Missing since: 02/07/99
Missing from: Kettering, Ohio
Classification: Lost, Injured, Missing
Date Of Birth: 06/22/89
Age at disappearance: 9
Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Blonde hair; hazel eyes.
Clothing: She was wearing a pink rain jacket, a pink Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt, blue jeans and white tennis shoes.
Dentals: Erica’s front teeth are crooked.
Circumstances of Disappearance
She was last seen when she left the house to walk her dog between 15.00 and 15.30 on February 7, 1999. The dog was later found but Erica has not been seen since.
Police found few clues, but they developed a scenario based on sources that Erica had been struck by a car and one or more occupants picked up her body and hid it.
Christian Gabriel was found guilty on one count of gross abuse of a corpse and one count of tampering with evidence.
In the search for the girl’s body, Gabriel took investigators to Eastwood Lake, Huffman MetroPark and finally to Caesar Creek State Park. In July 2004 he told Kettering police that he and three others were in a van when they struck Erica in the street. The other three buried her at Huffman MetroPark, he told police.
Four months later, his story changed. He was in the van with just one other person, Jan Franks, and they buried the body in a different location, according to his statement.
Three months later, his story changed again. This time he said he didn’t even own a van at the time of her disappearance. Baker’s body has never been found. A woman who police said was also in the van at the time died before she could tell authorities about the case.
Kettering Police Department
If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tip line (910) 232-1687.
All information submitted to CUE Center For Missing Persons is confidential.