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Larry Baker: Will the public be able to do what the police can’t or won’t?

UPDATE 8/15/13 – The Liberty county Sheriff’s Office announced that the human remains found on Gladstell Road (CR322) on April 12, 2013 do not belong to Rodney Stokley, Larry Baker, Mark Rhineburger, Dennis Rogers, Edwin Rodgers, or Westley Moore.  The preliminary forensic tests show that the bones belong to a person who was Hispanic or “a similar popular description,” and was between the ages of 15 and 20 years old and 63.5 to 67 inches tall. 

The search for Larry Baker who has been missing since Jan. 29, 2010 from Texas may have long been stopped by the police, but it still goes on by private citizens and a search and rescue group who are trying to get to the bottom of what happened to him.

Larry Baker

Before I tell you about what has recently happened in this case I want to give you some background information, so that you know more about Larry Baker.

In 2011, Jerry Kinner, Larry Baker’s brother contacted me about his missing brother.  A missing persons report was made, the police did a search, but now a year later not much has been done. Read more of the story by clicking here.

When Jerry contacted me he also told me about Rodney Stokley, 19, who went missing in 2008 from the same area.   It seemed a high probability in a town with a population of 8,000 people, so I dug a little more and found a lot missing from Liberty County and Montgomery County that adjoins it.  This led me to write the story about The Missing Texas Forty.  But, back to Larry.

Rodney Stokley

In October, 2011, Jerry told me that he had new information about Larry

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.

In fact, 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.

Jerry also told me that Bortz  [sic] said that they would have to bring in cadaver dogs and would search the property where they believed Larry had been put, and ‘Larry and his family would have closure soon’.”  That was a year and a half ago.  Jerry is still waiting.

Now there doesn’t seen to be enough money to search for Larry, according to Jerry,

“I am not the only one Liberty County has told they don’t have funds to look for my brother Larry Baker.  Dennis Rodgers‘ family  told me they said same thing to them,” posted Jerry on the Missing Texas Forty Facebook page.  Dennis Rodgers went missing from Liberty County in 2012.

Liberty Dispatch letter concerned about neglect with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office

Then early this year, Jerry connected with 1st Priority Search and Recovery in Plantersville, Texas.  They heard about missing Larry Baker and also about two people that said they knew information about what happened to Larry. They also heard that police never interviewed these two potential witnesses (which you will hear them state in the video) so, 1st Priority decided to go interview them and see what they had to say about Larry’s case (the video of the interview is at the bottom of this page.)  They also did a video of the area they searched where Larry might be.  When they got back they realized that an area on the banks of the water-filled hole showed what appears to be a skull lying on the banks right above the water line. 

1st Priority Search and Recovery plans to turn over the video’s to the Cleveland Police Dept. and they are also planing on meeting with a company that has a truck that can pump out the water hole where they believe a skull is on the banks.  But, first they have to find someone that will do it for free, as there is a limited budget for a SAR team.

Until that happens, we all are waiting to hear what 1st Priority finds next.  We appreciate what they have done so far, especially Jerry.

“It was the search Team who done – this they have been my back bone – nothing would be done if they wouldn’t have gone out of there way to help me –  they deserve the credit not me,” posted Jerry on 1st Priority Search and Recovery’s Facebook page.

In the meantime, both of the videos of the two people that 1st Priority Search and Recovery made were sent over to me by Jerry.  Jackie Johnson Anthony, a professional transcriber heard my call on the Missing Persons of America Facebook page and graciously volunteered to transcribe the videos.   After you listen to the first video you will see what a outstanding job she did. 

You can read the transcription below and you can also watch the videos below that. 

Please note any question marks or blanks are because the words were indiscernible.  Both videos can be seen after this transcription below:

Transcript witness statement February 7, 2013

1st Priority: Okay, can you give me your full name
Migues: I am ?Miguel ______.
1st Priority: Okay, can you tell me what information you may know about the Larry Baker disappearance?
Miguel:  I moved here about a year ago and I wasn’t here when it happened, but according to what they have been telling me, the man that lives down the road, the next block, claims that when the body, the man disappeared, he started digging that hole. Somehow, he got a tractor. He built that hole; and then, the next day, he came back and then he buried the hole back up, and uh, this is according to what they told me, and then he started, he told some people to dump in the back, over in the woods, so people started dumping back there in the woods, all kinds of tiles (tires?) and all kind of trash back there and the hole, they claim, I don’t know, they claim it’s about 20-35 feet deep; I don’t know how deep it is, but Kelly told him, dig a hole and you bury the ______ again and that is kind of strange. Other than that, Mr. Cole has all the information they told him. He started getting some mail from Florida from the dead man, from some government agency, and Mr. Cole is the one that has most of the information.
1st Priority:  So the mail was coming for Larry Baker?
Miguel:  Right, the mail was coming in for Larry Baker since he has been dead for over a year or whatever.
1st Priority:  Two years, yeah.
Miguel:  He is the one that has all the evidence and information, whatever.
1st Priority:  So, but you have been told that you think that they think his body is buried in a hole there in the back, on the property? ?Miguel:  Daniels, down the road, her, her brother lives here down the road, he comes over here and gets drunk, ya know, and he has been telling me in the past that he came here that morning and ah, and what’s his name here, _____, and he was digging that big hole.
1st Priority: So, the suspect in the case, right? Kelly? Yeah, Kelly, was digging that hole. So, they said they dug all day, and uh, after that, he said it was kind of weird because the next day I went back and they were filling it up again.
1st Priority:  So, they dug it one day and was digging it, putting it back up the next day?
Miguel:  (Nods head) According to what Daniel told me.
1st Priority:  And this was right after Larry’s disappearance?
Miguel:  Yes, that was, I think, the same day that Larry disappeared.
1st Priority: Oh, the same day? OK.
Miguel:  Not the same day, I mean..
1st Priority:  A day or so later. 
Miguel The same, ah,
1st Priority:  The same  Time frame?
Miguel:  So, the one did, did claims that ah, showed me the letters from ______ from Larry Baker.
1st Priority: Right
Miguel:  And Larry Baker is dead, of course. So, maybe he is some other place; I don’t know.
1st Priority:  No, they..okay, so, in your belief, you think that that body is there then?
Miguel:  See, my belief, why would they build a deep hole, and the next day they be covering it up?
1st Priority  Right, well.
Miguel:  That is kind of weird, strange.
1st Priority:  It’s strange. How much trouble have you had out of the landlord since that time?
Miguel:   How much what?
1st Priority:  The trouble, trouble that the landlord..
Miguel:  woooeee, we would move, but everybody doesn’t got the money to rent another place, uh..
1st Priority:  So, she verbally has told you something personally?
Miguel:  Yes! (nods head).
1st Priority:  Okay, what was that conversation?
Miguel: Flagged me down right there (points), came over here, claiming I need to pay $500.00 a month for this little vacant about this big (circles fingers). I pay right now $300.00. It was ah, was ah, the agreement…[end of tape]

The second video has been transcribed but for the most part you can understand the video.  If anyone wants a copy of the transcript, please let me know.


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