Fugitive is arrested in stabbing death of Oakdale woman

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 29, 2011 - 7:47 PM

A fugitive on the lam from state corrections officials was arrested Thursday in connection with the stabbing death of a 39-year-old Oakdale woman.

Lori Christine Baker, who was stabbed numerous times, was found dead in her bedroom after her worried boss went to check on her Wednesday morning.

A 44-year-old St. Paul man whom Baker knew was arrested in Minneapolis about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Oakdale police said.

The man had been sought by Department of Corrections officials on a warrant in another felony and was being held over that case until murder charges are filed, said Michelle Stark, Oakdale police spokeswoman.

Agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, state Corrections Department and Minneapolis police arrested the man and took him to the Hennepin County jail, where he was being questioned and booked, Stark said.

Baker, who police say spent Christmas with her family, lived in a third-floor apartment on the 6200 block of 12th Street N. in Oakdale.

Employer found body

When Baker didn't show up for work Wednesday morning, her employer, Renee Fearing, went to her apartment and found her body just before 11 a.m. in her bedroom, a police report said.

Though there was blood at the scene, police initially said it was not clear whether the death was a homicide, police said.

An autopsy Thursday by the Ramsey County medical examiner found numerous stab wounds, Stark said.

Victim had been a nanny

Stark would not say the kind of work Baker did for Renee and Duane Fearing of Afton. Baker, however, had been a nanny, social websites show. Her Facebook page shows affiliations with nanny groups, both locally and internationally, as well as with Catholic organizations.

Stark said police and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension continue to look for a motive in the attack, and she would not say how Baker and the man in custody knew each other.

She and Doug Neville, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Safety, declined to say whether there was evidence of robbery, theft or sexual assault. The man in custody has a history of assaults and armed robbery.

"This is a relatively quick arrest, and we still are very much involved in further investigation," Stark said. "There are many more witnesses to be contacted and history to be located on the victim and the alleged suspect."

Authorities would not disclose whether they recovered a weapon.

Baker's family members and the Fearings could not be reached Thursday.

Joy Powell • 651-925-5038

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