Man Accused in Murder of 8-Month-Old Pleads Not Guilty

4 years 1 month 3 weeks ago Monday, May 19 2014 May 19, 2014 Monday, May 19, 2014 2:21:00 PM CDT May 19, 2014 in News
By: Paige Travis, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA - A man arrested for killing his girlfriend's 8-month-old child pleaded not guilty Monday in Boone County court. Police arrested Cody Baker and his girlfriend on second-degree murder charges in connection with the killing of the child in late February of this year.

Columbia Police and medical staff responded to 504 Woodridge Drive at 2:50 a.m. February 28 after 24-year-old Anna Steele reported her daughter Finley Steele was not breathing.

Though the infant was rushed to the hospital, she did not survive. Further investigation revealed the child did not die of natural causes but physical trauma.

Around 9:30 that night, police arrested 31-year-old Cody Baker on second-degree murder charges. A few hours later at 3 a.m. March 1, police also arrested his girlfriend Steele on second-degree murder charges.

Sgt. Joe Bernhard of the Columbia Police Department told KOMU 8 it's been years since a child has been murdered in Columbia.

"It's gotta have been at least two years since we've had a death of a child," he said.

Sgt. Bernhard added investigators still have work to do.

"Well, they have a lot of leads and physical evidence and lab work to do," he said. "Also, the medical examiner will have to prepare the report. So, there's a lot more of the investigation yet to be done."

The bonds for Baker and Steele have not been set yet.

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