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 ZAHRA CLAIRE BAKER

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PostSubject: ZAHRA BAKER   Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:03 am

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PostSubject: Zahra's mother visits memorial site and speaks to neighbors   Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:39 am

http://www.wsoctv.com/video/25763688/index.html

Zahra's mother visits memorial site and speaks to neighbors
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PostSubject: Obituary ~~~~ Zahra Baker   Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:31 pm

Obituary


Zahra Baker

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On the 35th day of the search for Zahra Baker, Hickory police Chief Tom Adkins stood before television cameras on Friday and made a tearful announcement.

"I've been dreading this moment," Adkins said. Authorities have found enough evidence, he said, to prove the child is dead.

"Investigators, agents, and officers who worked on this case are devastated that they could not find Zahra alive and bring her home safely," he said.

Adkins, who has overseen the investigation since the freckled 10-year-old with the wide smile was reported missing last month, said DNA taken from a child's bone discovered last week on Christy Road in Caldwell County matched a DNA sample taken from Zahra's belongings at her house.

Additional human remains found along a creek five miles away are consistent with those of a child, he said. Those remains will be sent to the State Bureau of Investigation lab for positive identification.

The possibility that Zahra's remains have been discovered in at least two places sent shudders through the community.

"We can't believe this happened to a child," said Charles Estes, 68, who was among a group of Hickory residents awaiting news about Zahra outside the police department. "We're sad it was way too late for Zahra. We continue to pray for her and hope justice is done."

No charges were filed on Friday. District Attorney James Gaither Jr. said investigators are continuing to piece together findings in the grisly case.

"We're continuing to put a case together," he said. "The DA's office is working with law enforcement and hope to see some resolution in this case that will result in charges being filed in the near future."

The search for Zahra, who had lost part of her leg to bone cancer, began on Oct. 9 when she was reported missing by her father, Adam Baker, 33, and her stepmother, Elisa Baker, 42. Police said she has not been seen by anyone outside of her family since Sept. 25.

The case, one of the more notorious in the state, has drawn worldwide attention. Television crews from Australia, where Zahra was born, traveled to Hickory, nestled at the foot of the N.C. mountains, to cover the story.

Zahra moved to North Carolina about two years ago with her father from Australia after he met his soon-to-be wife online. Zahra's friends and relatives in Australia described her as an outgoing, happy girl despite the cancer, and said she didn't want to come to the U.S.

The SBI will build a DNA profile for Zahra from cheek swabs collected from her biological father, Adam Baker, and her biological mother, Emily Dietrich, who arrived on Thursday from Australia.

Elisa Baker has been provisionally assigned a public defender specializing in capital cases, in anticipation of possible murder charges. She is currently in jail on felony obstruction of justice charges after police said she tried to throw off their investigation.

Search began in October

The case came to light in October with a backyard fire and a phony ransom note.

Based on emergency calls, the Bakers appeared to suggest that Zahra might have been kidnapped while her father and stepmother were dealing with an early-morning fire. Firefighters discovered a ransom note appearing to come from someone who claimed to have abducted the daughter of Baker's boss and landlord, Mark Coffey. But the Coffey family was fine.

In a second call later that day to report Zahra missing, Adam Baker told an emergency operator that the alleged kidnappers might have taken his daughter by mistake.

Days later, Elisa Baker was arrested after police say she admitted writing the phony ransom note intended to thwart their investigation.

People who knew the family since they arrived in North Carolina last year said Zahra was frequently locked in her room for hours at a time, sometimes all day. Family friends and neighbors said they saw her with bruises and black eyes.

Elisa Baker described herself on her MySpace page as "Gothic." One posting on the page, that has since been taken down, reads: "your kids rip your heart out." The page, titled "MissGothicfairy," also contained violent music and graphics on a skull-and-crossbones background.

One posted photo showed Zahra dressed in black and smiling. The caption read: "the dark child!!!lol."

The owner of a crime memorabilia website is selling two letters he claims he received from Elisa Baker saying that her husband did something "horrifying" to the girl after her death.

"We didn't really kill her but what he did after the fact is kinda horrifying," says one of the letters Eric Gein claims he got from Elisa Baker. "Makes me scared of him."

Staff writers Cleve R. Wootson Jr., Ely Portillo and the Associated Press contributed.
Published in Charlotte Observer on November 13, 2010
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PostSubject: Mystery deepens over slaying of Zahra Baker   Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:39 pm

Mystery deepens over slaying of Zahra Baker




FILE- A May 2010 file photo shows Zahra Clare Baker, 10, waiting to get a hearing aid at an event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hickory, N.C. Police Chief Tom Adkins said Friday, Nov. 12, 2010 that investigators matched a bone found a couple of weeks ago with 10-year-old Zahra Baker's DNA. Zahra, who had bone ca

Zahra Claire Baker

Elisa Baker

Adam Baker, father of Zahra Baker, was arrested Monday on assault and worthless check charges.







By MITCH WEISS, Associated Press
HICKORY, N.C. — Police were confident a freckle-faced disabled 10-year-old girl was killed, but the mystery of how she died deepened when police said a set of remains was uncovered five miles away from where one of her bones was found.
The bone, discovered in some brush alongside Zahra Baker's prosthetic leg, was discovered in an area near where the family lived until mid-September. Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, is currently in jail, charged with trying to throw off investigators with a bogus ransom note. Her father, Adam Baker, has been arrested on charges unrelated to Zahra's disappearance and is free on bail.
Recently, Elisa Baker began cooperating with police and led them to the areas where the remains and the bone were found, though she has not been charged in Zahra's death.
"I've been dreading this moment from early on in the investigation," said Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins, who explained that investigators matched the bone with the child's DNA. "We have recovered enough physical evidence to think we have found Zahra."
Soon after Zahra was reported missing, investigators cast doubt on accounts given by her father and stepmother. Police had trouble finding anyone other than Zahra's parents who had seen her alive in the weeks before her disappearance, and a suspicious early morning fire occurred at the family's home several hours before she was reported missing.
It was then that police discovered a ransom note addressed to Adam Baker's boss on the windshield of Baker's car. Police went to that man's house, and found him and his daughter to be fine. Elisa Baker, 42, admitted writing the note and has been charged with obstruction of justice, police said.
Adam Baker, 33, is facing one count each of assault with a deadly weapon and failure to return rental property, two counts of communicating threats and five counts of writing worthless checks, authorities said.
Zahra, whose cancer forced her to use a prosthetic leg and hearing aids, was reported missing by her parents Oct. 9. They said she was last seen in her bed at their home in Hickory, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte.
Zahra was born in Australia and moved to North Carolina about two years ago after her father met his soon-to-be wife online. Zahra's friends and relatives in Giru, Australia, described her as an outgoing, happy girl despite the cancer, and said she didn't want to come to the U.S.
"Investigators, agents, officers and staff who worked on this case are devastated that we were not able to find Zahra alive and bring her home safely," said Adkins, who wouldn't answer any questions at a news conference.
District Attorney James Gaither Jr. refused to say if the girl was dismembered or if any more charges were imminent.
"I'm not going to discuss that right now," Gaither said.
Neighbors and relatives have said that Elisa Baker had a short temper and was abusive toward her stepdaughter. Caldwell County Department of Social Services investigated the family because Zahra went to school with bruises and a teacher alerted school officials, who have said they are prohibited by law from discussing the case.
Zahra's friends and family in Australia were less than thrilled when she moved away, especially since her medical treatments were free there. Kim Wright, who became something of a surrogate mother to Zahra in Australia, told The Associated Press they became friends four years ago at a cancer fundraising event. She was sitting in a chair waiting for her head to be shaved to raise money when Zahra approached, took her hand and told her not to be scared.
Zahra was diagnosed with bone cancer about five years ago. She had her leg amputated and a few months later, doctors discovered tumors in her lungs. She had chemotherapy, but the treatment led to a partial hearing loss. Still, she remained upbeat, attending a camp for children with cancer and inspiring her fellow campers by taking part in all the physical activities.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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PostSubject: As Zahra's 11th birthday approaches, vigil is planned   Sat Nov 13, 2010 5:11 pm

As Zahra's 11th birthday approaches, vigil is planned


HICKORY, N.C. (AP) - An advocacy group plans a candlelight vigil on the birthday of a missing North Carolina girl.

The Children Protection Council of Catawba County says Tuesday's vigil in Hickory will honor Zahra Baker, who will turn 11 that day. The vigil will be held at from 6 to 7 pm at Union Square.
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PostSubject: The next step: Justice for Zahra   Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:20 am

The next step: Justice for Zahra


OUR VOICE





By The Record Editorial Staff
Published: November 14, 2010



The news Friday was what most people expected, but nobody wanted to hear.

Zahra Clare Baker, the 10-year-old girl who was reported missing last month, is dead.

Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins confirmed that remains discovered in Caldwell County are Zahra’s.
Friday’s announcement was like a kick to the stomach, even though most people following the case long feared the worst.

The charming little girl from Australia who had conquered cancer won legions of sympathetic fans after her disappearance.
Now, the next step in the investigation is to gather more evidence and identify who will be held accountable for her death and the despicable, inhumane way she was tossed aside.

Hickory police, ably assisted by the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, the SBI and the FBI, will continue their meticulous approach to unraveling the mystery surrounding Zahra.
Investigators do not want any loose ends or missteps to cloud the case when the culprits are brought to justice.

The public naturally wants events to proceed more quickly. So do law officers. We must not forget that this has been a strain on them as they zig-zag across two counties and pore over hundreds of tips and shreds of evidence.
They will keep going until they reach resolution. We applaud their dedication and perseverance.

We are as impatient as we are crestfallen that there will be no miracle for Zahra. Yet, we want closure for Zahra and the many people who love her — friends, family and complete strangers.
We cannot criticize investigators for their care in handling this case. They have been unyielding in their efforts.
So we wait with countless others on two continents, and mourn.

Adkins could not mask the emotion of the moment on Friday. His face revealed his sorrow at the turn of events.

That’s OK, Tom. You are not alone.
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker's mother crushed by news of death   Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:25 pm

Zahra Baker's mother crushed by news of death







HICKORY, N.C. — The biological mother of the Australian-born disabled girl whose remains police say were found in North Carolina told a television station that she has been crushed by her daughter's death.
Emily Dietrich is in Hickory where her daughter was reported missing more than a month ago. She told the Seven Network of Australia that she has received sympathy from police and community members in North Carolina.
Hickory police said Friday they found a bone that matches the DNA of 10-year-old Zahra Baker. It was found in an area near where the family lived until mid-September. Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, is jailed on unrelated charges.
Police say Elisa Baker led investigators to the bone and another area where police found remains they believe are Zahra's. No one has been charged in the girl's death.

**WRAL
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker....A Story Of Unbelievable Cruelty   Mon Nov 15, 2010 11:14 am

Zahra Baker……..A Story Of Unbelievable Cruelty



When you look at Zahra’s pictures, you see a happy child, filled with hope, a gentle soul, with a will to survive and a lot of love in her heart. At least that is what I see when I look at her smiling face in her pictures. Zahra was a child who suffered with bone cancer, to the degree that she lost a leg, and had a prosthetic leg, and she had a hearing impairment, that left her with having to use 2 hearing aides. She over came, yet even in her darkest hours, she encouraged others. By all accounts, she was truly an amazing girl.
Sadly, her good nature, and the miracle of her life was not enough for her step mother, Elisa Baker, and her father, Adam Baker. They apparently had no appreciation for the Blessing of Zahra. In fact it was quite the opposite. By all accounts Elisa Baker was very abusive to Zahra, and Adam was no prize either. No one intervened, no one could stop the madness, and now missing Zahra Baker’s remains have been found. Because she was basically found in pieces, her death was probably very cruel. First they found the prosthetic leg, then a bone that through DNA was a match, then the rest of her remains. I will never understand that kind of cruelty, I just cannot fathom the evil that drives a person or persons to do such, or how disconnected a person or persons can be that they cannot be touched by the face of a child, or the love of a child. The horror of what Zahra must have endured at the hands of her step-mother and her father is hard to even think about.

Neighbors and relatives have said Elisa Baker has a short temper and was abusive toward her stepdaughter. Caldwell County Department of Social Services investigated the family because Zahra went to school with bruises and a teacher alerted school officials, who have said they are prohibited by law from discussing the case.
Zahra was reported missing on October 9, 2010, by her father, and step-mother, and from the beginning their stories didn’t add up. No one other than Elisa and Adam had apparently seen Zahra since September 25. There was a suspicious fire on the property that morning, and a ransom note that was quickly determined to be a fake, in fact Elisa has taken responsibility for it. She is currently in jail for the ransom note and basically obstructing justice, or an investigation. Adam is currently charged with assault and a few other charges unrelated to Zahra’s disappearance and death. He is currently out on bail. Neither has been charged in Zahra’s disappearance and murder, but at a point apparently Elisa was writing letters from jail and claims that neither of them killed Zahra, but that Adam did something horrifying after Zahra’s death that made her afraid of him. She had much in her letters about vampirism and dark love, occult type things. I personally do not believe too much of what she says, but it is said she is cooperating and apparently that’s how they found Zahra, through her cooperation.
Zahra was born in Australia and moved to North Carolina with Adam and Elisa a few years ago.

Zahra’s biological mother, Emily Dietrich, who lives in Australia, said she suffered postnatal depression after Zahra’s birth and handed over custody to Adam Baker. Later, though, she decided she wanted to be in the girl’s life and spent years trying to track the pair. But every time she found Baker, she said, he would disappear.
Using the Internet, she discovered he was living in the US. Just three days later, she said, Zahra was reported missing.
God Bless Zahra, what a shame such a brave little Blessing had to suffer so much, and have her life cut so short. God Bless her birth mother, Emily. I’m so sorry for your loss. I pray for Justice For Zahra.
The world loses so much, every time it loses a child.
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker's biological mom Emily Deitrich back to Australia   Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:45 pm

Zahra Baker's biological mom Emily Deitrich back to Australia


The biological mother of a disabled North Carolina girl believed killed after missing for more than a month says she hopes to take her daughter's body back to Australia for burial.


WCNC-TV in Charlotte reported that Emily Dietrich flew back home to Australia late Sunday after coming to North Carolina for four days as officials searched for the body of 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
Officials said Friday that they had found the girl's remains near where the family lived until mid-September.
The girl's father and stepmother, Adam and Elisa Baker, had reported her missing Oct. 9.
No one has been charged in her death. Elisa Baker is charged with obstruction of justice and Adam Baker was arrested on unrelated charges.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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PostSubject: Vigil planned Tuesday for Zahra's birthday   Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:56 pm


Vigil planned Tuesday for Zahra's birthday



An advocacy group plans to hold a candlelight vigil on the birthday of Zahra Baker.
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PostSubject: Zahra's mother: My appreciation will be with you forever   Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:01 pm

Zahra's mother: My appreciation will be with you forever

")




by DIANA RUGG / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Diana: Diana.Rugg@wcnc.com

WCNC.com

Posted on November 14, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Updated today at 7:41 AM


Related:





HICKORY, N.C.-- Zahra Baker’s mother tearfully expressed her thanks to investigators for their tireless work finding her daughter, and helping her “get her daughter back in her life.”

Emily Dietrich headed home to Australia Sunday evening after spending an emotional four days in North Carolina. While here, she visited the memorial to her daughter outside the Bakers’ former home, and listened as police gave her terrible news -- that remains found in Caldwell County belonged to Zahra.

Before she left, she sat down for an exclusive interview for NewsChannel 36, in which she called her painful journey “a blessing in disguise.”

"I can't cry 24 hours a day,” said Dietrich. “I do have to pick myself up and move forward at some point, and I also need to take a breath from the pain every now and then."

She took that breath Saturday night at the home of David and Lisa Ridgway, who live in northwest Hickory not far from the Bakers’ former home. The Ridgways invited Dietrich to their home for dinner, for a chance to relax and clear her head from the events of the week.

“Your heart just aches and your heart goes out to her and her whole family,” said Lisa Ridgway, as she and her husband prepared dinner with Dietrich.

“It's almost shocking to see her strength,” said David Ridgway. “I know for a fact I wouldn’t hold up as well as she's been doing.”

Dietrich is clearly touched by the outpouring of support for her daughter by the community. As hard as it was for her to see the memorial in front of the Bakers’ former home, she is glad she visited.

"It brought me closer to her,” she explained. “As much as I was disgusted to look at the house, she was there -- and that took me that step closer to her. And to see the tokens that everybody had left for her and the letters.." She expressed a heartfelt thanks to everyone in Hickory who has rallied to her daughter’s cause.

"Even in the middle of all this awfulness, I've seen the beauty that is in North Carolina, and I've seen the beauty of the people and the places in Hickory," she said.

Dietrich said when she gets home, she will celebrate Zahra’s birthday, which is Tuesday. Zahra would be 11. She and a friend will make dinner and a cake – one with purple icing and a “My Little Pony” on top.

Her next step will be to work with the consulate to bring Zahra’s body home for a burial in Australia.

But before she left, her most emotional gratitude was saved for law enforcement officers who worked on Zahra’s case.

"My appreciation will be with you forever,” she said tearfully. “I will never forget everything you have done to change my life.. thank you."
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PostSubject: NC city mourns for disabled girl who was killed   Mon Nov 15, 2010 6:44 pm

NC city mourns for disabled girl who was killed


By Meg Kinnard

Associated Press
HICKORY, N.C. - Residents devastated by the killing of a disabled North Carolina girl left stuffed animals, balloons and birthday cards at a makeshift memorial in front of her old house Monday, the day before she would've turned 11.
A mountain of remembrances for Zahra Baker had accumulated by early afternoon, with pictures and angels hanging from a tree outside the home in Hickory, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte. One man stopped to kneel in prayer.
Police said Friday they had found a bone that matches DNA from Zahra in an area near where the family lived until mid-September, and believed they had found her other remains about five miles away. Authorities have not said how she died.
A candlelight vigil was scheduled for Tuesday.
"The vigil is really about her life and her story, since we don't have all the facts about what happened to her," said Adrienne Opdyke, one of the organizers of the event planned by the Children's Protection Council of Catawba County.
Zahra was reported missing Oct. 9 by her parents, who told authorities she was last seen in her bed at their home in Hickory, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte.
Soon after Zahra was reported missing, investigators cast doubt on accounts given by her father and stepmother. Police had trouble finding anyone other than Zahra's parents who had seen her alive in the weeks before her disappearance. A suspicious early morning fire occurred at the family's home several hours before she was reported missing.
No one has been charged in the girl's death.
Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, is jailed on an obstruction of justice charge. Police say she led investigators to the bone and the other area where police found remains they believe are Zahra's.
Adam Baker was arrested but freed on bail. He faces charges unrelated to Zahra's disappearance.
Cassie Deal, a retired daycare operator who lives two miles away from Zahra's now-abandoned home, said both of her own grown children had died within the past three years, and she felt a connection with Zahra.
"I would have taken her home with me," Deal said.
"I'd have loved to have her," she said. "I know what it's like."
Calls about the vigil have come in from across the country, Opdyke said. Candles will be distributed, and a choir is expected to sing. Birthday gifts will be donated to needy children in the area.
"There are so many people who want to give back and recognize Zahra for who she was," Opdyke said. "They're thankful to have a place to come and be around others who have the same heart for children."
Some 100 miles northeast of Hickory, Kristie Pope was organizing a vigil in Greensboro. Mourners will gather at a local Ben & Jerry's, which is making a special birthday cake for Zahra.
"We all got attached to her," Pope, a mother of three, said. "You see this cute kid who looks like the kid next door and everyone falls in love."
Pope has also started an online group called The Zahra Project, which she hopes will be a way to prevent similar deaths. Pope was incensed by news coverage of Zahra's home life that quoted neighbors saying they knew the girl was being mistreated.
"Our goal is to see someone held accountable for this," she said. "We can't do anything to bring Zahra Baker back, but maybe we can stop it from happening to another little kid."
Zahra's biological mother had traveled from Australia to Hickory last week until returning Sunday night, WCNC-TV reported. Emily Dietrich, from Wagga Wagga in New South Wales province, told the Australia-based Seven Network Sunday she hopes to be able to return her daughter's remains to her native country.
Spending her lunch break to pay respects at the growing pile of toys and flowers left in Zahra's memory, retail grocery worker Cathie Price cried as she talked about how the community is dealing with the girl's death.
"Most little kids, they're afraid of having monsters under the bed or in the closet," Price said. "This poor little child, she was living with monsters right out there in the open."
---
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PostSubject: Guest Book for Zahra Baker   Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:06 pm

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PostSubject: In bond reduction filing, Baker shows her help in case   Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:57 pm

In bond reduction filing, Baker shows her help in case








Credit: ROBERT C. REED / RECORD
... Elisa Baker's defense attorney Lisa Dubs attempts to dodge the local media as she leaves the Catawba County Detention Center. Dubs met with Elisa Baker for two and half hours Monday afternoon

By Sarah Newell williamson
Published: November 15, 2010



NEWTON --

Elisa Baker's attorneys filed a motion for another bond reduction hearing. In the motion, attorneys Lisa Dubs and Scott Reilly cited how helpful she's been in recovering key evidence in Zahra Baker’s death.

Elisa is currently in jail for a felony obstruction of justice charge under a $65,000 bond, rather than the $1 to $10,000 that is the typical range.

The last time her attorney asked for it to be reduced, Judge Robert Mullinax Jr. increased it from $40,000 to its current amount.

However her attorneys contend that Elisa has cooperated with police. The motion, which was filed Monday afternoon, states the only reason police have found anything relating to Baker’s missing stepdaughter, Zhara Baker, is because Elisa provided information.

According to the motion, some of the information Elisa provided includes:

-Telling law enforcement of three search sites on Oct. 25; at each search site, Elisa said what should be found at each site;

-Shortly after Elisa mentioned the Christie Road site, investigators found part of the prosthetic leg Zahra wore. Elisa said it was the gel liner;

-One of the other sites Elisa directed them to was Dudley Shoals Road site;

-On Oct. 26, the mattress Elisa told law enforcement about was found at the landfill in Caldwell County. Elisa confirmed the description of the mattress, and directed law enforcement to the site of the specific dumpster where it was thrown out;

-Also on Oct. 26, Elisa told law enforcement where other items of evidence could be located at the house.

According to the motion “the only credible evidence released to the public by law enforcement related to this case is evidence that was collected after Elisa Baker told law enforcement where to look and what to look for. Law enforcement has been able to locate evidence at landfills, the Baker home and locations throughout Caldwell County and Catawba County only because of Elisa Baker’s cooperation and disclosures.”

The beginning part of the motion also states that on Oct. 22, Elisa talked to her attorneys and investigator, about the circumstances about the disappearance and/or death of Zahra.

During the late evening and early morning hours of Oct. 22 and Oct. 23, “the defense team verified that certain information provided by Ms. Baker was reliable. As part of that verification, the defense team located and collected a significant item of evidence.”

The following day, on Oct. 24, law enforcement was told that Zahra was dead, and “her body had been dismembered and that it would be recovered at different sites. The piece of evidence collected by the defense was turned over to law enforcement.”

On Oct. 25 Elisa helped investigators with the search, since the locations were remote. The media spotted her that day at the Dudley Shoals Road location, in an SUV.

The motion for the bond reduction hearing argues that Elisa’s bond should be reduced because she has assisted with the recovering of evidence in this case and has been available to help law enforcement with any questions they had.

It also states that she is a lifelong resident of Caldwell and Catawba counties, except for when she went to Australia to marry her husband, Adam Baker. Elisa’s passport has been surrendered, and “due to the overwhelming and international publicity this case has received, Ms. Baker is instantly recognizable and it would be difficult for her to avoid detection if she should attempt to leave the jurisdiction.”

Further, Elisa has no assets with which to leave the area, the motion contends.

Zahra, who would have turned 11 today, was reported missing by her father Adam Baker on Oct. 9. The bubbly child lost part of her left leg and some of her hearing to cancer, which she beat twice. On Oct. 12, the Amber Alert that was issued was cancelled and the case was changed to a homicide investigation. On Nov. 12, police said they had enough evidence to confirm that Zahra was dead.

Elisa’s obstruction of justice charge stems from writing a false ransom note in which she demanded $1 million. She has also been arrested on several other charges unrelated to Zahra’s disappearance. Adam was arrested as well, for several charges unrelated to the case. He has since bonded out of jail.
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PostSubject: Document: Stepmom provides details in Zahra's death   Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:16 pm


Document: Stepmom provides details in Zahra's death


By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Monday, Nov. 15, 2010


Zahra Baker



More Information






Zahra Baker's body was dismembered and the remains hidden across several rural locations, a court document said for the first time Monday, days after police said that the 10-year-old cancer survivor is dead.
The court filing is a motion by Zahra's stepmom, Elisa Baker, asking the court to reduce her $65,000 bond for obstruction of justice. The motion, filed Monday afternoon in Superior Court, provides specific and at times grisly details of what Elisa Baker says happened to the young girl's body.
The document doesn't indicate how Zahra died or who may be responsible, but the motion argues that Baker's bond should be reduced because of her extensive and continuing cooperation.
"The only credible evidence released to the public by law enforcement related to this case is evidence that was collected after Elisa Baker told law enforcement where to look and what to look for," the motion says.
Elisa Baker's attorneys met with her for two hours Monday, but declined to speak with reporters. They couldn't be reached for comment Monday night.
It wasn't clear Monday why Elisa Baker, in admitting some involvement in a heinous crime, could be asking for a lower bond. Police haven't given a motive in the case.
Speculation has centered around Elisa and Adam Baker, Zahra's father, since shortly after the girl was reported missing on Oct. 9.
A family member interviewed by CNN's Nancy Grace described talking with Elisa Baker in jail.
"As we talked with her, she cried over missing Zahra and how her husband has left her to take all the blame for what has happened when he played a big part in this terrible situation," the cousin said in the interview. The cousin spoke on condition of anonymity because of death threats the family has received.
The owner of a crime memorabilia website is selling two letters he claims he received from Elisa Baker saying her stepdaughter, Zahra, is dead, and that her husband did something "horrifying" to the girl after her death.
"We didn't really kill her but what he did after the fact is kinda horrifying," says one of the letters Eric Gein claims he got from Elisa Baker, who is in jail. "Makes me scared of him."
In Monday's motion, they say she has been instrumental in the investigation into the death of the girl who moved to the United States from Australia in 2009, after her father Adam married Elisa Baker.
Zahra Baker, who was hearing-impaired and walked with the help of a prosthesis after losing her left leg to cancer, was reported missing by her father in a call to police.
On Friday, after more than a month of investigating, police said they had credible evidence that Zahra was dead, and had unearthed remains of a child they believe was Zahra.
Both Adam and Elisa Baker have denied any wrongdoing in the case. Elisa Baker was arrested on Oct. 10 on unrelated charges, then charged with obstruction of justice on Oct. 12 after investigators say she admitted writing a bogus ransom note.
According to Monday's motion to reduce bond, Elisa Baker told her attorneys on Oct. 22 that she had information about the disappearance and death of Zahra Baker.
Elisa Baker's defense attorneys notified police the next morning, indicating that Baker was willing to cooperate with investigators. But, they said, investigators had to move fast because weather could destroy evidence, according to the document.
Investigators were told that Zahra Baker was deceased, that her body had been dismembered and that body parts would be discovered at different sites. The defense team suggested that Baker needed to be present because of the remote locations of the sites.
Baker went out with law enforcement agents to three sites on Oct. 25, according to the court document. At each site, she described what would be found there and told officers where to look.
At one point, she was photographed by television news cameras inside a red SUV being driven by law enforcement agents.
The document says officers recovered the gel liner of the prosthetic leg near Christie Road in Hudson because of Baker. The site is near where Elisa Baker used to live.
Investigators also found evidence at two other sites because of Baker, the document says: a bone later identified as Zahra Baker's at the Christie Road site and remains believed to be those of Zahra Baker at another Caldwell County location along Dudley Shoals Road.
The document says Baker also directed investigators to other sites where possible evidence was located, including the dumpster where Zahra's mattress was discarded and undisclosed items found at the family's home.
Baker has continued to cooperate with authorities, the motion says. She was still in Catawba County jail Monday night. It was unclear Monday evening when a judge is expected to rule on the motion.
WCNC-TV contributed.

**CharlotteObserver
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PostSubject: Hickory residents prepare for memorial for slain girl   Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:19 pm

Hickory residents prepare for memorial for slain girl





By MEGKINNARD
The Associated Press

HICKORY - The city once home to a disabled North Carolina girl now believed dead after she was missing for more than a month is grieving for her and preparing for a candlelight vigil.
A steady stream of mourners passed by the one-story brick home in Hickory where 10-year-old Zahra Baker had lived with her father and stepmother. Organizers planned a candlelight vigil for the girl Tuesday on what would have been her 11th birthday.
Officials said Friday that they found the girl's remains near where the family lived until mid-September.
The girl's father and stepmother, Adam and Elisa Baker, had reported her missing Oct. 9. No one is charged in her death. Elisa Baker is charged with obstruction of justice and Adam Baker was arrested on unrelated charges.
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PostSubject: Court papers reveal Zahra was dismembered (SevenNewsAustralia)   Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:35 pm

Court papers reveal Zahra was dismembered

Meg Kinnard, AAP November 16, 2010, 11:26 am





Australian girl Zahra Baker was dismembered and her remains scattered at different sites, according to court papers filed by lawyers representing her American stepmother.
The court documents ask for a reduction in bail for Elisa Baker, saying she helped investigators by leading them to the remains of 10-year-old Zahra.
Elisa Baker has been jailed since last month, accused of trying to throw off investigators by writing a fake ransom note for another child.
The court papers were reported by Charlotte-area TV stations and posted on the website of WCNC-TV on Monday.
Elisa Baker told police on October 24 that Zahra "was deceased, that her body had been dismembered and that it would be recovered at different sites", according to the documents.
She was allowed to accompany police the following two days to sites around Hickory, in western North Carolina, showing them where Zahra's remains were.
On Friday, police said they found a bone that matched DNA from Zahra, and believed other remains were about eight kilometres away.
They have not said, and the court documents don't explain, how the girl died.
Zahra was reported missing by her Australian father, Adam Baker, on October 9, but police believe she may have met with foul play earlier than that.
Adam and Elisa Baker remain suspects in Zahra's disappearance, although neither have been charged.Adam Baker was arrested on a host of charges unrelated to the girl's disappearance, but is free on bail.

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PostSubject: Vigil to be held for Zahra tonight   Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:12 am

Vigil to be held for Zahra tonight








Credit: Associated Press photo
Signs are attached to a tree Monday, Nov. 15, 2010 outside the home where 10-year-old Zahra Baker had lived with her father and step-mother in Hickory.

By Sarah Newell williamson
Published: November 16, 2010



HICKORY --

Zahra Clare Baker would have turned 11 years old today. Instead of a birthday cake with pink frosted flowers and presents, she’ll have a candlelight vigil.
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PostSubject: Motion: Baker not a flight risk   Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:08 am

Monday, November 15, 2010


Motion: Baker not a flight risk


In court papers seeking to reduce bond for Elisa Baker, her lawyers argued that even if Baker tried to flee Caldwell County, she could not hide for long.

Because of "overwhelming and international publicity" surrounding the death of her 10-year-old stepdaughter, court papers filed Monday say, Baker would have difficulty avoiding detection if she was released from jail.

Click here to read the motion.

The body of Baker's stepdaughter, Zahra Baker, was dismembered and the remains were hidden across several rural locations. The motion said Elisa Baker cooperated with law enforcement and told them where to find the remains and other evidence - the only "credible evidence" publicly known.

Baker is jailed on a charge of obstructing justice related to the case.

The motion seeking lower bond also cited Baker's ties to the area. She only left when she moved to Australia briefly and married her current husband Adam Baker, Zahra's father.

She has surrendered her passport to authorities.

- Doug Miller


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PostSubject: In death, Zahra, you roused life in many   Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:12 am


In death, Zahra, you roused life in many


Dannye Romine Powell

Posted: Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010
COLUMNISTS »
Dannye Romine Powell

Dannye Romine Powell writes on life in Charlotte and the Carolinas for the Local section of The Charlotte Observer.
E-mail Dannye.
704.358.5230




Happy Birthday, Zahra Clare Baker.
And thank you for your gift to us over these last weeks. You have shattered our complacency and cracked open our hearts.
Despite the predicted rain, my bet is people will pour into Union Square in downtown Hickory at 6 tonight for the candlelight vigil to honor your memory and to celebrate your 11th birthday.
Why am I so sure people will pack the square?
Because you have given them a beautiful gift - the gift of feeling. Many of us needed that.
I saw those feelings on Monday, when dozens continued to gather in the yard of the white-shuttered brick house on 21st Avenue, N.W., in Hickory, where you are said to have lived with your dad and stepmom before your disappearance was reported on Oct. 9.
People drove there from Granite Falls and Connelly Springs, from Morganton and Lincolnton, from Lenoir and Bethlehem.
They brought more stuffed animals to add to the ever-growing mound beneath the oak tree. They hung notes and stars and letters and beads from the branches.
They shook their heads. They hugged each other. They wept.
I asked these people if they planned to be at the vigil tonight, rain or shine.
Yes, they said. Yes and yes and yes.
They'll attend the vigil for the same reasons they visit your house.
Because they can't get you out of their minds, Zahra. They don't sleep, they said, for trying to fathom how anyone could harm an innocent child. Especially a child, like you who survived cancer, lost a leg, and yet still smiled that glorious smile.
They are angry, and they want justice done to whomever hurt you.
"We would've took her," more than one told me.
See, Zahra, you opened people's hearts.
I asked some of the visitors if being in your yard and hanging trinkets on the tree brought them comfort.
Very few said yes.
I believe that's because comfort is not really what they're seeking.
People go to shrines - and your yard is definitely a shrine - to feel their feelings.
Most days, most of us walk around numb, head to toe. We're distracted and busy and on automatic pilot.
Then a horrific thing happens to an innocent child like you - you with your sweet scatter of freckles. And, suddenly, we are filled to the brim with feelings - for you and for other innocents.
That's why so many people return and return again to your yard. That's why they'll pack Union Square tonight. You've allowed us to feel alive again, even if it's through our sorrow.
Happy Birthday, Zahra.
And thank you again for your gift.





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PostSubject: Memorial Grows   Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:19 am

Memorial grows


As police continued their investigation, residents left stuffed animals, balloons and birthday cards at a makeshift memorial in front of the family's now-abandoned house. Pictures and angels hung from a tree outside the home in Hickory, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte. One man stopped to kneel in prayer.
A candlelight vigil for the freckle-faced Zahra, whose cancer forced her to use hearing aids and a prosthetic leg, was scheduled for today, the day she would've turned 11.
"The vigil is really about her life and her story, since we don't have all the facts about what happened to her," said Adrienne Opdyke, one of the organizers of the event planned by the Children's Protection Council of Catawba County.
Zahra's parents told authorities she was last seen in her bed at their home in Hickory.
Soon after she was reported missing, police had trouble finding anyone other than Zahra's parents who had seen her alive in the weeks before her disappearance. A suspicious early morning fire occurred at the family's home several hours before she was reported missing.
It was then that police discovered a ransom note addressed to Adam Baker's boss on the windshield of Baker's car. Police went to that man's house, and found him and his daughter to be fine. Elisa Baker admitted writing the note and was charged with obstruction of justice charge, police said.
Adam Baker, 33, is facing one count each of assault with a deadly weapon and failure to return rental property, two counts of communicating threats and five counts of writing worthless checks, authorities said.
Cassie Deal, a retired day care operator who lives two miles away from Zahra's old home, said both of her own grown children had died within the past three years, and she felt a connection with Zahra.
"I would have taken her home with me," Deal said.
"I'd have loved to have her," she said. "I know what it's like."'We all got attached'

Calls about the vigil have come in from across the country, Opdyke said. Candles will be distributed, and a choir is expected to sing. Birthday gifts will be donated to needy children in the area.
About 100 miles northeast of Hickory, Kristie Pope was organizing a vigil in Greensboro. Mourners will gather at a local Ben & Jerry's, which is making a special birthday cake for Zahra.
"We all got attached to her," Pope, a mother of three, said. "You see this cute kid who looks like the kid next door and everyone falls in love."
Pope also has started an online group called The Zahra Project, which she hopes will be a way to prevent similar deaths. Pope was incensed by news coverage of Zahra's home life that quoted neighbors saying they knew the girl was being mistreated.
"Our goal is to see someone held accountable for this," she said. "We can't do anything to bring Zahra Baker back, but maybe we can stop it from happening to another little kid."
Zahra's biological mother had traveled from Australia to Hickory last week. Emily Dietrich, from Wagga Wagga in New South Wales province, told the Australia-based Seven Network Sunday she hopes to be able to return her daughter's remains to her native country.

**FayettevilleObserver
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PostSubject: ZAHRA CLAIRE BAKER   Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:52 pm

Zahra



Posted on November 15th, 2010 by Valhall
I wish for you that things had gone differently; that the twisting road that led to the end of your life had straightened at some point and led to a safe place, a loving place.
I wish that today you were really celebrating your birthday with loving family members who would have sang to you, given you presents, and cheered when you blew out your candles.
I wish that your mother had found you sooner.
I wish that your grandmother had not lost you.
I wish that your father had been there when he needed to be, and placed you in the position you were supposed to be in his life…first.
I wish that your father had never met Elisa.
I wish that you were with your friends at school laughing and learning and being a child.
I wish that the agencies who were mandated to protect you had done their jobs.
I wish that your mother could hug and kiss your beautiful smiling face today.
I wish that today you were really 11.
I wish that today you were alive.


Zahra Clare Baker



Born 11/16/1999…

touched the world’s heart in 2010.

To Emily,

My thoughts, prayers and love are with you today. May God grant you the peace that only His mercy and grace can bring. Remember…she hurts no more.


Valhall.
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PostSubject: "We love Zahra"   Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:27 pm

"We love Zahra"


Hundreds mourn during birthday vigil








Credit: ROBERT C. REED/RECORD
Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins lights a candle for a member of the crowd at the Children's Protection Council vigil for Zahra Baker Tuesday night on Union Square in Hickory.

By Richard Gould
Published: November 16, 2010


Hickory --
As they finished singing “Happy Birthday” on what would have been Zahra Baker’s 11th birthday, a short-lived chant erupted and the crowd shook their fists and repeated, “We want justice.”

The crowd, estimated at 1,500 or more people, gathered on Hickory’s Union Square in the damp chill to honor Zahra’s memory and celebrate her birthday. More than a dozen news crews were on hand to record the proceedings hosted by the Children’s Protection Council.

Chief Tom Adkins of the Hickory Police Department has been at the center of the Baker investigation since she was first reported missing Oct. 9, and the crowd was silent as he spoke and people listened hoping to glean any new information they could about Zahra.

“Thirty-nine days ago, most of us did not know Zahra Baker, but over a month we have all fallen in love with her and become better people because of her,” he said.

Adkins spoke about her fight against two bouts of cancer. The first took her left leg. Chemotherapy during her second bout with cancer took much of her sense of hearing.
“She did not want pity from anyone, a family member told me. She wanted to be like any other child,” he said. “Nothing would slow her down.”

When Zahra was hospitalized for her cancer treatments, she took it on herself to cheer up the other children in the ward, Adkins said.

“She would visit the other children hopping on one leg and provide encouragement to the other children,” he said. “Her great aunt told me that Zahra had more guts and more determination than anyone she’d ever met. … I have spoken to many people who said they fell in love with her as soon as they met her.”
“We are here to celebrate her today – her life, her guts and her smile.”

The rain that had been predicted held off as Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright struggled to make himself heard with a microphone and sound equipment that was not up to the task. Some in the crowd grew impatient and shouted that they couldn’t hear him as others shouted, telling fellow audience members to be quiet.

“We wish we could hold her and give her love and serenity, but Zahra is in a better place tonight,” Wright said. Then he led the crowd in the 18th century children’s prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep.”
When the speakers were done, the Newton-Conover High School choral ensemble sang as the crowd lit its candles.
The soft sounds of quiet crying could be heard as lit candles were held aloft.

Neither Adkins, Wright or any of the law enforcement officers at the vigil spoke about the ongoing investigation into Zahra’s death. No one mentioned her father, Adam Baker, who is out on bond after being arrested on charges unrelated to the case. No one mentioned Zahra’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, still in jail under a $97,000 bond on charges of obstruction of justice related to Zahra’s presumed murder and her own string of additional charges unrelated to the case.

The night’s focus was on Zahra, her spirit and her life – not its tragic end.

Volunteers manned cardboard bins where mourners lined up to leave stuffed animals and toys in Zahra’s honor. The toys were donated to the Hickory Police Department’s Cops for Tots program and will be donated to underprivileged children for Christmas.

Vicky Harris of Hudson came to the vigil and spoke for many when she said, “We didn’t know her a month ago, but we know her now. I think the community feels like she’s our child,” she said, adding, “People need to stop being afraid of what their neighbors might think of them if they report abuse.”

Keith McCloud of Hickory said learning that a child in his community had been abused and killed is devastating, and he wanted to join with a group to honor Zahra’s memory.
“Everybody’s coming together and saying this in not supposed to happen here as a community,” he said. “The fact that it’s her birthday. I think that’s what’s hitting people the hardest.”
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PostSubject: Mourners: Hickory girl was relilient   Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:53 pm

Mourners: Hickory girl was resilient














Hickory, N.C., Police Chief Tom Adkins speaks during a vigil for Zahra Baker in Hickory, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010. Baker, a disabled girl from Australia, would have turned 11 years old Tuesday. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Erica Childress, 11, left, and her mother Michelle Childress, right, hold candles during a vigil for Zahra Baker in Hickory, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010. Baker, a disabled girl from Australia, would have turned 11 years old Tuesday. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

FILE - This May 2010 file photo shows Zahra Clare Baker, 10, waiting to get a hearing aid at an event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hickory, N.C. Police Chief Tom Adkins said Friday, Nov. 12, 2010 that investigators matched a bone found a couple of weeks ago with 10-year-old Zahra Baker's DNA. Zahra, who had bone cancer that forced her to use a prosthetic leg and hearing aids, was reported missing by her parents Oct. 9. They said she was last seen in her bed at their home in Hickory, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte. Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, is currently in jail, charged with trying to throw off investigators with a bogus ransom note. (AP Photo/Independent Tribune, James Nix, File)






HICKORY, N.C. — A community mourned the loss of a Hickory girl with a vigil on Tuesday – what would have been the child’s 11th birthday.
Zahra Baker’s remains and the prosthetic leg she needed after an amputation because of her cancer were found at remote sites around Hickory, a town of about 41,000 about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte, last week, according to court documents.
The documents revealed that she was dismembered and police needed her stepmother's help to find the remains because they were in such remote locations.
“We didn’t meet Zahra in her brief life, but we feel like we know her,” Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright said during the vigil.
Wright noted Zahra’s resiliency through a difficult life.








Despite her disability, those at the memorial said Zahra enjoyed swimming and would often visit to inspire other children with cancer.
"She wanted no pity. She wanted to be like any other child," one speaker said.
Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins spoke at the vigil, but not about the investigation. He talked about Zahra's brave struggle with cancer.
"I encourage you to use her strength and her determination and her smile to celebrate her life," Adkins said.
Zahra’s story has resonated with many in the community.
“It’s just been heartbreaking for everybody because, I mean, even though we didn’t know her, we can feel the empathy for her and to think a child was treated that way and nobody did anything. I just can’t imagine,” said Edna Cardwell from Lenior.
Edie Richardson, of Hudson, said Zahra used to attend church and school about 2 miles from her home. She said the crime has caused trauma in her neighborhood.
“I haven’t been able to sleep or do my daily chores really,” Richardson said. “It’s been a horrific crime. I can’t remember anything like this before.”
"I think everybody has been tragically upset," Hickory resident Janette Hollar said. "It's been so close to home and you just don't think of anything like that happening here."
Zahra’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, faces obstructing justice and 15 lesser charges unrelated to Zahra's disappearance.
Attorneys for Elisa Baker have argued the woman's bond should be lessened because she helped police. Elisa Baker has been in custody since the day after Zahra was reported missing, and she is accused of trying to throw off investigators by writing a fake ransom note for another child.
Zahra's father was also arrested on a host of charges unrelated to the girl's disappearance, but is free on bail. Calls to his lawyer were not returned.





No one has been charged in Zahra's death, but police have cast doubt on her parents' claims they last saw her alive Oct. 9.
The Children's Protection Council of Catawba County held Tuesday's vigil. People attending brought birthday gifts that will be donated to children in need.
The memorial ended with the crowd singing "Happy Birthday" before releasing white balloons into the air.

**WRAL.com
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PostSubject: Hundreds Gather for Vigil On Zahra's Birthday   Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:22 am

Hundreds Gather For Vigil On Zahra's Birthday

Posted: 2:00 pm EST November 16, 2010
Updated: 11:15 pm EST November 16, 2010



HICKORY, N.C. -- As many as 1,000 people turned out Tuesday night in Hickory to remember Zahra Baker, 10, whose remains police believe they found last week.

VIDEO: Hundreds Gather For Vigil On Zahra's Birthday


Police searched for a month before finding a child's remains in Caldwell County. A bond-reduction motion filed Monday said Zahra's mother, Elisa Baker, told police the child was dead and had been dismembered, and that her remains could be found in several locations.

The police chief and mayor both addressed the crowd, focusing more on Zahra's life than her death.

Baker would have turned 11 on Tuesday, so the crowd chose to sing "Happy Birthday" before releasing balloons and lighting candles.

Some people couldn't hide their emotions.

"She just seemed like such a sweet little girl," said Tina Anderson with tears streaming down her face.

SLIDESHOW: Candlelight Vigil Marks Zahra Baker's 11th Birthday

Elisa Baker's younger sister, April Fairchild, attended the vigil Tuesday night. Fairchild told Channel 9 Eyewitness News the family had been dealing with a wide range of emotions and had hoped that Zahra would be found alive.

Fairchild also said the death and dismemberment of Zahra could not be justified and that the family no longer fully supports Elisa Baker.

RAW INTERVIEW: Elisa Baker's Sister: Family Does Not Support Her

Toward thee end of the vigil, some in the crowd chanted "We want justice".

Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright summed up the feelings of many.

"We all want to know the rest of the story," Wright said, "and if there's any lesson to be learned there."

RAW VIDEO: Zahra At Speedway Children's Charities Event In May


SLIDESHOW: Photos Of Zahra Baker


The vigil comes the day after court documents revealed Zahra’s body was dismembered and the remains hidden in several remote locations.

Attorneys for Zahra’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, argued the woman's bond should be lessened because she helped police locate the remains and cooperated in the investigation into Zahra’s disappearance.

PDF: Bond Reduction Motion For Elisa Baker


Elisa Baker has been in custody since the day after Zahra was reported missing, and she is accused of trying to throw off investigators by writing a fake ransom note for another child.

Timeline In Zahra's Disappearance


MAP: Key Locations In Zahra's Disappearance


District Attorney Jay Gaither said his office will oppose efforts to reduce Elisa Baker’s bond. She faces an obstruction of justice charge unrelated to Zahra's disappearance.

VIDEO: D.A.: Recovery Of Remains Critical, But Investigation Not Complete


No one has been charged in Zahra's death, but police have cast doubt on her parents' claims that they last saw her alive Oct. 9. Police said Tuesday that the investigation is still very active. Some evidence still needs to be collected, other evidence is being tested and interviews are still being done, they said.





Eyewitness News Special Report: The Search For Zahra

VIDEO: Eyewitness News Special Report: Zahra’s Disappearance


VIDEO: Eyewitness News Special Report: The Investigation


VIDEO: Eyewitness News Special Report: An Emotional Toll


VIDEO: Eyewitness News Special Report: Questions Remain






Elisa Baker was allowed to accompany investigators to sites within about 15 miles of Hickory after telling them on Oct. 24 that Zahra "was deceased, that her body had been dismembered and that it would be recovered at different sites," according to the documents. She led police to the Dudley Shoals area, where the remains thought to be Zahra’s were found, and to the Christie Road area, where the prosthetic leg Zahra needed after an amputation because of her bone cancer was found, the documents say.

RAW VIDEO: Hickory Chief Announces Finding Remains


A mountain of stuffed animals, handwritten letters, birthday cards and balloons, photos and flowers has accumulated at the Bakers’ now-empty Hickory home.

SLIDESHOW: Memorial Grows Outside Zahra's Home


Spending her lunch break paying respects at the growing pile of toys and flowers left in Zahra's memory, retail grocery worker Cathie Price cried as she talked about how the community is dealing with the girl's death.

"Most little kids, they're afraid of having monsters under the bed or in the closet," Price said. "This poor little child, she was living with monsters right out there in the open."
Copyright 2010 by WSOCTV.com.
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