Originally created 05/10/04

Web site set up to honor slain student, generate information about case



ATHENS, Ga. -- The mother of a University of Georgia law school student found dead in her burning home in 2001 believes a Web site created to honor the woman might also generate information to help police find her killer.

Tara Baker, a first-year law student from Lovejoy, died one day short of her 24th birthday on Jan. 19, 2001, not far from the University of Georgia campus. In January, she was granted a degree from university's School of Law.

Baker's uncle, Matthew Patrie, created the Web site - www.tarabaker.com - last month.

"I wanted to do the Web site because in my heart and mind it was like creating a shrine to Tara, the most remarkable woman I'd ever known," he said.

The site contains a poem written for Baker by a friend, letters from siblings and photo as well as news articles and information about the case. Visitors can post notes on the site or send e-mail to the family.

"My hope is it will keep her memory alive and keep the case in the forefront of the minds of the people of Athens, and I would really hope it might help stimulate someone who hadn't had the courage to come forward with information to do so, even anonymously," said Baker's mother, Virginia Baker.

Athens-Clarke police haven't made an arrest in the case. Police have said they have important details about the case but prefer to keep that information known only to themselves and the killer.