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23-Year-Old Cold Case Solved in Athens (Video)

GBI Solves Decades-Old Case

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has announced the resolution of a 23-year-old cold case. Tara Louise Baker, a 23-year-old law student at the University of Georgia (UGA), was found dead after a fire at her apartment in Athens on January 19, 2001.

Incident Overview

On January 19, 2001, firefighters responded to a fire at Baker’s apartment, which quickly turned into a crime scene. Baker’s body was discovered inside the apartment, leading to an investigation that remained unsolved for over two decades.

Arrest Made

Nearly 23 years after the incident, GBI agents have charged 48-year-old Eric Lamont Foust with multiple offenses, including murder, concealing the death of another, arson, and aggravated assault.

Investigation Details

Baker was last seen alive by a friend at the UGA law school library the night before the fire. At the time of her death, the local community was already on edge due to a series of break-ins and car vandalism. The killing heightened fears among residents, with many expressing concerns about safety in the neighborhood.

Legislative Impact

Tara Baker’s murder spurred the passage of the Coleman Baker Act, which established a ten-agent unit within the GBI dedicated to solving cold cases. This unit, in collaboration with Athens police, revisited Baker’s case in September of the previous year, leading to the recent arrest.

Closure for the Family

GBI Director Chris Hosey expressed hope that the arrest would bring some measure of closure to the Baker family. Governor Brian Kemp also commented on the resolution, expressing hope that Tara’s memory would be honored through the continued efforts of the GBI’s cold case unit.


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