Crime & Public Safety

The characters in the two missing child cases, one this week, one in Beaufort in 1987

A summary of the key people involved in disappearances in 1987 of Paul Baker, 3, in Beaufort, and 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick this week in Chipley, Fla.

• James Baker: The husband of Susan Baker and father of Nina and Paul Baker. The former sergeant at the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort was charged but not convicted in connection with Paul's 1987 disappearance. He was charged Thursday in the disappearance of 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick, who was found in Baker's home near Chipley, Fla.

• Nina Baker: The daughter of James Baker and stepdaughter of Susan Baker, now a nurse North Carolina. Nina was removed from the Bakers' home in Shell Point after her brother disappeared in 1987 after investigators discovered she had been abused by Susan Baker. After spending time with Beaufort foster families, she was raised by her maternal grandmother, Linda Lambert, in North Carolina.

• Paul Baker: The 3-year-old disappeared from his family's Shell Point home in March 1987 and has not been seen or heard from since. His is one of the Beaufort County Sheriff Office's cold case files.

• Susan Baker: Stepmother of Paul and Nina Baker, wife of James Baker and baby-sitter of Shannon Dedrick. Baker was a suspect in Paul's disappearance and was convicted in 1987 of abusing Nina. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but served only 80 days in jail.She was charged in the disappearance of Shannon Dedrick, who was found in a cedar box under Baker's bed on Thursday.

• Russell Dedrick Jr.: Father of Shannon Dedrick and, apparently, stepbrother of Susan Baker. He is not believed to be involved in his daughter's disappearance.

• Shannon Dedrick: 7-month-old Chipley, Fla., girl who was discovered under Susan Baker's bed five days after she was reported missing.

• Chrystina Lynn Mercer: Mother of Shannon Dedrick, she faces charges in the girls' disappearance.

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