FILE PHOTO: Police Lights

MARQUETTE — Hamilton County Attorney Michael Powell is awaiting the autopsy report on Reeve Baker, who lost his life early Thursday morning at Tooley Park, northwest of Marquette.

The autopsy of Baker’s body was performed in Omaha, Powell said.

He does not know yet if criminal charges might be filed against anyone in Baker’s death. “That’s still to be decided,” he said today.

Baker, 28, was found bloody in a puddle of water at Tooley Park at about 3:30 a.m. Hamilton County deputies began doing CPR and while doing so located an apparent gun wound in Baker’s upper chest, says the affidavit in the case. Earlier, the sheriff’s office received a 911 call from “subjects at Tooley Park,” the affidavit says. “This subject stated a person was bleeding from the head and was in the water.”

The affidavit was prepared by investigator Jason Bauer of the Nebraska State Patrol as part of the State Patrol’s application for a search warrant. It was filed in Hamilton County District Court.

At the time of Baker’s death, he was fishing with his brother, Spencer, and a friend, Jacob Fulton. Tooley Park is near the Platte River. The affidavit indicates that the weapon used in the death was apparently a shotgun.

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office received an additional phone call from a cellphone at the home of Christine Aycock, 2201 N. M Road, Marquette. The affidavit says the call was made by Aycock, who made the call because Spencer Baker had requested assistance with the use of the phone. During that phone call, Spencer Baker stated he had wrecked his vehicle while trying to get help for his brother.

“During the phone call S. Baker indicated that he believed his brother had cut his throat and needed assistance of a rescue unit and deputies,” the affidavit says.

Both Spencer Baker and Fulton were interviewed by Sgt. Ryan Phinney of the State Patrol

In his interview, Spencer Baker said he was at the scene where his brother was injured. “S. Baker stated he was asleep in his truck when his brother was shot. S. Baker was trying to get help for the injuries to his brother when he wrecked his truck.”

While deputies and investigators were at the scene at Tooley Park, they located a blue 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier LS Sport, registered to Fulton, parked in the weeds.

Fulton told Phinney that the two Bakers and himself were at the park fishing. “While fishing, the Baker brothers were horse play fighting so Fulton moved further down the bank to fish,” the affidavit says. “While Fulton was fishing alone, Fulton believed that Reeve Baker and S. Baker were in separate trucks driving through the mud. Fulton then heard one gunshot. S. Baker drove to Fulton’s location and stated he needed help with Reeve Baker. When Fulton got to Reeve Baker’s body he tried doing CPR. While doing CPR he noticed a gun sitting on top of the bed of the truck pointing his way. Fulton made the gun safe, by ejecting what he believed was one spent shotgun shell. Fulton then placed the gun in the back seat of Reeve Baker’s truck. While Fulton was attending to Reeve Baker, S. Baker sped away to get help. Fulton retreated to his car for his cellphone, but it was not operational. A short time later the deputies arrived on scene.”

After the phone call that night, Spencer Baker was taken back to the scene of the vehicle accident. He was eventually arrested by deputies for DUI.

The search warrant gives investigators the right to search, among other things, a brown 2015 GMC Sierra K1500, registered to Spencer Baker. The State Patrol will also look at the weapon, DNA, fingerprints, blood spatter, clothing, cellphones, alcohol and/or drugs and any other evidence that may provide information about Baker’s death.

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I am the Cops & Courts Reporter for the Grand Island Independent. I welcome news tips!

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