Slain Tennessee deputy was Marine reservist and dad; suspected killer on the loose

Sgt. Daniel Baker is survived by his wife and daughter.

May 31, 2018, 9:37 PM

As an intense manhunt continues for a suspected cop killer in Tennessee, a community is left mourning the Dickson County sergeant who was shot and killed after 10 years on the job.

Sgt. Daniel Baker, who was also a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, was fatally shot after responding to a call Wednesday morning. He is survived by his wife and daughter.

Here is what we know about the officer and the manhunt:

A 10-year veteran

Baker, 32, started working at the Dickson County Sheriff's Office as a full-time patrol deputy on Feb. 18, 2008, the Dickson County Sheriff's Office said.

Baker quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a patrol corporal in 2011 and then a patrol sergeant the following year, the sheriff's office said.

Baker was "one of our best deputies," Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe told reporters Wednesday.

Sgt. Daniel Scott Baker was killed after responding to a suspicious vehicle call today in Tennessee.
Dickson County Sheriff's Office

"He's one of the guys that puts it on the line every day to keep our community safe," Bledsoe said. "So many in this community are hurting."

"Even though our heart's broken," he added, officers have the "focus and resolve to make sure this person's captured."

Bledsoe told reporters Thursday that he "sincerely pray[s] he will get the maximum punishment" for "the evil he has done."

The deadly shooting

Around 7 a.m. Wednesday, when a Dickson County resident reported a suspicious car, Baker responded, TBI Director Jason Locke said.

After Baker failed to check in, authorities used GPS to track down his car, which was found in a wooded area 2 miles away from the initial call, Locke said.

Baker was found dead in his car, Locke said.

The manhunt

On Wednesday night agents arrested Erika Castro-Miles for first-degree murder in connection with Baker's death, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.

But another person of interest in Baker’s death, Steven Wiggins, remains at large, authorities said.

Authorities allege Wiggins shot Baker while Castro-Miles sat in the car with Wiggins, according to Castro-Miles' arrest affidavit.

Steven Wiggins, pictured in a photograph released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, is wanted in connection to an aggravated assault and theft and is considered a person of interest in the killing of a sheriff's deputy.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

Wiggins is believed to be armed and dangerous, authorities said. There had been no sightings of him as of 5 p.m. Thursday, authorities said in a press conference.

"Anyone that would murder a deputy sheriff protecting our community is a threat to anyone," Bledsoe said at a news conference. "We just ask for your help so we can hold this person responsible."

The search for Wiggins continued through the night and the TBI said Thursday that he "can be anywhere."

The TBI said that it had received 139 tips as of Thursday morning. Locke emphasized Thursday afternoon that "no lead is insignificant," adding that dozens of agents, intelligence analysts and investigators are following up on the leads.

Authorities are offering a $46,000 reward for information leading to Wiggins' arrest.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has contributed $2,500 toward a reward offered in this case. The rest of the funds are being provided by the ATF, the U.S. Marshals Service and various law enforcement associations around the country, Locke said.

"All of us are heartbroken when a member of the law enforcement community is cut down the way that Sgt. Baker was yesterday," Locke added.

“We urge anyone with knowledge of the whereabouts of the suspect to come forward to help bring closure to this crime," Haslam said in a statement Thursday.

ABC News' Rachel Katz, Amanda Maile and Meghan Keneally contributed to this report.