MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) — Seventeen years after Erica Baker’s disappearance, her father is still holding out hope he will find out what happened to his daughter.
It was early in the afternoon on Monday when Greg Baker got a call from law enforcement. The sergeant on the phone told him the female remains found in Greene County a day earlier likely did not belong to Erica.
“They try to keep the family updated on everything and what’s going on,” said Baker. “He wanted just to let me know that they checked out that situation and it wasn’t her.”
On Sunday, some hunters were scouring the woods near Spring Valley looking for mushrooms. They stumbled upon some human remains and immediately called the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
Baker heard about the discovery. But after 17 years, he said news of more human remains being found in the area has started to lose its effect.
But after getting a call from law enforcement, it helped put perspective on how much people continue to care about Erica’s disappearance.
“That kind of brings back into the light a little bit,” said Baker. “That still kind of helps us out as far as for Erica.”
Baker said he will often keep in touch with law enforcement, including the Kettering Police Department which investigated Erica’s disappearance.
The 10-year-old girl went missing on February 7, 1999.
Investigators believed she was struck by a van near the intersection of Glengarry Drive and Powhattan Drive in Kettering.
They said the driver, Christian Gabriel, might be the only person who knows where Erica is located.
Gabriel was released from prison in 2011 after nearly six years for charges related to Erica’s case,
But after years of not knowing what happened, Erica’s father and the community are still hoping to find answers.
“If we could ever get her remains back, that would put a closure to this drama for our family,” said Baker.
The Greene County Sheriff’s Office said there is only one missing persons case in the county at this time.
Investigators are reaching out to other counties to see if the remains are a match for any other missing persons cases.
There are nearly 850 missing persons cases which remain open across the state, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.