Fallen

In Memoriam Sergeant Daniel Baker

(Graphics courtesy Rose Borisow GrafX)

Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe of the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department in Tennessee sadly reports the death of Sgt. Daniel Baker.

Sgt. Baker, 32, was shot and killed when he was investigating a suspicious vehicle. Baker advised his dispatcher that he had arrived in the area and no further contact was made.

However, after some time, Baker had not checked in with dispatch.

As a result, dispatchers tracked Baker’s patrol vehicle via GPS and determined that it was about two miles from the scene of the call in a wooded area. Officers from other agencies located the vehicle and found him deceased in his vehicle.

Baker’s body was transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Nashville for an autopsy.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the murder of Baker.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U. S. Marshal’s Office, Dickson County Sheriff’s Department, Hickman County Sheriff’s Department and local agencies, are conducting the search for the suspect.

While a manhunt continued into the evening for the man wanted in the killing of Baker, a woman was charged for her alleged involvement in the crime, reported the Tennessean.

Wednesday night TBI announced that agents had arrested Erika Castro-Miles, a 38-year-old Dickson woman who had been detained earlier in the day. She is being held in the Dickson County jail on a charge of first-degree murder.

Details about what transpired during the shooting were sparse, but the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation identified the first suspect as 31-year-old Steven Wiggins, a felon with a violent criminal history spanning back more than a decade who was wanted on multiple warrants at the time of the shooting. He remained at large as of Wednesday night.

In a statement, TBI reported that Castro-Miles was an acquaintance of Wiggins and investigators had received information that she “participated in the incident.”

Bledsoe urged Wiggins to surrender to law enforcement.

“He needs to be held accountable for what we know he has done,” Bledsoe said. “He has the option to do the right thing. People make mistakes, and people do things that are terrible, and this is an evil deed that he’s done, but now he can show people that there’s still something left in him by turning himself in.”

Baker comes from a family deeply involved in law enforcement. His father is a detective with the Spring Hill Police Department and his stepbrother is a patrol officer with the same agency. One report indicated that his brother-in-law also is an officer at Spring Hill.

Friends described Baker as a devoted husband and loving father to his one-year-old daughter, reported WSMV.

“Every time I saw him not in uniform, he had his little girl in his arms. I was a daddy’s girl when I was young so I know, she’ll definitely remember her daddy,” said Kaitlin Stauss, Baker’s former neighbor.

Stauss recalled Baker recently helping her when she was victimized by crime.

“He just wanted the world to be a better place and I think that’s really unfair that he had, he had to risk his life every day knowing that there’s possibly a chance that he can’t go home to his little girl or to his wife,” said Stauss.

Baker also worked at the Renaissance Center in Dickson as a security guard at least once a week.

Rodney Weaver, the head of security for the center, said Baker was a hard worker and always professional.

“He was really dedicated, loved his job. He performed his job very well. He was just a dedicated officer,” said Weaver.

Daniel Baker was a United States Marine Corps veteran and had served the Dickson County Sheriff’s Department for 10 years. He was a member of the Sheriff’s Department’s SWAT team for the past five years. He had served with the Humphrey County Sheriff’s Department prior to joining Dickson County.

Baker’s wife, one-year-old daughter, parents and extended family survive him.

Sergeant Daniel Baker is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW: Wednesday, May 30, 2018.

Daniel Baker
(Graphics courtesy Rose Borisow GrafX)

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Author
Patrick Sharkey

Pat Sharkey earned an associate's Degree at Kellogg Community College and was hired by the Battle Creek Township Police Department as a dispatcher. Pat was then hired by the Michigan State Police and was initially assigned to the Capitol Security Detail. Eight years later, he attended the 98th Trooper Recruit School. Pat served as a trooper for the remainder of his career serving at State Police Posts in Erie, Sandusky, Northville, Flat Rock, Bridgeport, Ypsilanti, and Caro areas of Michigan. He attended Michigan State University’s Traffic Crash Reconstruction Program and was certified as an expert witness in several Michigan courts. Pat retired in 2010 after 35 years of public service. He is a correspondent for Law Enforcement Today and enjoys hunting, target shooting, and (most of all) sailing.

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