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Fatal Stabbings Shock Philomath Community

May 1, 2011

By Jessica Debbas

PHILOMATH, Ore. — Benton County Sheriff’s deputies say a women and her one-year-old son were stabbed to death by the child’s father Friday evening in a Philomath home.

The mother, Kelsey Baker, graduated from Philomath High School in 2009.

Her death has shocked former classmates and teachers.

“There’s really no words to describe it,” said Jarred Berger, former classmate.

“She was just kind and thoughtful and one of those people that cared about people,” said Berger.

Deputies say they found 19-year-old Baker and her one-year-old son, Theo, dead inside a home on Evergreen Road.

Neighbors say the three were guests staying at a house owned by Ann Marchant.

The key suspect is Theo’s father, 20-year-old Gustavo Martinez Aquepuncho.

He is being held in Benton County Jail, charged with three counts of aggravated murder.

“I just really didn’t think he was that type of person,” said Berger.

Teachers and neighbors say Aquepuncho was an exchange student at Philomath High School at the same time Baker attended the school.

The wounds are still fresh for people that knew Baker and her son, along with the kids that go to her former school.

“Being a mom, my heart just really goes out to the family,” said Lori Witt, PHS parent. “I know the kids will be affected. The ones that knew her and even the ones that didn’t know her because it’s somebody that they can relate to.”

“If you’re my age and you go the school she went to, you live the community she did, it’s just really weird to think about,” said Emilea Witt, PHS student.

High school staff say they have a specific protocol they go through with their students to address these kinds of topics.

“It involves bringing crisis workers to the school,” said Jon Bartlow, PHS Assistant Pricipal. “We meet as a staff and we communicate how best to meet the students needs that are suffering.”

Staff say because it’s such a small community, the pain can hit more intimately.

Aquepuncho’s arraignment is set for Monday afternoon at Benton County Circuit Court.

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