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Family of man who died in murder-suicide recalls his passion

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The crime scene at  Hillcrest Road in Smithfield. The crime scene at Hillcrest Road in Smithfield.
SMITHFIELD, N.C. -

The family of a man who died in a Johnston County murder-suicide Friday want people to know who it was that died, and what gave him joy.

Craig Baker was one of two people who were found dead at 120 Hillcrest Road in Smithfield.

"If he could make you laugh, that's all he'd ask for," said his twin brother Greg Baker. "He loved it when the stage lights came on."

Baker recalled when his brother's passion for theatre emerged.

"He got hurt many years ago; disabled and would tell anybody that the theater basically saved his life because it gave him something to do with his free time," Greg Baker said.

But recently, his brother explained, complications from Craig's old injury put him in "a lot of pain."

Deputies were first alerted to the situation at Craig Baker's home shortly after 1:30 Thursday afternoon.

"A call was received in the 911 center that said murder/suicide and gave this address," said Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell. "We have reason to believe that it could have been the homeowner who made that call."

When deputies arrived, they found Craig Baker dead in his home and a second man on the ground outside the home near an automobile that had its trunk open.

Sheriff Bizzell says Craig Baker and the other victim were friends, but won't speculate about a motive until the investigation is complete.

As word of what  happened at Craig Bkaer's home spread up and down the street, neighbors were stunned.

"My heart just goes out for him," said neighbor Louise Carter. "It's real sad. He was a good neighbor. A good neighbor."

Other neighbors say the Craig you met on the street was the same person you'd see on stage.

"He was born with that," said a neighbor who asked her name not be used. "That was Craig and he brought it out on stage. He's going to be missed a lot."

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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