Suspect is held without charges in death of Oakdale nanny

  • Article by: JOY POWELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 30, 2011 - 9:50 PM

A 44-year-old man suspected in the stabbing death of an Oakdale woman remains jailed on a parole violation.

Thomas James Fox, 44, of St. Paul, is being held on a probation violation while Oakdale police say they investigate him in connection with a nanny's slaying.

The suspect in the slaying of a 39-year-old Oakdale nanny remained jailed Friday night on a parole violation, but charges have not yet been filed in the stabbing death of Lori Christine Baker.

Minneapolis police and state agents officials arrested Thomas James Fox about 2:30 p.m. Thursday during a traffic stop near 10th and LaSalle Avenue. He was held on a state warrant for absconding from a halfway house while on work release, said Michelle Stark, spokeswoman for Oakdale police.

Baker was found Wednesday morning on her bedroom floor in the 6200 block of 12th Street N. in Oakdale. She had been stabbed several times and was dead at the scene.

Police remained tight-lipped on how Fox, of St. Paul, and Baker knew each other. They would say only that the two were acquainted. The investigation is ongoing.

Fox, 44, had been sought for months since walking away from a halfway house on Dayton Avenue in St. Paul, where he was supposed to be under house arrest. The suspect, who was being held Friday at the Ramsey County jail, has been in and out of prison for many years on robbery, theft and drug charges.

His history is as checkered as Baker's was clean.

"She was very committed to her employer; she was an excellent nanny," said a peer, Mary O'Connor, president of Nannies from the Heartland.

A devout Catholic, she was nanny for an Afton family for nine years. Employer Renee Fearing found Baker lifeless in her third-floor apartment after she didn't show up for work, police said.

"She was an exemplary nanny, very professional, very experienced, devoted to the family that she worked for, active in the Twin Cities Professional Nannies; she had leadership roles in that organization," O'Connor said Friday.

Joy Powell • 651-925-5038

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  • Lori C. Baker, 39, was slain in her Oakdale apartment. Her body was found Wednesday morning.

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