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Laura Baker, Founder and Case Manager

Laura has been interested in the paranormal field for as long as she can remember. She began investigating paranormal claims in 1997 with a goal of seeking the truth about paranormal activity. Laura officially started WIPIT in 2008 with her husband, Mitchell.

Laura has considered pursuing a PhD program and holds an MBA from Northcentral University in Arizona. She teaches marketing-related classes at Blackhawk Technical College, conducts consumer research, and develops strategic plans for high-profile businesses. She also gives horseback riding lessons to adults and children, coaches and participates in an equine drill team, and is found in the barn with her horses when not at work or on an investigation

 

Mitchell Baker, Equipment and IT Manager

Mitchell became interested in the paranormal field after meeting Laura in 1999. Mitchell installs and maintains recording systems and IT equipment used by 911 call centers throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. He works for Word Systems located in Indianapolis.

Mitchell has an Associate Degree in IT as a Network Specialist, and is currently working on a Bachelor's Degree in Information and Communication Technology at UW-Stout.

 

Sarah Baker, Investigator

Sarah is the daughter of Mitch and Laura Baker. Sarah has been following her parents on investigations for as long as she can remember, but remains skeptical at investigations.

Sarah is currently a student with plans to immediately attend college after high school.

 

Donna Westlind, Investigator

Donna has been interested in the paranormal since she was a child. She started studying the paranormal about four years ago.

Donna received an Associate Degree in Accounting. She has worked for Travel Centers of America for the past five years as the Lead Bookkeeper.

Michelle Meyers, Lead Investigator & Researcher

Michelle has always had an interest in the paranormal. Although a believer in the unknown, Michelle approaches paranormal events with skepticism, wanting to seek the truth through scientific fact and firsthand accounts.

Michelle has been a travel consultant for twenty years, receiving her certificate in Travel & Tourism from Rockford Business College. Michelle lives in Rockford with her fiancé Joe and their two dogs and cats.

 

Chris Yancey Trapp, Podcaster and Investigator-in-Training

Chris is considered open-minded, creative and curious with strong roots in integrity and honesty. When the Founder of WIPIT and Chris met to discuss another venture, something clicked into place. Recently, Chris lost her mother. Her mom always told her about her experiences with the paranormal when Chris was just a toddler. Her stories ranged from very gentle to violent and always captivated Chris. Chris wanted to share in this gift, but to her knowledge, never has. But she sees herself as her mother's child. She believes things happen that are difficult to explain. She believes her mom told her the truth. Chris says, "She would be excited to see me as part of the WIPIT family of investigators."

Chris's family and her have been researching the paranormal in an unstructured method for almost 40 years--long before the TV shows (unless you count the Twilight Zone). It's a lifelong curiosity and passion that Chris feels she can on day speak as confidently to her daughters as her mom did to her--and develop their curiosity just the same. RIP CHRIS YANCEY 9-22-15

Josh Heckelmiller, Lead Investigator and Technology Advisor

Josh has been interested in the strange and unexplained since a child. When he was in first grade, he checked out a book from the elementary school library every week on UFO's, Bigfoot, and ghosts and watched shows on the unexplained very early on before all the reality TV craze made it popular. After having a series of personal experiences and having lived in what he and others believed to be an active home, he became more intrigued to seek the field out. He attended the Tinker Swiss Cottage paranormal tour in October 2014 where he met WIPIT members, and found his in. Although he is very much a believer, he approaches everything with a logical mindset.

Ryan Hicks, Investigator-in-Training

Ryan grew up in Rockford, Illinois and has always been fascinated with the paranormal and the science behind gathering evidence. He spent 10 years in the Army. During Ryan's time in the military, he was a vehicle mechanic and has been trained in combat, security interrogation techniques, counter terrorism, and a multitude of other leadership and planning techniques. Ryan's overseas duties include a deployment to Haiti in 2010 for humanitarian efforts after an earthquake devastated the area and also deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 and handled training of Afghan military and vehcicle recovery missions. Ryan brings to the group a vast technical and tactical knowledge from his time training in the military. Currently, Ryan is going to school for software engineering and plans to design software to help further capturing evidence.