A man suspected of murdering a Northern California man before fleeing and being arrested in Talent back in March has died after attempting suicide in his jail cell last week.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office reported Matthew Raye Baker, 27, of Spokane, Wash., died at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center Friday afternoon. The cause of death is not known, but an autopsy is scheduled for this week, officials said.
"They made a monumental effort to save him," Sheriff Jon Lopey said.
Baker was admitted to the Medford hospital Thursday, Sept. 3. Jail deputies found Baker unconscious in his cell at 3 p.m. that day, hanging from what sheriff's officials described as a self-improvised ligature "that was sufficient to induce unconsciousness," a news release says.
Deputies rendered medical aid to Baker and kept him alive. Emergency crews took Baker to Fairchild Medical Center in Yreka. He was later transported to RRMC.
"Evidence and findings thus far indicated that Mr. Baker was alone at the time he was discovered unconscious, and no evidence exists that implicates another inmate in the incident," the news release says.
Baker was identified as a person of interest in a homicide March 2 after deputies found 60-year-old Dale Bowen dead at about 7 a.m. at his home in the 400 block of Birch Lane, located in an unincorporated area northwest of Mount Shasta near Truck Village Drive. Police said it looked like Bowen had been the victim of a violent attack.
Investigators sent notifications to police departments across the region that Baker was linked to a homicide, providing his photo and a picture of the car, a silver Kia Soul, he was believed to have been driving. Police later learned he ditched that vehicle, which he had rented in Sacramento, in Weed, then boarded a bus and traveled to Medford.
About five and a half hours after Bowen was found, police received a call that Baker had walked to a Talent home in the 200 block of Gibson Street, then stood in the doorway before leaving without a word when asked by homeowners what he was doing. He was arrested nearby without incident and later transported back to California.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.