New Hope Breathed in Oklahoma Cold Case

Wednesday, December 17th 2008, 8:14 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Following the closure of a 27-year-old cold case in California, a mother in Oklahoma said her hope has been restored in solving the mystery behind who killed her daughter.

Bonnie Barker's daughter disappeared 11 years ago, and Amber Baker's case remains unsolved.

"I did think that she's still living," Bonnie Barker said. "I don't know anymore, since it seems like she would've got a hold of us by now."

Bonnie Barker will celebrate Christmas without her daughter, but will look at pictures of Amber and remember what once was.

"She loved Christmas," Bonnie Barker said. "We used to sleep on the couch together every night, even when she was 10-years-old. She didn't like to sleep in her room by herself, it scared her."

Amber went missing on December 18, 1997 while she was returning from a friend's house near Interstate 44 and Drexel Avenue. Police found her bike and clothes, but not Amber.

"We did develop information on one possible suspect," said Sgt. Paco Balerrama of the Oklahoma City Police Department. "Unfortunately, this individual killed himself soon after being interviewed by police, so we never got to find out what may have happened to her."

Daniel Smith, the lone suspect, was Amber's brother-in-law.

"I definitely think that he's responsible," Bonnie Barker said. "I believe there's somebody else involved besides him that knows something."

Amber's mother said she believes someone has the answers she's waiting for. 

"She was harmless, she was just a little angel," Bonnie Barker said. "She never hurt a soul. I don't know why anybody would ever want to hurt her."

Police said Amber Barker's case remains open, and ask anyone with information to come forward. 

Since it's been almost 11 years, police think Amber is dead, but the case will remain open until Amber or her body are discovered.