Missing Baby Shannon Dedrick Found Alive


The Washington County Sheriff’s Office held a press conference about 1:00 a.m. this morning to announce that missing seven-month-old Shannon Lea Dedrick was found alive around 9:00 p.m. last night. During the news conference Sheriff Haddock held the crying baby in his arms.

Shannon disappeared from the bedroom of her parent’s house sometime between 3:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. this past Saturday morning and was reported missing at 11:30 a.m. Searchers have spent the last few days mainly looking in the woods near her parent’s mobile home in Chipley, Florida. She was finally found in a box under the bed of her babysitter, Susan Elizabeth Baker, after authorities performed a search of her home.

Police started looking into the babysitter yesterday when it was discovered that she might have been involved in another missing child case back in 1987. Her six-year-old stepson Paul Baker disappeared in March of ‘87 and has never been found. She claimed that she had put her stepson down for a nap and when she returned to check on him he was missing. He has never been found. Police arrested Susan and her husband James in connection with his disappearance and ended up being charged later with aggravated assault and battery for severely beating him before his disappearance. Their six-year-old daughter was removed from the home after social workers discovered broken bones and sores all over her body. She was convicted of beating the little girl and sentenced to 10 years in prison but ended up being suspended to 80 days.

Back in August of this year Susan Baker reportedly wrote a letter to Governor Crist,

"Mr Governor Crist,

I want to tell you something, there is four people living together. They
are not working nor are they doing any kind of community serves. But they are drawing food stamps. They take there food stamps and trade them for drugs.

Tina Merter was pregnant when she meet James Russell Dedrick, jr
dob:Oct 23, 1978, he is 31 yrs old and has never had a job. So James R
Dedrick, jr put his name on Tina Merters baby birth certificate. So now he can get a check, food stamps, medicare.

Now there are Micheal, Erica, Tina Merter & James R Dedrick, jr living all together in a house on 537 5th St, Chipley Florida 32428.

They are all drowing food stamps and not woking or
doing community service. That Is so wrong in alot of wasys.

Tina Meter’s baby is being aboused. I have seen James R Dedrick, jr pick that baby up and shake her, just becouse the baby crys and that gets on his nerves.

Micheal & Erica also have shoke that baby too. They smoke ciggerets and drugs with the baby in the same room. THAT CHILD NEEDS HELP & NO ONE IS HELPING HER.

Please Help this child she is mentaly challenged. It is not right that these
people are selling their food stamps for drugs.

My husband works 58 hrs a week for us to live and it makes me very angry to see these people sitting on their back sides and draining the system that is put in place for the needy, Not the lazy.

Please do something about this unjustice and Please
Please save that child."

That’s just fucking creepy. After the letter was written Florida CPS did investigate the parents but didn’t find enough evidence to warrant removing the baby from the household although both parents tested positive for drugs. They had already been in contact with the family since March of this year due to reports that they smoked cigarettes as well as Marijuana around the baby.

Susan Baker mugshot circa 2000

Susan and James Arthur Baker have been arrested and are in custody along with Shannon’s mother Crystina Lynn Mercer. They aren’t releasing the specific charges to the media yet as their investigation is still going on. According to Crystina’s mother she was suspicious that her daughter might be involved in the disappearance of her granddaughter. Apparently Susan Baker is also related to the father, James “Rusty” Dedrick. Dedrick and Mercer are also reportedly not married and no longer together.


Shannon Dedrick

Some of the spellings and names that media are reporting differ than those here so I may not be correct with all of them. I will update the corrected spellings and relationships later. Will be in meetings until after 9 p.m. tonight so it may take me a couple of days to get around to it.

Susan Baker’s MySpace

James Baker’s MySpace

Source (Thanks to Websleuths for 90% of the information here. I had about nine tabs open typing up this story before I went to bed last night and when I got up I saw the announcement that the baby had been found safely)

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