Whidbey man charged with murder in wife’s death

COUPEVILLE — Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a Whidbey Island man with first-degree murder in connection with his wife’s death earlier this month.

Kathie Ann Baker, 53, was beaten and strangled. Her body was found Saturday in some woods outside the couple’s Greenbank home.

Island County prosecutors allege that Robert Allan Baker, 62, murdered his wife and lied to deputies when they questioned him about her whereabouts.

Police were asked to check on Kathie Baker after she failed to communicate with her employer for several days. Her husband reportedly told police his wife had flown to Denver for work on June 3.

Her employer told authorities that Kathie Baker wasn’t scheduled for a work trip.

Investigators found blood stains inside the couple’s house and garage, court papers said. Detectives found a ball-peen hammer in a garbage can. There was hair on the hammer that appeared consistent with the victim’s hair.

Kathie Baker’s body was found wrapped in a tarp and bound with rope and bungee cords. It appeared that she’d been dragged through the house and garage and pushed down a small ravine.

The Bakers, who were married in 2007, owned Harbor Pizzeria in Freeland. They also are believed to have worked as research scientists in Antarctica.

Robert Baker is scheduled to be arraigned June 25 in Island County Superior Court.

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