GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - More than three years ago, a young man was shot and killed in a Gulfport neighborhood off 28th Street. Joshua Baker was just 23 when a bullet ended his life. But Baker's killer was never found, and the case has become cold. Gulfport Police are hoping you can help.
Joshua Baker's mother and dad are helping raise Ava, who is now 5-years-old. Ava's sister, 3-year-old Bree, who was only a week old when her dad was killed. She's being raised by her mother's parents in Brookhaven.
Mike Baker said the separation has been tough on the youngsters, and a piece of his heart was ripped away when his son was taken from him.
"He was something very special," Baker said. "He was, he was a gift that was given to us from God. And that was one of the greatest gifts that I could ever want. And that gift was taken away."
He shared some fond memories of Joshua's childhood.
"He was well mannered. Super likeable boy. Of course, he was a little bit mischief when he was little, but you know, I think all boys are."
Mike said his son followed in his footsteps, becoming a skilled carpenter.
"The mantles that he built was beautiful, cabinets that he would build on the job site. Everything that he did, just beautiful work," Baker said with a smile.
Baker said it's heartbreaking when Ava starts asking questions about her dad.
"And now Ava wants to go see Daddy. So where do we go see Daddy? We go to the cemetery. And what does she see? She sees a plaque. She wants to go have a picnic with Daddy, so we'll go and get a hamburger and fries and we'll go up there to the cemetery and we'll sit there beside Joshua and have our little picnic," Baker said with tears swelling in his eyes.
Baker said he can't sleep at night, knowing that the person who took his son's life is still walking around the streets.
"Whoever you are, I don't see why he should be walking around. It's just not right. It's not right. And if anybody is out there that knows who did this and took Ava's daddy from her, you need to step forward. If he did it once, he's going to do it again, I can promise you that. It's going to happen."
If anyone has any information on the murder of Joshua Baker, please contact the Gulfport Police Department at (228) 868-5959.