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Breakthrough in Decades-Old Murder Case of University of Georgia Law Student

After more than two decades of investigation and unanswered questions, authorities have made a significant breakthrough in the murder case of Tara Louise Baker, a first-year law student at the University of Georgia. On Thursday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, along with Athens-Clarke County police, announced the arrest of 48-year-old Edrick Lamont Faust. He has been charged with multiple offenses, including malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, aggravated sodomy, tampering with evidence, and arson. The arrest follows an intensive re-examination of the case by the GBI’s newly formed cold case unit, which collaborated closely with local police.

The tragic case dates back to January 2001 when firefighters discovered Baker’s body in her burned apartment in Athens. It was soon determined that Baker had been murdered and the fire set intentionally to cover up the crime. The recent breakthrough in the case was aided by the Coleman-Baker Act, signed into law in 2023 by Governor Brian Kemp, which established a dedicated unit within the GBI to tackle cold cases. This legislative move, named partly in honor of Baker, mandates a review of unsolved cases older than six years. The arrest of Faust not only marks a pivotal moment in this longstanding case but also offers a glimmer of hope and closure to Baker’s family, who have endured years of waiting and grief.

laurenmandt@gmail.com

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