Slain UGA student's family finally set to receive death certificate

Wednesday marked the 10th anniversary of the day a UGA law student was found dead in her burning apartment.

Investigators still don't know who killed Tara Louise Baker. But her family finally is getting one thing it has waited for since 2001: a death certificate.

"This is a big deal," Baker's father, Lindsay, told Channel 2 Action News.

Because Tara Baker's killer remains on the loose, the coroner declined to release her death certificate. Investigators have said that releasing the death certificate, which contains a cause of death, could hinder the search for the killer.

Only the killer would know the cause of death, said Athens-Clarke County Assistant Police Chief Tim Smith.

In a compromise, the death certificate will be released, but the cause of death will be omitted.

Tara Baker, of Lovejoy, was one day shy of her 24th birthday when she died. She was a first-year law student, after earning a bachelor's degree from Georgia College & State University.

Police have said the fire likely was set to cover up the homicide, but have released few details regarding what happened to the student.

In 2004, the university awarded Tara Baker a law degree.