his Camaro.

Authorities had enough information to take out an arrest warrant on Mitchell, who was in Winter Garden, Fla. Mitchell did not waive extradition, and was brought back to Catawba County over the weekend.

Sigmon said the Baker family is working to take things one day at a time, and hoping things go well in court.

"As long as he (Mitchell) gets a fair trial, so be it," Sigmon said. "As long as things are proven in a court of law, we'll be satisfied."

http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/content/2009/jun/30/baker-murder-suspect-court/
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2010, 04:50:32 PM »

This says his court date for SPECIAL ID FRAUD VIOLATION
is 5/3/2010

There is no date listed yet under 'MURDER' ..unless they will be combined

http://injail.catawbacountync.gov/apps/injail/injail.asp
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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2011, 11:32:35 PM »


January 3, 2011
ByJordan-Ashley Baker
jabaker.one@gmail.com
(snipped)
"John Lee Mitchell, 48, is charged in the death of 19-year-old Travis Baker, who was reported missing in 2007.

Mitchell is scheduled to appear in Superior Court this week on a murder charge.

Mitchell allegedly killed Baker after a dispute between the two men. Baker's remains were found in 2009, which is two years after Baker disappeared.

Mitchell was brought back to North Carolina from Florida and placed in Catawba County jail. He has no bond.

Mitchell's attorney is Lisa Dubs. Her court days are normally scheduled for Tuesdays. "

http://www.observernewsonline.com/content/burke-appears-court

Isn't it interesting that Lisa Dubs is also representing Zahra Baker's father?  I really really wouldn't want her job!!!

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« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2011, 11:55:11 PM »

I think they'll be having the murder trial in October.  I found this in the jail file today -

http://injail.catawbacountync.gov/WhosInJail/
MITCHELL,JOHN LEE 6/27/2009 521 BEARD RD. WINTER GARDEN, FL 34787-  46 MURDER  10/10/2011 09 CRS 54619   CATAWBA COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE

                                                                   SPECIAL ID FRAUD VIOLATION $5,000.00 1/10/2011 08 CR 52881   CATAWBA COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE

Justice sure takes time don't it?  BTW if you go to the link you can view his mugshot.  He looks alot different now.
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« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2011, 07:56:53 AM »

Indeed it does. Hopefully Justice will be served for Travis. TY for the update!!
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« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2011, 12:58:23 PM »

Inmate Name MITCHELL,JOHN LEE

Date Confined

Address

Age

Charge Murder

Bond Amount

Court Date  10/10/2011

SPECIAL ID FRAUD VIOLATION

$5,000.00

court date 10/17/2011

snipped:
http://injail.catawbacountync.gov/WhosInJail/
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« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2011, 10:51:39 AM »

It appears that the murder trial date has been delayed until January 2012.

"MITCHELL,JOHN LEE 6/27/2009 521 BEARD RD. WINTER GARDEN, FL 34787-  46 MURDER   1/13/2012 09 CRS 54619   CATAWBA COUNTY
                                                                                                                                                                   SHERIFFS OFFICE
     SPECIAL ID FRAUD VIOLATION $5,000.00 2/22/2012 08 CR 52881   CATAWBA COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE"

http://injail.catawbacountync.gov/WhosInJail/

Still waiting patiently for justice for Travis.  My prayers are with his family and friends.

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« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2011, 11:01:23 AM »

It appears that the murder trial date has been delayed until January 2012.

"MITCHELL,JOHN LEE 6/27/2009 521 BEARD RD. WINTER GARDEN, FL 34787-  46 MURDER   1/13/2012 09 CRS 54619   CATAWBA COUNTY
                                                                                                                                                                   SHERIFFS OFFICE
     SPECIAL ID FRAUD VIOLATION $5,000.00 2/22/2012 08 CR 52881   CATAWBA COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE"

http://injail.catawbacountync.gov/WhosInJail/

Still waiting patiently for justice for Travis.  My prayers are with his family and friends.

Thank you for the update.  Patience with the justice system is a difficult issue.
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