Samah BAKER - Tragically located deceased

Man charged over Samah Baker's murder in Sydney allegedly drove to  McDonalds with body in the car | Daily Mail Online


Human remains found in Goulburn identified as murdered Sydney woman Samah Baker

ABC Illawarra
By Tim Fernandez

August 31st 2023

Human remains which were found beside a busy highway in Goulburn have been identified as Sydney woman Samah Baker.

Ms Baker was last seen after she was dropped off at her Parramatta home by a friend in the early hours of January 4, 2019.

Detectives arrested Ms Baker's former boyfriend James Hachem in Hurstville later that year and charged him with murder.

During his Supreme Court trial in July 2022, jurors heard that the 37-year-old killed Ms Baker in Parramatta and put her body in the boot of his mother's car.

Hachem then took steps to dispose of her body and removed evidence which could link him to the crime.

In May he was sentenced to 24 years jail for the murder of Ms Baker.

He will be eligible for parole in 2037.

Police were contacted in July by a woman who discovered human remains in grassland off the Hume Highway at the Windellama Road overpass in Goulburn.

Forensic police conducted further searches of the area and found more remains.

NSW Pathologists have since confirmed the remains belonged to Ms Baker.

At the time of her disappearance police searched for her body in bushland at Yarra near Goulburn.

The search area was about 15 kilometres from where her remains were discovered.

'Like losing her all over again'

In a statement, Ms Baker's family said she was taken from them in the "cruellest way".

"In the years that followed, our grief has been compounded by the fact that we have not been able to have a funeral or lay her to rest," the statement said.

"We never got to say goodbye to her or tell her we loved her for the last time."

Her family members requested privacy as they came to terms with the discovery.

"Each development in the case feels like a reopening of our barely healed wounds, reminding us of the harsh reality of our loss," the statement reads.

"Even though what remains of Samah has been found, it feels like losing her all over again."

Body dumped beside highway

The Supreme Court trial heard the relationship between Hachem and Ms Baker was volatile.

Jurors heard that after killing Ms Baker, Hachem removed physical and electronic evidence linking him to the crime.

He then purchased a number of items which could help with the disposal body including garbage bags, heavy duty gloves and a shovel.

On January 4, 2019, he travelled a rural area at Breadalbane, west of Goulburn, where he spent several hours during the night before returning to Sydney.

The trial heard Hachem then removed the carpet from the boot of his mother's car.

The piece of carpet was later found by police in his bedroom, stained with Ms Baker's blood.

The court said Hachem's actions "demonstrated a callous disregard for the dignity of the deceased, whose life the offender had just taken".