Stacey Barker called police
and told them that her daughter had been taken out of her car while she
was in a parking lot. Stacey said that she had been knocked out and
when she woke up, she was miles away from the Park-N-Ride where she had
been before being knocked out. Stacey said that Emma was taken after
she was knocked out. A search lasted for 12 hours before Stacey
admitted that her daughter had died accidentally and that she had
panicked and dumped her daughter's body next to the highway.
Emma's little body was found in a grassy lot near the Golden State
Freeway in Sylmar. And autopsy revealed that she had died of
suffocation. Stacey was arrested and charged with the murder and
assault on a child causing death, in the case of her 18 month daughter:
"At this point, as best
as we can determine, the infant died through suffocation at the hands
of her mother.
her third or fourth version of events, we knew she wasn't telling the
truth and we were able to determine what happened. At this
point, we believe she acted alone"
Lt. Pat Nelson
Stacey was taken in to custody because there were indications that she
might flee even though she had been staying with family members since
her daughter had disappeared. It was believed that Emma had been dead
for at least five hours before Stacey had contacted the Police to
report her missing:
"Our belief is that the
child died early in the evening of March 18"
Gary Barker, Stacey's father, said that she had lived with them so that
he, his wife and their son could help her with Emma. Gary's wife worked
at night and that kept Emma out of daycare and then their son would
watch her in the morning so that the others could get sleep. Gary said
that Emma had been a beautiful , happy little girl who never stopped
smiling and that there are reminders of her around their home that they
keep finding when they are not really expecting to:
"You lose it, you get
it together, you lose it, you get it together. So young and such an
The last movies they had watched together were "Bee Movie" and "Alvin
And The Chipmunks" and the night before his granddaughter died, he got
home from work right before her bedtime and that was the last time he
"I was holding her in
the family room and I was dancing with her and slowly dipper her. She
and smiling and we were looking at each other eye to eye. After that it
was bedtime and
gave her a bottle and put her to bed"
Emma was buried at the
Palmdale Desert Lawn Memorial Park where hundreds of people came to say
good bye as she was eulogized as a princess and a little girl who
always had a smile on her face.
Stacey Barker was 26 years old when she was convicted of murder,
assault on a child and child abuse. Stacey was sentenced to 25 years in