Was he pushed or did he jump?

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

Was Michael Baker pushed or did he jump from a moving vehicle? That’s the question that police are attempting to answer as they continue to investigate Baker’s death.

The 30-year-old man’s body was found alongside Ky. 22, near Four Corners, around 6 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 8.

“The preliminary autopsy indicates he died from head trauma, consistent with him falling or being pushed out of a car,” said Grant County Sheriff Chuck Dills.

Dills said the autopsy revealed there were no signs of a struggle prior to Baker hitting the pavement.

“We are continuing to treat this as a suspicious death investigation to try and determine if he jumped out of the car to get away from the men in the car or if someone forced him out of the car,” Dills said.

According to police, Baker, who lived at Locust Ridge Apartments in Dry Ridge, was at home with several friends when he left his apartment with two males. When the males returned to Baker’s apartment, they told Baker’s friends, he had “jumped out of their vehicle and they left him on the side of the road.”

Dills said the friends went looking for Baker, but when they couldn’t find him, they called 911.

“The female who made the call said two males had assaulted the deceased and he then jumped from a moving vehicle and they left him,” said Dills.

Deputies from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office and Williamstown Police went to Locust Ridge. After interviewing people in Baker’s apartment, the Dry Ridge Fire Department was called to assist with the search.

Baker’s body was found in the 6200 block of Ky. 22. It was about 3 feet off the roadway.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by Grant County Coroner Bob McDaniel.

Dills said Baker had no identification on him when his body was found, but police used his driver’s license photo.
Police, according to Dills, located the other occupants of the car later in the morning. One man came to the sheriff’s office and admitted to being the driver. The second man, police later identified as John Carrara, 23, of Dry Ridge, was located at his mother’s home on Jillian Drive. He was arrested on unrelated charges and lodged into the Grant County Detention Center.

“Both men in the car admitted to going there to buy pills for $10 each. They expected some change but it didn’t happen that way, so our investigation will continue,” Dills said.

Dills said he wasn’t sure if the men would be charged in Baker’s death. He expects the case will be heard by a Grant County grand jury, which would determine if there was enough evidence to determine whether a crime had been committed.

Baker was the father of a 12-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.

He had lived in Dry Ridge for a couple of years, but was originally from Northern Kentucky.

Funeral arrangements are pending.