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Police favored an accidental death theory in the mysterious plantation trail shooting Monday of 27-year-old Grenville Baker '43, son of George F. Baker '99 who endowed the University Business School with $1 million.
Florida State Attorney William D. Hopkins said the death of young Baker, whose grandfather amassed a $100 million dollar fortune on Wall Street and gave $5 million for construction of the Business School, "doesn't look like murder."
Baker was found dying of a pistol bullet wound through the head early yesterday shortly after his jeep wrecked. He had been riding in the moonlight along a lonely dirt road, with pretty Thelma Griffin, a young divorced tavern car hop who had met him only a few hours before at a night club.
The state attorney said "it is very possible" that the discharge of the pistol was accidental. He emphasized, however, that a suicide theory has not been discarded. A coroner's jury last night ruled that Baker was killed by a pistol held by an unknown party.
The shooting occurred on the vast plantation of Baker's mother where the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and other celebrities have been entertained. The plantation, located 12 miles north of Tallahassee, Florida, is a mecca for hunters.
Officers are not holding Mrs. Griffin and two others who were with Baker at the night club and the Baker home shortly before the tragedy. But Hopkins said they had been asked "not to get very far away" in the event they are wanted for further questioning.
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