Parents stuck in stage of grief for 15 years

KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – Misty Baker marched through the snow to get to her daughter’s gravestone in Kettering Friday. She placed flowers and a balloon next to Erica’s name, engraved on the headstone.  It also read, “Born June 22 1989” and “Missing”.

“Fifteen years ago today (February 7),  Erica went missing on a drizzly Sunday afternoon,” said Misty, who then paused for several seconds to hold back her emotions.  “She is still not home.”

Erica was just nine years old in 1999 when she disappeared while walking her dog at park near the Kettering family’s home.  A man named Christian Gabriel confessed he struck and killed Erica with his van, but never revealed where he and his passenger put her body.

“I literally have dug up Dayton,” said Greg Baker. “Its going to be only on God’s time that we are going to find out where she is.”

Erica’s father hopes his faith will one day bring his daughter home. Until then, he relies on the community’s overwhelming and continued support. He wants other parents to hug their children a little tighter.

“Make sure they know not to go anywhere alone,” pleaded Greg. ” What happened to Erica was a one in a million shot, but it can happen and it does happen.”

Erica would have turned 25 on June 22, 2014.
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