It’s a story made for Hollywood, the babysitter who breaks up a marriage, beats up one of the children, and is linked to the vanishing of two others- but unfortunately, this story is not fiction. Three year old Paul Leonard Baker disappeared from Beaufort, South Carolina March 5, 1987. The woman now known as Susan Elizabeth Baker was Paul Leonard Baker’s babysitter and, according to the Charley Project, she was having an affair with Paul’s father James Baker. Paul’s mother Linda Solozano moved out of the Baker-Solozano home due to the affair, taking Paul and his sister Nina with her, but when the divorce was finalized, James Baker assumed custody of Paul Leonard Baker and Nina Baker.
Paul Leonard Baker Disappeared on Susan Elizabeth Baker’s Watch
James Baker and Susan Elizabeth Baker were subsequently married and bought a home in Beaufort. Susan Elizabeth Baker was the last person to see Paul Leonard Baker, telling police she put him down for a nap March 5, 1987 and he was gone when she returned later to check on him.
Susan Elizabeth Baker Convicted of Abusing Paul Leonard Baker’s Sister Nina
The Charley project notes that authorities removed Paul Leonard Baker’s sister Nina from the Baker home after Paul’s disappearance; the little girl had broken bones and sores covering her body. Susan Baker was convicted of abusing little Nina and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Baker’s sentence was subsequently reduced to time served.
Susan Elizabeth and James Baker moved to Florida but were extradited in 2000 when authorities re-opened the Paul Leonard Baker case. No indictment against Susan Elizabeth Baker issued in the Paul Leonard Baker investigation. Paul Leonard Baker has never been found.
Missing Baby Shannon Dedrick Found Under Susan Elizabeth Baker’s Bed
The saga involving the babysitter became more chilling Thursday when investigators is Chipley, Florida announced that Susan Elizabeth Baker will be charged in connection with another child’s disappearance, that of 7 month old Shannon Dedrick. Shannon was reported missing at 11 am Saturday by her parents who claimed they last saw her at 3 am when they put her in her bed. Thursday morning, ecstatic investigators announced that they found baby Shannon alive and well- hidden in a box under her babysitter Susan Elizabeth Baker’s bed.
Susan and James Baker had granted authorities permission to search their home and that search led to the discovery of baby Shannon Dedrick under the bed. Authorities plan to hold a press conference to release more details on the Shannon Dedrick case today. Investigators have announced that they expect to file charges against Susan Elizabeth Baker and James Baker as well as Shannon’s mother Chrystine Lynn Mercer.
According to a press report, Susan Elizabeth Baker had emailed the governor in August asking for help for baby Shannon. Shannon Dedrick was the subject of a child abuse investigation opened when she was 2 weeks old. Medical reports and other information suggested that the baby received proper care, according to Associated Press, though the social service agency expressed concerns about the parents’ marijuana smoking.
Susan Elizabeth Baker’s babysitting days presumably are over now, as authorities piece together what happened in the missing children investigations of just-found Shannon Dedrick and still-missing Paul Leonard Baker.
Sources: “Missing Florida Baby”
“Baby Shannon Dedrick Reported Missing ”