Back in April 22, 2011, I posted about missing Larry Baker, who has been missing from his home on CR 325 off Plum Grove Road (FM 1010) and 400 Co. Rd., Cleveland, Texas since January 29, 2010. Read story here.
Larry’s brother, Jerry contacted me and said he had new information about his brother.
“Detective Brian Bortz [sic] told me a guy doing drugs with another guy told him what happened to my brother, Larry, and that he was buried on the property where my brother-in-law lived. He also said he knew who the suspect was, Kelly Nickerson.” Jerry knew Kelly Nickerson, very well, because he was Jerry’s brother-in-law.
Jerry had suspected that Larry was killed by Kelly, for a while now. He was close enough to know particular things about Kelly, like the fact that Kelly had melted down a gun and a few other things. But, Jerry would never know for sure if Kelly was responsible, because Jerry’s brother-in-law was killed on September 29, a victim of a hit and run in Pennsylvania.
Kelly Nickerson, 40, was originally from Towanda, Pennsylvania. He had moved to Cleveland and was there for many years before moving back to Pennsylvania in 2011. According to the SunGazette, Kelly was found lying face down and unconscious in the center turning lane of Route 6 in Wysox Township. The police believe he was stuck by a vehicle that did not see him, because he was wearing dark clothing.
Jerry said, “It was about a week after Kelly came back to Towanda, that the person came forward, so I think they were waiting for him to leave to tell what they know. Bortz [sic] said that they would have to bring in cadaver dogs and would search the property and ‘Larry and his family would have closure soon’.”
Jerry said he waited a few weeks to hear back from Bortz, [sic] and when he didn’t, he called back and asked, “Did you start digging for my brother yet, and he said, ‘no I gotta get equipment out there and cadaver dogs.”
Now, after waiting 5 weeks, Jerry is worried that finding Larry will never happen. “I feel like this is being swept under the rug, so to speak,” said Jerry. “The family deserves to have Larry found.”
|Rodney A. Stokley|
Yes, Larry deserves to be found, and so does Rodney A. Stokley, a 19-year-old who went missing, in 2008. For a little town, like Cleveland with a population under 8,000, two people missing, especially two people living only blocks from each other is unusual. Also, Larry and Rodney knew each other, which is the case in small towns. Rodney went to the store where Larry worked and they also did community service together and Rodney was last seen on Wells Road off Plum Grove Road, near where Larry lived. Is it a coincidence or a connection?
Jerry thinks there’s connection, “When the police finally dig up my brother, they will probably find Rodney’s body next to him,” he said.
Special K-9 Search and Recovery dogs (cadaver dogs) were brought in to search on March 23, 2009 for Rodney on Easy Street, over a year after he went missing after receiving a tip. Nothing was found.
Jerry mentioned that Texas Equusearch had searched the area for Larry, too, shortly after he went missing in 2010. Jerry thinks that when they were searching, they didn’t find anything because Larry wasn’t buried there till sometime after the search.
Note: Antonio and Luz Rodriguez, a senior couple were brutally killed in Cleveland, Texas in their home on the 100 block of Waco Street in 2005. Their case has yet to be solved.
|Antonio and Luz Rodriguez Family|
After two missing persons and two unsolved murders, this small town needs some answers.
Please note that over the years after this story was written, more people came up missing. You can read about that here.
If you have any information on Larry Baker or Rodney Stokley or the Rodriguez family, please call the Cleveland Police Dept. at 281-592-2626. There is a $10,000 reward for information on Rodney, and $15,000.00 reward for information on the Rodriguez family.