Overview of Tara Louise Baker
Tara Louise Baker was born on January 20, 1977. She was a daughter, sister, and friend. Tara was a southern belle, she had a way of making those around her feel special. Tara was an old soul who championed the underdog. In 1995, Tara graduated from Love Joy High School and later enrolled at Georgia College in Milledgeville. In 1998, she graduated Cum Laude with two bachelor’s degrees. She was in her second semester of law school.
On January 19, 2001, Tara Louise Baker was studying at the UGA Law Library with one of her best friends. By 7:30 p.m., her friend had left the library. A short time later, Tara called that same friend at 9:46 p.m. to ensure that her friend got home safely. While on the phone, Tara mentioned that she was planning on heading home around 10 p.m. The library was located approximately 12 minutes from her home. This was the last time anyone spoke to Tara.
The next morning, local firefighters were dispatched to a house fire. It was Tara’s 24th birthday. Tara’s white car was parked outside. Upon arrival, authorities found Tara’s body. Authorities were quick to determine that the fire was likely set intentionally. Tara was beaten, stabbed, and strangled. There is a possibility that Tara was also sexually assaulted. Tara’s case was quickly ruled a homicide.
Where the case stands today: An autopsy was conducted the next day, but the family never got the results. Fast forward ten years, and the “Classic City Crime” podcast released 24 episodes about Tara’s case. The renewed public interest in the case resulted in the family finally obtaining the autopsy report.
In 2023, the Coleman-Baker act was signed into Georgia law. The act aims to provide $5.4 million to aid in solving cold case homicides by establishing a unit dedicated to solving cases with the GBI. Tara's family is still demanding justice.
If you have any information regarding the unsolved murder of Tara Louise Baker please contact contact the Athens-Clarke County Police Department at 706-613-3337 or the GBI’s Athens Regional Office at 706-542-790.