Paul's parents, James Baker and Lynda Solorzano, separated in the mid-1980s. James's affair with Susan, who was employed as their children's babysitter, caused the breakup of the marriage. Solorzano said that she moved out of their home with Paul and his sister Nina shortly thereafter. She claimed that James never paid child support afterwards. Solorzano had limited financial means after their separation and applied for public assistance. She was pregnant with her new boyfriend's child by the time her divorce from James was finalized. Solorzano said that the judge sided with James and agreed that she did not have the means to support Paul and Nina. James was awarded full custody of both children and married Susan afterwards.
The Bakers purchased a home in Beaufort, South Carolina by 1987. Susan told authorities that she put Paul down for a nap inside their residence on March 5 of that year. Susan claimed Paul had vanished by the time she returned to check on him. He has never been seen again. An extensive search of the Bakers' property produced little evidence as to Paul's whereabouts.
State authorities removed Nina from the family's home after Paul's disappearance. Investigators learned that she suffered broken bones and had sores covering her body. Susan was convicting of abusing the child and sentenced to ten years in prison for assault and battery. Her sentence was suspended due to time served. Solorzano was involved in a legal battle in an attempt to win custody of her daughter. Nina was eventually placed in her maternal grandmother's care while Solorzano was given the opportunity to improve her life.
Susan and James were extradited back to South Carolina from their Florida residence in 2000 in connection with Paul's disappearance. James had been discharged from military service in 1999 when South Carolina authorities reopened Paul's case. Foul play is suspected in Paul's disappearance. His whereabouts remain unknown.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Washington, D. C.
NamUs MP #5817