CRIME

Ronald Cloud accused of killing Brad Baker

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Authorities in Fauquier County say they have solved a homicide case that went unresolved for more than 30 years.

Authorities this week announced they are issuing warrants for Ronald Richard Cloud, 64, a suspect in connection with the slaying of 30-year-old Brad Baker, who was killed on New Year’s Eve in 1980.

Cloud is facing charges of first degree murder.

Baker was working as a manager at the Kinloch Estate, a 1900 acre horse and cattle farm. Authorities say someone broke into Baker's house, and with the victim's own shotgun, shot Baker twice, killing him.

Cloud was the stepson of a man who was fired from the Kinloch Estate the same day Baker was slain. Baker was the manager of the estate. Cloud reportedly confessed to the killing. He claimed that his stepfather had no involvement in the slaying.

Fauquier County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. James Hartman told the newspaper that investigators initially suspected that Cloud's stepfather may have been involved in the shooting, but that he had a solid alibi.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by the newspaper, Cloud went to Baker's home and acknowledged "exchanging words" with him at the front door. When Baker ran into the back bedroom, Cloud broke in the front door. Investigators believe Baker fired a shotgun at Cloud, but missed. Cloud then shot and killed Baker, according to the complaint.

"Thus, the workplace violence avenue of investigation that had been previously abandoned was indeed the correct motivation for the crime," investigators said in the complaint. "However, as investigation finally revealed, it was one generation removed from the employee."

The farm is owned by the Curriers, a wealthy family related to the families of Paul Mellon and the famed ambassador David K.E. Bruce.

Cloud is behind bars at the Mount Olive Correctional Center in West Virginia, according to records. He is serving time for kidnapping, first degree sexual assault and malicious assault, among other charges.

After 32 years of not knowing, Blyth Patenaude finally has answers about what happened in the murder of her brother Baker.

"What has happened here has given hope and will give hope to many families around the country who go to sleep asking why," Patenaude says.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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