Matthew Ogle – Gruntworks Staff Writer
June 2nd, 2018
This past week, the state of Tennessee was struck with hysteria as one of their own police officers, Sheriff’s Deputy, Sgt. Daniel Baker (32), was murdered in cold blood as he was shot in his own vehicle during a traffic stop in Dickson County, TN, on Wednesday (5/30/2018). The suspect that the local police dept. determined responsible was Steven Joshua Wiggins (31), a white male native to the area. Following these events, a statewide manhunt commenced as federal, state, and local officers arrived to begin the search. Dickson County Sheriff, Jeff Bledsoe, also enlisted the help of volunteer citizens to report any known whereabouts of Wiggins; and a $46,000 reward was offered for any significant knowledge of his location.
The murder occurred when Sgt. Baker pulled over a suspicious vehicle during a traffic stop on Wednesday; after Baker couldn’t be contacted, the police dept. located his vehicle using a GPS tracker in his squad car. His vehicle was found in a wooded area about 2 miles away from the original location of the call, and Baker was found dead in the driver’s seat. The police confirmed that Steven Wiggins was the killer after watching the unsettling footage of the struggle prior to Sgt. Baker being fatally shot.
This was not Wiggins’ first offense, as he was previously wanted for assault and grand theft auto of a local woman, Erika Castro-Miles (38). Castro-Miles was arrested on Wednesday for first-degree murder after investigators became aware of her participation in Baker’s murder; the affidavit confirmed that she was in Wiggins’ car as he killed Baker, and fled the scene after shots were fired, hiding under a house. She gave investigators information about Wiggins explaining that Wiggins had struck her across the face and forcibly removed some of her hair, then proceeded to put a gun to her temple and threatened to kill her if she notified the police. She continued to reveal that he then grabbed her keys and stole her car and that he was a drug addict by stating Wiggins had been “doing meth all night and smoking marijuana.” Castro-Miles is currently being held in Dickson County Jail until further notice.
Following the past two days of the extensive manhunt, Wiggins was finally caught earlier today; he was arrested wearing the same clothes during the murder, covered in mud due to him resisting arrest. The tears seen in his eyes as he exits the squad car don’t justify his heinous actions he’s committed and the local police emphasize that he is expected to face the maximum punishment the law will allow. The people of Tennessee were thanked for their help in bringing a criminal to justice. Sheriff Bledsoe stated his agency had lost a brother, and that the community has lost a hero. “Our hearts are shattered with this”, he explains. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sgt. Baker’s family and our respect is with the citizens for avenging a fallen hero.