|Escapee from Tex. Jail Turns Self In|
|By San Antonio Express-News|
A San Antonio man facing a federal murder trial next month was in custody late Thursday in Callahan County after escaping from a West Texas jail on Wednesday.
Authorities had issued a statewide alert Thursday for John Michael Baker, who escaped from the Reeves County Jail in Pecos, where he was being held for the U.S. Marshals Service.
Baker, 23, last was seen about 3 p.m. Wednesday at the jail and was discovered missing about two hours later. The FBI said it appears he slipped through an unlocked door to access a vent and flee.
An attorney for Baker helped negotiate his surrender to authorities at the Callahan County Sheriff's Department in Baird.
Baker was scheduled for trial in connection with the death of Shannon Stewart Roberts, 43, a fourth-year medical student at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
The decomposed body of Roberts, who was strangled, was found March 31, 2000, in a shallow grave in a remote area of Big Bend National Park, about a month after he was killed, according to the FBI.
Baker was arrested in May in San Antonio after a federal grand jury indicted him on one count each of first-degree murder and attempted murder.
FBI supervisor Bill Vanderland of Midland said investigators were looking at the possibility that Baker may have had outside help, although that had not been confirmed Thursday afternoon.
'The initial indication is that there was a door that was accidentally left unlocked that he was able to get into, and from there, (he) accessed a crawlspace,' Vanderland said.
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