- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Sixteen years ago tomorrow, Sue Baker found her daughter’s partially clothed body in a wooded area just off Interstate 95 in Springfield.

Two weeks after celebrating her 18th birthday, Amy Baker was sexually assaulted and strangled. Her killer has never been found.

“It just never goes away,” Mrs. Baker said. “Your children become everything you are. And it’s just so unnatural to lose a child.”

Now, on the anniversary of her death, Fairfax County police are hoping someone will come forward to help close the case.

It began March 29, 1989, when Amy had trouble with her baby blue Volkswagen Beetle while traveling home to Stafford from her aunt’s house in Falls Church.

Police said she pulled over on the shoulder of I-95 near the Backlick Road exit and began walking toward a gas station.

She never made it.

Mrs. Baker became worried when her daughter had not returned home by morning. She soon was notified that police had towed Amy’s car after it had been found abandoned.

A missing person’s report was filed.

The next day, Mrs. Baker met with police in the area where her daughter’s car had been found. It was then, while waiting for an officer to arrive, that she found her daughter’s body partially covered with leaves.

Police do not think she knew her attacker.

“Amy was pretty street smart,” Mrs. Baker said. “It just had to be the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Mrs. Baker said she does not have hard feelings toward police for failing to find Amy sooner. But she said much of the evidence was lost while the body lay in the woods, because it rained during that time.

In the days after Amy’s death, with her face splashed across the television news, police received several tips.

DNA evidence was collected at the scene, said Detective Steve Milefsky of the Fairfax County police cold case homicide unit. But at the time, the technology was not at the level that it is today.

There is no longer enough of the sample left to conduct additional tests, Detective Milefsky said.

Officer Shelly Broderick, a spokeswoman for Fairfax County Crime Solvers, said police still are actively investigating and want to speak with someone who contacted authorities April 3, 1996, shortly after an article about Amy appeared in the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg.

Police think the caller knew something about the case, but Officer Broderick would not provide details.

Anyone with information is asked to call 800/673-2777. The family is offering a $25,000 reward in addition to the $1,000 reward from Crime Solvers.

Mrs. Baker, meanwhile, is certain that someone knows who killed her daughter, but said she does not think she will ever have closure — even if that person is found.

“I need for him to look into my son’s eyes and my husband’s eyes and see Amy and realize what he did,” she said. “Would it make any difference? For people like that, probably not.”

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