edrick lamont faust

edrick lamont faust

Georgia Dept. of Corrections/GBI

Edrick Lamont Faust (l) and Tara Louise Baker (r).

Edrick Lamont Faust is the 48-year-old felon who is accused in the 2001 murder of University of Georgia law student Tara Louise Baker, who was found slain in her college apartment bedroom in Athens.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, along with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, wrote in a May 9, 2024, news release that the agencies were announcing the “arrest of an Athens man in the murder investigation of Tara Louise Baker.”

“After 23 years, GBI agents have charged Edrick Lamont Faust, age 48, with murder, two counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, concealing the death of another, arson, possession of a knife during the commission of a felony, tampering with evidence, and one count of aggravated sodomy in connection with Baker’s death,” the release says.

Faust has a lengthy criminal history in Georgia, and he was sentenced on a cocaine dealing charge the year of the homicide, according to Georgia Department of Corrections records.

“Tara Louise Baker was a hardworking student with a bright future ahead of her,” GBI Director Chris Hosey said in the release. “Tara’s life was stolen from her in a horrific act of violence. While this arrest does not bring her back to us, I pray that it helps bring closure to the Baker family as they continue their healing journey.”

Baker’s death raised fears around campus because the last time a University of Georgia student was murdered, at the time, was Jennifer Stone, 22, a senior journalism major who was strangled in her apartment in 1992, according to a 2001 article in The Atlanta Constitution, accessed through Newspapers.com. More recently, Laken Riley, an Augusta University College of Nursing student, was murdered while jogging on the University of Georgia campus on February 22. Jose Ibarra is accused in her death.

Baker was “the personification of the all-American girl,” her grandfather, Gerald Patrie, told The Atlanta Constitution in 2001, in an article accessed through Newspapers.com. “Her whole life she was upbeat about everything. This is such a senseless act, to take a girl who had such promise.”

Authorities have not released a motive and haven’t said whether Faust knew Baker.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Tara Louise Baker Was Last Seen Alive at the University of Georgia Law Library

tara louise baker

GBITara Louise Baker.

On January 19, 2001, around 11:20 a.m., Athens-Clarke County firefighters “found Tara Louise Baker’s body responding to a fire at her Athens apartment. The investigation determined that the fire was intentionally set, and investigators spent over two decades seeking answers in the case,” the May 9 news release says.

According to a case summary on the GBI website, Baker “was last seen alive by a friend around 7:30 p.m. on January 18 at the UGA Law School Library. The same friend received a call at 9:46 p.m. from Tara, who was still at the library. Tara phoned to make sure her friend arrived home safely and said she planned to leave the library around 10 p.m.”

Most of the residents in the area where Baker was killed were UGA students, the Atlanta Constitution reported in the 2001 article.

It quotes Baker as saying on her high school website, “I took a couple of years off and worked in various law firms as a real estate paralegal, trying to get up the nerve to go back to school. Apparently, it worked, because I just started my first year of law school at the University of Georgia (GO DAWGS!!). It’s about the scariest thing I’ve ever done, but so far, so good.”

The GBI summary says, “Classmates remember Tara as a caring person who would often champion the cause of the underdog and never allowed serious students to be excluded from study groups or class projects.” The death was ruled a homicide, although the cause of death was not detailed in the summary.

Baker was found deceased inside her residence at 160 Fawn Drive, Athens, the case summary says.

In #JOUR4090 at @UGAGrady with @andrejgallant, I have been writing a story about an unsolved murder case. Eighteen years ago, Tara Louise Baker was brutally murdered in her Athens apartment. Her family is still seeking answers about who killed her.

“For many years, I have hoped the Baker family would find justice for the loss of Tara,” Jerry Saulters, now chief of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, said in the news release, which noted that he worked the crime scene as a police officer in 2001.

“This is a case that has lived with me throughout my career at ACCPD,” he said in the release. “I remember being there during that horrific time. Seeing this case now full circle, I appreciate the hard work of the detectives, from then and now. Knowing that the evidence collected at that time contributed to the arrest today gives me tremendous pride in all the officers who worked this case over the years.”

2. Tara Louise Baker Was a Graduate of Lovejoy High School Who Received Her Law Degree Posthumously

21 years ago today, @UGASchoolofLaw student Tara Louise Baker was found brutally murdered in her #AthensGa home.

Over two decades later, her killer remains free while her family continues to ask: Who killed Tara and why?

RT to help us share her story! #truecrime

At the time of her murder, Baker “was 23 and a first-year law school student at the University of Georgia. She graduated from Lovejoy High School in 1995 and enrolled at Georgia College in Milledgeville,” the GBI news release says.

There is a scholarship in Baker’s name at the University of Georgia Law School. “Tara graduated cum laude from Georgia College in Milledgeville in 1998, earning dual degrees in political science and paralegal studies in three years,” the law school’s website says.

“She first worked for Hancock & Echols in Forest Park, then served a year as a real estate legal assistant at Fortson, Bentley & Griffin in Athens. In May 2003, the University of Georgia School of Law awarded Tara Louise Baker her law degree posthumously,” the website says.

In 2004, UGA Associate Dean of Academics Paul Kurtz told The Atlanta Constitution that he remembered Baker in criminal law class and “her warmth.”

He said that UGA had decided to award Baker with a posthumous law degree because the university wanted “to recognize Tara Louise Baker’s dream. To respond to her classmates who asked us to. And our pittance, to (get) at the person who took her from us,” the Constitution reported, in a story accessed through Newspapers.com.

That article reported that Baker’s laptop “was missing from her home” and police “released a description of a white male of medium build, wearing jeans and a T-shirt, who was seen running from the area of Baker’s house.”

Her body was found in her bedroom. Police did not reveal how she died, other than to say it was a homicide, the Atlanta Constitution article reported.

Classic City Crime podcast streamed an episode about the Baker case.

“Virginia Baker lost her daughter Tara Louise Baker on January 19, 2001, when she was brutally murdered in her east Athens Georgia home. 20 years later, her mother still fights and hopes for new leads and continued answers in her daughter’s unsolved homicide,” the podcast website says.

3. Edrick Lamont Faust Was Incarcerated Previously in the Georgia Prison System for Various Offenses

Words could never express the bond I share with this family- the family of Tara Louise Baker. Today we advocated. Tomorrow we’ll pause and remember. The next day, we’ll continue fighting.

Fighting for answers. For resolution. For Tara.


According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Edrick Faust has been incarcerated previously in the State of Georgia prison system. The periods of incarceration are listed as follows:


According to the Corrections website, Faust was convicted of possession with intent to deliver cocaine in 2001. That’s the same year that Baker was murdered. His sentence began on April 1, 2001, prison records show. She was murdered that January.

He was also convicted in 2013 of possession with intent to deliver cocaine, receiving an eight-year sentence; obstruction of a law enforcement officer in 2013 in Clarke County for which he received a year; a second obstruction charge in 2011 for which he received a year; a cocaine possession case from 2011 in Clarke County, for which he received eight years; a violation of motor vehicle laws in 2011 in Clark County for which he received a year; criminal trespassing in Oglethorpe County for which he received a year in 1996; simple battery in Oglethorpe County, for which he received a year in 1996; attempted robbery in 1993 in Oglethorpe County, for which he received two years; and aggravated assault in Clarke County for which he received 60 months (no year available), according to the prison database.

Other offenses listed in the prison database for which no year is given are aggravated assault, carrying a concealed weapon, miscellaneous misdemeanor, reckless conduct causing harm, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, and fleeing/eluding police, the database shows.

4. The Wife of Edrick Faust Filed for Divorce Several Times Throughout the Years

edrick Faust

PeachCourtEdrick Faust divorce document.

Online Athens.com lists Edrick L. Faust as being tied to an Athens Lawn Service; however, according to public records, there is a second Edrick L. Faust who is a lot younger than the suspect.

Court records filed in Georgia show that the wife of Edrick Faust, born in 1975, filed for divorce in 2019. At the time, his address was given along Cooper Road in Athens, Georgia.

The divorce documents say that the pair married around 2011 and separated in July 2019. There were no children born to the union. The wife declared the marriage “irretrievably broken.”

That same year, Faust’s wife filed a petition for domestic family violence. A 12-month protective order expired in 2020, court records, accessed through Georgia’s PeachCourt website say.

The same woman filed for divorce against Faust in 2015 and 2018. The 2018 divorce case was dismissed.

5. Georgia Authorities Began a New Review of the Tara Louise Baker Cold Case in 2023

After 23 years, an Athens man has been charged with murder by the GBI and the Athens-Clarke County Police Department for the death of Tara Louise Baker, a 23-year-old UGA law school student.

READ MORE: t.co/LWtgvEwD0z

According to the Atlanta Journal, in a 2001 article, Baker lived “in a one-story brick house with two roommates,” who were out of town. At the time, police said they did not have a suspect.

In September of 2023, the recent release says, the GBI Cold Case Unit “partnered with ACCPD to conduct an in-depth review and analysis of the ongoing investigation into Baker’s death.”

Hosey said in the release, “I am proud of the work of the GBI Cold Case Unit and the GBI agents and scientists that devoted their efforts over the last 23 years to find justice for Tara.”

He added: “I also want to express my gratitude to Athens Clarke-County investigators and members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Georgia State Patrol who have partnered with us in this case. While this arrest is the first step in finding justice for Tara, there is still more work to be done. The GBI and our partners will never stop fighting for justice for victims and their families.”

The release says authorities will release more details in an upcoming news conference.

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