What to Know
- Boy, 16, arrested Wednesday after high-speed chase
- Woman was shot and killed, found in her car outside her home Monday in what police describe as an attempted carjacking
- Teen was arrested with two others; two weapons recovered
Dallas police say they have made an arrest in the Memorial Day murder of Leslie Squair Baker, a well-liked North Dallas woman described by loved ones as "everybody's best friend."
According to the Dallas Police Department, a 16-year-old boy was arrested by homicide detectives Wednesday night following a high-speed chase and charged with capital murder.
Project Safe Neighborhood officers found the boy and said a high-speed chase ensued. The suspect and two additional males were found hiding in a shed in Dallas, according to a press release from the Dallas Police Department. Police said two handguns, including the suspected murder weapon, were found in the shed where the suspect was hiding.
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A reward had been offered for information leading to an arrest in the case, though it's not yet clear how police developed the teen as a suspect. Police said the investigation into the woman's death is ongoing.
Dallas police say the juvenile, whose name will not be released due to his age, shot and killed Baker at about 5 p.m. Monday as the 59-year-old woman sat in her car in her driveway outside her home on Royalton Drive – near Preston Road and Royal Lane.
Late Thursday afternoon and after several days where investigators refused to release a possible motive, the department announced the teenage suspect 'attempted to carjack the victim and killed her during the commission of the crime.'
The boy, who is currently at the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center, is also a suspect in two armed carjackings, one in Dallas and another in Richardson the day after Baker’s murder, police said.
Richardson police said the same suspect is accused in a carjacking the night after Baker's death. In that case, police say the armed suspect carjacked a man at around 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 100 Block of South Coit Road in Richardson. Dallas police officers located the suspect and the man's stolen Mercedes on Wednesday, according to RPD.
Loved Ones Mourn Loss of 'Everybody's Best Friend'
Baker, a married mother of two, worked in marketing at Texas Health Center for Diagnostics and Surgery for more than 20 years.
Friends have expressed shock over the murder, describing Baker as well-liked and generous.
“She would be the first one to bring a gift, to send a card, to make a phone call, to send a text message – she made you feel like everybody’s best friend,” longtime friend April Culver said.
Culver and Baker were born around the same time and grew up in the same neighborhood in Dallas.
Culver recalled how Baker brought meals and sat with Culver while Culver received chemotherapy treatments for cancer a few years ago.
“She didn’t ask what do you need, she was one of those people that just knew what you needed and brought it and gave it,” Culver said. “I think that’s part of what radiated through her was her faith and her love of God.”
Baker’s daughter shared a Facebook tribute to her mother late Tuesday, saying, “She was a beautiful person with a glowing personality that will be remembered by many.” The family asked for privacy at this time.
Some neighbors near Royalton Drive may recall another shooting incident four years ago.
On January 22, 2016, police said Baker and two friends reported a stranger fired a shot at them while they jogged at around 6:20 a.m. The suspect was in a light-colored sedan.
The police incident description in 2016 said the victims heard a loud bang and one witness saw a flash, possibly from a gunshot. Dallas police have not said there is a connection between the 2016 incident and the murder this week.
Police have not made any connection between the 2016 incident and Baker's murder.
The Dallas Police Department's homicide unit is asking that anyone with information regarding this offense, contact Detective E. Montenegro at 214-671-3624 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please refer to case #092727-2020. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information.