McLean County law enforcement speak on Cynthia Baker case

Local News

NORMAL, Ill. — The Normal Police Department and McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office held a presser regarding the return of the verdict in the Cynthia Baker case.

Baker, 42, of Normal, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 8-year-old Rica Rountree. She was also found guilty of three counts of domestic battery, one count of endangering the life of a child, and one count of aggravated battery.

“The States Attorney’s Office and the Normal Police Department believe this matter is an ongoing criminal investigation,” said States Attorney, Don Knapp. “There may be others criminally culpable.”

The trial revealed a lot about Rica’s life at home with her father Richard and his girlfriend Cynthia. Educators and family members called the Department of Family Services at least 6 times. DCFS never took Rica out of the home.

One state lawmaker says there are plans to take a closer look at the agency.

“We are not wanting to point fingers at certain individuals, but we need to find the flaws in the system,” said 88th House District Republican, Keith Sommer. “We need to make corrections and hopefully with the involvement of professionals like the prosecutors and detectives who work the case, they will have suggestions that will be helpful.”

Jurors deliberated for around five hours for two days. Prosecutors said Baker kicked Rountree in the stomach, which led to massive internal injuries that eventually killed her back in January of this year. Additionally, the girl’s autopsy results showed multiple scars, which indicated a months-long span of abuse.

The press conference was held at Uptown Station in Normal.

Watch the full press conference below:

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