Searches being conducted by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and volunteer teams in the area where a missing woman’s car was found Monday turned up a set of car keys in the bush and some blood-stained rocks near the shoreline.
However, as of press time Wednesday, there was no trace of Kerran Natalee Baker, 25. Ms Baker has not been seen or heard from since Saturday night.
Her abandoned Honda Civic was found just outside the Pedro St. James Castle parking lot entrance on Monday afternoon and police said the car keys discovered Tuesday night were located near the vehicle.
A friend of Ms Baker’s identified the keys as belonging to the Jamaican national who has worked in Cayman as a nurse for the last two-and-a-half years. However, RCIPS Chief Superintendent John Jones said Wednesday that hadn’t been precisely determined.
Mr. Jones said the keys did appear to go to a Honda vehicle.
“The fact that you find the keys in the bush, that’s bizarre,” he said, noting that it raised the possibility that someone could have thrown them there after parking the Honda.
The blood stains found on the rocks near the shore were further away and rather small, according to Mr. Jones. He said they were being processed for any evidence value they might have.
Mr. Jones said the stains were “not in close vicinity to the car”.
Friends of Kerran Baker who assisted in the Tuesday night search near Pedro St. James and in Beach Bay, Bodden Town, were said to number somewhere between 200 and 300 at one stage.
“It was really good, because when we put out [the notification about the search] we were expecting 50, 60 people,” said Inia Ricketts, a close friend of Ms Baker’s. “I was really grateful to see the turnout … they wouldn’t give up.”
Some searchers stayed out until about 1.30am Wednesday and went to other areas including near Caribbean Utilities Company property in Industrial Park and Camana Bay.
“We’re going to push and pray until something turns up,” Ms Ricketts said.
Ms Ricketts said Ms Baker’s mother and her fiancé had arrived in Cayman around noon Wednesday. The Caymanian Compass could not reach any of Ms Baker’s family members by press time.
The Compass did contact one of Ms Baker’s male friends who had been interviewed by police earlier in the week. The man declined to make any comment for publication.
Police have said that there were reports at Ms Baker’s home and place of business that they described as domestic in nature, but nothing overly violent and nothing that would amount to stalking.
Mr. Jones also noted that, despite reports in the Jamaican media, RCIPS was not aware of any restraining orders that had been made against anyone with regard to Ms Baker.
“That is news to us, we have no police record,” he said. “I’d be very surprised if there was a restraint order and we didn’t know about it.”
He said police would discuss the matter with Ms Baker’s parents.
According to police, the first missing persons report to come in concerning Ms Baker was at 7.18pm Sunday evening.
Much of the investigative effort since then has focused on trying to create a timeline to trace where the 25-year-old nurse was in the days and hours before her disappearance.
On Friday night, 29 July, Ms Baker was spotted at a George Town bar. There were reports of an altercation at that bar between her and another woman, but police did not confirm details of the incident.
“We’ve read reports that she has had previous altercation in a bar but not necessarily whether it was on that night,” Mr. Jones said. “It’s a line of enquiry we will explore.”
At around 1.30am on Saturday, 30 July, Ms Baker was spotted by police driving through a traffic roadblock in Red Bay. Mr. Jones said the officer at the roadblock didn’t notice any signs that Ms Baker had been in a fight.
Later in the day on Saturday police said she was seen at several locations including: Governor’s Beach at West Bay Road, Cost-U-Less, Kirk Home Centre, the Industrial Park area and the Fosters Food Fair airport store.
“That is the last known sighting of Kerran,” RCIPS Chief Superintendent Marlon Bodden said of the Foster’s appearance.
Ms Baker’s friends said she was at work on Saturday until about noon and had gone into town around 3pm to wire money to her mother in Jamaica.
Attempts to contact Ms Baker by some of her friends on Sunday, 31 July, were not successful. Sometime between 6.15pm and 6.30pm Sunday, her friend Inia Ricketts went to Ms Baker’s home in Bodden Town and with the assistance of the landlord, entered her friend’s apartment.
Upon finding unopened bags of groceries and Ms Baker’s handbag on the counter, Ms Ricketts said she became extremely worried and called police; that call came in at 7.18pm Sunday.
Later that evening and continuing into the following morning, Monday, 1 August, police conducted house-to-house enquiries in the Beach Bay area and also spoke to Ms Baker’s friends and associates.
It was around 12.30pm Monday that Ms Baker’s white Honda Civic was found parked on the cemetery lawn near Pedro St. James Castle. Police conducted searches of the area later that day.
Police also confirmed that a suitcase found in the trunk of that vehicle contained bags with women’s clothes in them. The clothes belonged to Ms Baker but the case did not, Mr. Jones said.
On Tuesday, police went out again to look through the area and volunteer searchers joined them around 6pm.