Was Pastor's Double Life Motive for Murder?

Waco Murder

Matt Baker was a Baptist preacher with an active congregation in Waco, Texas, and a beautiful family, including two young daughters.

But his seemingly picturesque life changed forever on April 7, 2006, when he found his wife, Kari, dead in their bed, apparently from an overdose of sleeping pills.

Love Story Starts During College Years

Kari and Matt met during their college years, and married after just three months of dating. They appeared to be the perfect couple from day one.

VIDEO: When devoted mother Kari Baker is found dead, suspicions surround her husband.
Why Would Preacher's Wife Commit Suicide?

"It was a whirlwind romance," said Kari's mother, Linda Dulin.

Soon after, they began raising a family. Their life together looked so promising, until, without warning, Kari brought it to an abrupt end by snuffing out the storybook romance, authorities said, with a couple of wine coolers and a bottle of sleeping pills.

But why would a perfectly healthy mother leave a typed, unsigned suicide note professing love for her children, her parents and her husband, apologize and then take her own life?

In a 2008 interview, Matt Baker told ABC News that there were clues his wife was in a downward spiral. It began, he said, with one monumental tragedy -- the loss of their second daughter, Kassidy, who died over a decade ago. When she was a one year old, she was struck by a brain tumor and died four months after her diagnosis, leaving Kari grief-stricken. "She had a hole in her heart," Dulin recalled.

The Reverend's Secret

The Hewitt Police Department was quick to rule Kari's death a suicide. However, her family still could not comprehend how the doting mom could leave her other two children behind. Lindsey Pick, Kari's cousin, was sure that Kari did not take her own life.

"She would have never, ever left her children," she said.

CLICK HERE to see photos of Kari and Matt Baker through the years

Suicide or Murder?: A Family Investigates

VIDEO: Linda Dullin, mom of Kari Baker, gives emotional statement in court.
Pastor Discarded Wife, She Committed Suicide

Convinced suicide was not in Kari's nature, her mom, cousin, and aunts launched their own investigation. The first crucial clues in the case came when Linda Dulin received Kari's cell phone bill and noticed calls were still being made, even after Kari's death.

"Matt had given Kari's cell phone to someone and what that told me...was something wasn't right. Matt's story wasn't right," Dulin said.

That someone was Vanessa Bulls, a recently divorced single mom and church member, who was having an affair with Matt Baker while Kari was still alive.

Kari's family became increasingly suspicious of Baker and then their investigation uncovered even more stunning evidence: Kari's therapist revealed that Kari suspected Matt was having an affair and she feared he was out to get of her.

"Kari had shared with her [therapist] that she was afraid that Matt might possibly try to kill her and that she also found some crushed pills in Matt's briefcase," Kari's aunt, Kay Bailey told ABC News.

Preacher Maintains Innocence

Kari's family believed that Matt's double life was the motive behind what they believe was not a suicide, but Kari's murder. Matt maintained his innocence.

"There's no way I could ever have hurt my wife. I loved her. She's the mother of my children...I did not hurt my wife," he said in the 2008 interview.

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