Was Pastor's Double Life Motive for Murder?

Former Texas pastor Matt Baker convicted of drugging, suffocating his wife.

ByABC News
July 8, 2010, 4:34 PM

July 8, 2010— -- 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.

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.

"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 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