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Record South Whidbey

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2012 | Vol. 88, No. 47 | | 75¢

INSIDE: A wise Sage, SPORTS, A7

Murder of pizza We did it shop co-owner shocks Freeland Husband held on $5 million bail By JESSIE STENSLAND Staff reporter

Greenbank resident Kathie Baker was hit in the head, possibly with a ball-peen hammer, and strangled with a ligature before her body was wrapped in a tarp and dumped in a ravine, according to court records. Her husband, 61-year-old Robert “Al” Baker, was arrested Saturday in connection with the brutal and bizarre case. A judge in Island County Superior Court set his bail at $5 million Monday after finding that there’s probable cause to believe he committed first-degree murder. The couple owns Harbor Pizzeria in Freeland and were known to work there together since opening it last year. They both also worked for Raytheon Corporation, a major defense contractor. Senior Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme said in court Robert ‘Al’ Baker that Al Baker is a scientist and travels internationally through his work, including spending part of each year in Antarctica. Detective Ed Wallace with the Island County Sheriff’s Office said Kathie Baker was last seen alive on June 2. Investigators discovered her tarp-covered body in a ravine in her backyard June 9. Island County Sheriff Mark Brown praised his deputies and detectives for quickly getting to the bottom of the mysterious disappearance, but he said they are scratching their heads at the unusual facts of the case. The Bakers appeared to be a happy couple and it seemed that little effort was made to clean up after the murder. “It just doesn’t make a lot of sense,” he said. Kathie, 53, was a high-level computer programmer and telecommuted from her home on Silver Cloud Lane in Greenbank. Kathie’s boss at Raytheon reported to police on June 7 that he couldn’t contact her and asked for a welfare check. Deputies went to the Bakers’ home and spoke to Al Baker, who claimed his wife had flown to Denver for her job; he said he dropped her off at the airport June 3. But a deputy again contacted her boss, who said she wasn’t see murder, page a10

Ben Watanabe / The Record

South Whidbey High School senior Lisa Sparks shares a smile with Jerimiah Robey during the graduation ceremony June 9 at the school’s gymnasium.

Students sing praises of South Whidbey ‘home’ BY BEN WATANABE Staff reporter

LANGLEY — No matter where they go and who they become, the South Whidbey High School class of 2012 can always come home. And home will always be on Whidbey Island. In a gym packed with friends and family at the high school, 127 South Whidbey graduates smiled, sang, laughed and gazed, seemingly awestruck, during the ceremony. The South Whidbey class of 2012 is headed all over the state and

country in pursuit of its myriad passions such as music, biology, business, robotics, automotive mechanics, sports and creative writing. “You are talented, you are risk takers,” said South Whidbey High School Principal John Patton. “You are leaders, and you will change the world.” For all the time spent talking about what lies ahead of the graduates, the safety of South Whidbey’s shores — home — was equally audible. “Whatever path you

choose, remember one thing: This is your home,” said Patton, who is finishing his first year as the principal after several years as an assistant principal at South Whidbey. Home was so pervasive a topic, it became a bit obtuse, though no less galvanizing, when a group of grads sang a song entitled “Home.” A host of students clambered down from the stage and grabbed a saxophone, a piano, a guitar, a tambourine, a bass drum, a cello and microphones. Sung by

Amy Arand, Zach Comfort, Dinah Hassrick, Sommer Harris, Sidney Hauser, Sam Lee, Will Mellish, Athena Michaelides and Jenny Zisette, the popular song by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros drew the remaining 120 grads to join in the chorus: “Home, let me come home. Home is wherever I’m with you.” Comfort earlier in the ceremony recited a poem he wrote as the students’ choice speaker. He spoke about the See students, A13

South Whidbey Record, June 13, 2012  
South Whidbey Record, June 13, 2012  

June 13, 2012 edition of the South Whidbey Record