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 ZAHRA CLAIRE BAKER

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sanny
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PostSubject: Justice at last for my daughter Zahra   Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:38 pm

Justice at last for my daughter Zahra







Some kind of closure ... Emily Dietrich at home in Wagga Wagga / Pic: Simon Dallinger Source: The Daily Telegraph





Stepmother stands accused of murder ... Zahra Baker Source: Supplied



A US policeman woke Emily Dietrich early yesterday with a call to say her daughter Zahra Baker's stepmother Elisa Baker had been charged with the child's manslaughter.

"I felt like I'd won Lotto. I had this smile on my face that nothing was going to wipe away," Ms Dietrich said.
It was the news the Wagga Wagga woman had been waiting for since she learned of the death of her daughter last November.
"I was just relieved to hear that someone's finally going to have to pay for what happened to her [Zahra]," she said.
But that elation quickly turned to horror when Ms Dietrich began reading her daughter's autopsy report online. The report lists the "cut and tool marks" to her skeletal remains and even evidence of scavenging by wild animals.
Ms Dietrich said she was so sickened by what she read, she ran to the bathroom and was physically ill.
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Related Coverage




  • Finally, relief for heartbroken mum Herald Sun, 6 hours ago
  • Zahra's mother relieved at murder charge The Daily Telegraph, 12 hours ago
  • Stepmother charged with Zahra's murder The Australian, 15 hours ago
  • Tragedy of Zahra Baker Courier Mail, 19 hours ago
  • Zahra's stepmum on murder charge Perth Now, 20 hours ago


    "It's just disgusting and inhuman. It's like something out of a horror movie ... she was just a baby," she said.
    It is understood Baker made a deal to reduce a murder charge to manslaughter to avoid the death penalty in exchange for leading police to Zahra's remains. The child's skull, which would most likely reveal the cause of death, has not been found.
    Baker, 44, faces up to 30 years in prison.
    In Hickory, North Carolina, Zahra's grandmother Karen Baker, of Newcastle, said she and Zahra's dad Adam Baker were relieved that charges had been laid but were not disappointed by the lack of the death penalty.
    "Death would be too good for her," Karen Baker said. "I hope she lives with this every day of the rest of her life."
    A struggle with post-natal depression when Zahra was a toddler meant Ms Dietrich decided to give the baby to her then husband to care for until she was well again.
    Mr Baker moved Zahra to the US in 2008, against Ms Dietrich's wishes, after he met Baker on the internet.
    Additional reporting in North Carolina, Paul Toohey
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker Case: Elisa indicted, Autopsy released, Adam feels vindicated   Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:41 pm

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Zahra Baker Case: Elisa indicted, Autopsy released, Adam feels vindicated

Posted on February 22, 2011 by Valhall

A North Carolina grand jury handed down an indictment against Elisa Baker yesterday on charges of 2nd degree murder with aggravating factors in the murder and mutilation of Zahra Baker. The aggravating factors listed were:



    • a history and pattern of physical, verbal and psychological abuse of the victim;
    • secreting the victim from family and others prior to and after the murder, thereby delaying detection of the murder by law enforcement;
    • descrating Zahra’s body to intentionally hinder the detection, investigation and prosecution of the murder;
    • the victim was young, physically infirmed, and handicapped;
    • and Elisa was in a parental role that placed Zahra in a position where Elisa took advantage of her trust or confidence at the time of the murder.


In addition to the indictment against Elisa, the autopsy report and medical examiner’s report [PLEASE NOTE THEY ARE GRAPHIC] were released on Zahra’s partial remains recovered to date. The majority of Zahra’s body has not been found. Her skull, her entire right arm, the middle portion of her spine at about the breastplate, her left forearm and hand, her left femur and half of her right femur and lower leg are still missing.
There is no subtle way to put it. Zahra was hacked up. She wasn’t just dismembered, she was mutilated in what appears to be a crazed rage, or psychotic and sadistic manner or all of the above. The upper portion of her right femur, with the femur being severed at about the midpoint, had 11 different cut marks on the bone and these cuts were located from the top of that partial section, at the midpoint of that partial section, and near the end of where the femur was severed in half.
And, of course…and obviously, she was beheaded with multiple cuts near the area where the head was removed from the spine. And I really don’t want to put any more time into the autopsy than to point out the femur cuts and the cuts associated with the beheading, because that suffices to show she was mutilated…not just dismembered.
Meanwhile, Adam and his mother were reported to have jumped gleefully for joy at the news of Elisa’s indictment. OR….at the news there was no indictment against Adam. OR….both. (Take your pick.) Adam has openly stated he is relieved there are no charges against him in Zahra’s murder. He also has now willingly accepted “the victim role”, describing Elisa as very manipulative and controlling.
She apparently had very strong kung fu in those areas, because this is how victimized Adam was…



    • In the initial 911 call and interviews with investigators, and then in subsequent statements made by Adam Baker in media interviews, he listed as many as 4 different dates and times as to when he last saw his 10-year-old daughter. ALL of those dates and times fell within the 5 days preceding Zahra being reported missing….by him.
    • BUT…the autopsy report states that Zahra’s murder took placed on September 24th, 2010. She was not reported missing by a giggling Adam until October 9th, 2010. That’s 2 full weeks….which means:

      • For 2 full weeks Adam Baker did not speak to or see his 10-year-old daughter.
      • For 2 full weeks Adam Baker claims he saw a lump in the bed??? Is that correct?
      • For 2 full weeks Adam Baker did not ask to see Zahra’s school work from homeschooling activities with Elisa Baker.
      • For 2 full weeks Adam did not check on the welfare of a child that was being reported (according to him) as “brooding”, going through puberty, and not ever coming out of her room.
      • For 2 full weeks Adam did not try to provide parental guidance to a child who was all of a sudden showing extremely worrisome social behaviors.
      • For 2 full weeks there was not a TV show, a family outing, a family meal, or a family discussion in which Adam Baker even attempted to directly involve Zahra.
      • For 2 full weeks he did not hear Zahra in her room, in the bathroom, see a 10-year-old’s mess in the bathroom…did he see dirty clothes for 2 weeks? Are we to assume Elisa went through the steps of placing clothing around, or dirty dishes, etc. in her evil-genius cover-up to make him think Zahra was still there?
      • And….apparently, for the ONLY 2 WEEKS IN ZAHRA’S LIFE THAT HER FATHER DID NOT EVEN ATTEMPT TO DIRECTLY INTERACT WITH HER…..coincidentally, it was the same 2 weeks she was dead.



Interesting.
If you would like to read about the North Carolina definitions of neglect, you may find them here. Back slaps all around for the Baker family….w00t!
Valhall.
http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/mgmedia/file/107/baker-indictment/
http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/mgmedia/file/106/medical-examiners-report-zahras-remains/
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PostSubject: Questions linger on abuse accusations for NC girl   Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:01 am

Questions linger on abuse accusations for NC girl



Zahra Baker


By MITCH WEISS, Associated Press; TOM BREEN, Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Social Service agencies in two counties visited Zahra Baker's home seven times last year, but never found that she was being mistreated, and critics said Tuesday that it raises troubling questions about whether the system failed the slain little girl.
The agencies in Catawba and Caldwell counties are refusing to disclose details about how they conducted their investigations, but said they followed all the procedures and guidelines.
Friends and neighbors of the 10-year-old freckled face girl with the wide smile who survived bone cancer say they repeatedly complained she was being abused by Elisa Baker, Zahra's stepmother, who has been charged in her death. Critics said they were disappointed in how the agencies handled the case, and they're worried that something like Zahra's death could happen again.
"I hate that we'll probably never know anything about those investigations, and my guess is that nobody will ever have to answer for any of that," said Kristie Pope, who started The Zahra Project last year after the 10-year-old Australian was reported missing. "That's a shame."
Her group is pushing for legislation in the General Assembly this year that would increase the maximum penalty for felony child abuse to life in prison, and would change the way social service agencies investigate reports of child mistreatment.
Zahra died last year under and her remains were discovered in different places. Her skull still hasn't been recovered. On Monday, a Catawba County grand jury indicted 42-year-old Elisa Baker on a charges of second-degree murder. Calls to Elisa Baker's lawyers were not returned Tuesday.
Hours after the indictment, the social service departments in Catawba and Caldwell counties released statements about investigations of child abuse and neglect at the Baker home in 2010.
Investigators from both agencies made at least seven visits to the family between Feb. 1 and Aug. 5, in response to three reports that Zahra was being mistreated, including one report followed by a second complaint.
In all cases, the investigators did not find evidence to substantiate the mistreatment claims, a result not uncommon in cases where families are isolated from the surrounding community, according to Rosie Allen, president of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina.
"This is a horrible, tragic death and it can only result in outrage, but it's not your typical child abuse case," she said. "This family, from all reports, was very isolated, and when families live in isolation it's very difficult to get any kind of substantiation" in complaints of mistreatment.
The Baker family — Elisa, Zahra, and Zahra's father, Adam, who brought the girl with him from Australia when he married Elisa — moved from Caldwell County to Catawba County in 2010, and Zahra was apparently never enrolled in Catawba County schools. Neighbors who lived near the Bakers in Hickory said they didn't even know a little girl lived nearby until after Zahra was reported missing in October.
"I hear the frustration from some people, but I know DSS has a very difficult job," said Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright, who early on in the investigation put a huge full-color poster of Zahra outside his business.
Statewide, there are about 125,000 reports of child abuse or neglect per year, with roughly 25,000 of them substantiated, Allen said, with county social service agencies facing the same pressure as other government bodies.
"The system is already very taxed, and it's a fragile system just because of the nature of the work," she said.
Catawba County DSS spokeswoman Margaret Allen wouldn't discuss the details because of the pending prosecution. That includes questions about whether investigators ever looked into Elisa Baker's past — other agencies in North Carolina investigated allegations that Elisa Baker abused her biological children — or whether the Bakers were given advanced warning before investigators showed up.
In Caldwell County, a neighbor said Elisa Baker told her that she knew in advance when DSS was coming, and that she would clean up the house and make sure "Zahra knew what to say."
"That little girl was so scared. They threatened her. She didn't want to be taken away," said Kayla Rotenberry.
Members of the board that oversees Caldwell County's Department of Social Services either declined to comment or didn't return calls Tuesday.
In cases where a child dies of suspected mistreatment or the family has been contacted by social services in the past six months, the case is referred to the state Child Fatality Review Team.
The team, which includes participants from law enforcement, medicine and other fields, doesn't have a fixed timeframe for finishing its review, and its report can be sealed by the local district attorney if a criminal case is involved, according to Jeff Olson, the local support manager for the fatality review team.
In a statement, Catawba County's Margaret Allen said the agency believes it did everything it could to protect Zahra.
"We always strive to protect children," she said. "We follow the state guidelines in our investigations."
___
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker Case To Be Reviewed By State   Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:32 am

Zahra Baker Case To Be Reviewed By State



Once the Zahra Baker case is closed, it will be put under scrutiny by local and state review teams.

Posted: 6:42 pm EST February 22, 2011

Updated: 6:46 pm EST February 22, 2011

HICKORY, N.C. -- Once the Zahra Baker case is closed, it will be put under scrutiny by local and state review teams.
Complete Coverage Of Zahra Case
State law says that any time Social Services is involved with a family and that child dies within one year, there's an intensive review to see if the death could have been prevented. The investigation will begin locally with all the key players, including Zahra's schools, DSS offices, emergency responders and the district attorney. Their findings will then be passed on to a state review team.
Brett Loftis, executive director of the Council for Children's Rights, is part of the state review team. He said the process will likely center around how DSS handled the multiple reports of abuse before Zahra's death.
"This tragic case really highlights one of the big policy issues we focus on, which is the fact that each Department of Social Service has its own database, their own kind of electronic system, and they don't speak to each other," Loftis said.
Channel 9 also learned that DSS policy could be called into question because workers currently can't be influenced by prior reports or investigations when checking on reports of abuse or neglect.
“That's disturbing for me, personally, and for our agency because we're concerned that we may have more children like Zahra Baker and other children where we have situations where we ignored those red flags,” attorney and child advocate Valerie Pearce said.
It could take about a year for both local and state teams to review the factors leading up to Zahra's death and, at that point, they will make any recommendations to state legislators.
For information about the North Carolina Child Fatality Prevention program, click here.
For information about the North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force, click here. To see samples of the task force’s accomplishments and read the general statute that created it, click here.
Copyright 2011 by WSOCTV.com.
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PostSubject: Lack of specific cause of death complicaes case   Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:55 am

Lack of specific cause of death complicates case


Prosecution of Zahra Baker's stepmother might rely on circumstantial evidence.



By Gary L. Wright and Franco Ordoñez
gwright@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011




Slideshow
« Prev of 5Next »






  • At the site where some of Zahra Baker's remains were found on Christie Road in Caldwell County near Granite Falls, a memorial now stands. On Monday, Elisa Baker was charged with second-degree murder in Zahra's death. Zahra's father, Adam Baker, has not been charged.

    At the site where some of Zahra Baker's remains were found on Christie Road in Caldwell County near Granite Falls, a memorial now stands. On Monday, Elisa Baker was charged with second-degree murder in Zahra's death. Zahra's father, Adam Baker, has not been charged. JEFF WILLHELM - jwillhelm@charlotteobserver.comBuy Photo | Store


  • Zahra Baker


More Information






Catawba County prosecutors may face a daunting task in trying to prove that Elisa Baker killed her stepdaughter without clear evidence to show how the 10-year-old girl died.
In an autopsy revealed Monday, the N.C. Medical Examiner's Office concluded that Zahra died as a result of "undetermined homicidal violence."
"I've never heard that term before," Steve Ward, a Mecklenburg prosecutor for 25 years, told the Observer. "It means the medical examiner is saying the victim was killed, but they have no idea how it happened."
Elisa Baker, 42, was charged Monday with second-degree murder in connection with Zahra's death. She's being held on more than $200,000 bond and is set to appear in court on Friday.
She has denied any wrongdoing and accuses her husband, Adam Baker, of dismembering his daughter's body after she discovered Zahra dead from an illness.
Reached Tuesday, the medical examiner's office would not talk about the autopsy or offer any more explanation of its finding of "undetermined homicidal violence."
The autopsy offers few clues to why medical examiners concluded a killing occurred. The report describes Zahra's medical history, including her battle with cancer, but said sparse recent records failed to reveal any major health problems.
The report documents that "tool marks" found on Zahra's bones were "presumed" to have been made after the girl's death, as her body was dismembered. It also mentions that multiple allegations of abuse of Zahra had been reported to social services in 2010.
"It'll be interesting to see how they prove it was a purposeful killing rather than a death by natural causes followed by dismemberment," Ward says.
Catawba County District Attorney James Gaither Jr. said Monday there is no credible evidence to suggest that anyone other than Elisa Baker was involved in Zahra's murder.
Term used in other trials
"Undetermined homicidal violence" has been cited as the cause of death in several murder cases across the country, including in Raleigh and Greensboro, that involved victims whose bodies were dismembered or badly damaged.
In a Raleigh case, Sherita McNeil was sentenced to life in prison in August after a jury convicted her of first-degree murder for killing her 19-month-old son. His death was concealed for weeks.
Next week in Greensboro, Winfred Scott Simpson is set to go on trial for the alleged murder of his wife, Retha Crook Simpson, whose burned and dismembered body was found in trash bags last March. He, too, is facing a first-degree murder charge.
Elisa Baker won't face as much punishment if she's found guilty. A second-degree murder conviction carries prison sentences ranging from about eight years to more than 30 years, depending on the defendant's criminal record.
The State Bureau of Investigation used Zahra's toothbrush to determine that body parts recovered during the investigation were Zahra's, according to the autopsy report.
The tool marks discovered on her bones appeared to come from at least two different cutting instruments, the report found.
Hard but not impossible
Charlotte area prosecutors have said the lack of a definitive cause of death in Zahra's case would make it hard - but not impossible - to prove a killing took place.
One legal expert said prosecutors will likely have to rely on circumstantial evidence to build their case. Such evidence, the expert said, would include what was done to the body after her death. Other circumstantial evidence might include the repeated reports of mistreatment of Zahra.
The murder indictment alleges Elisa Baker had a history of abusing of Zahra and "secreted" the girl away from family before and after the killing.
The indictment also accuses her of desecrating the girl's body. When someone dies naturally, says former prosecutor Ward, loved ones don't dismember the body. Such an act suggests an attempt to cover up a crime, he says, and could help persuade a jury to hand down a murder conviction.
Staff researcher Maria David contributed.




Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/02/22/2083841/lack-of-specific-cause-of-death.html#ixzz1EkqAiu4q
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PostSubject: Many adults failed 10-year-old Zahra Baker   Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:57 am


Many adults failed 10-year-old Zahra Baker


But stepmom's arrest holds someone accountable in death.



Posted: Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011


Zahra Baker was abused by stepmom, Monday's indictment says. HICKORY POLICE DEPARtment



More Information


KEEP CHILDREN SAFE

If you suspect a child is being abused, report it to local child protective services agencies or call the abuse hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).




Monday's murder charges against Zahra Baker's stepmother mean someone is finally being held accountable in her death. Good. If Elisa Baker is guilty of the horror that law enforcers say was inflicted on the cherubic 10-year-old - her body was dismembered and body parts scattered and buried - she deserves the harshest punishment allowed. The indictment against Baker says she had "a history and pattern of physical, verbal and psychological abuse of the victim."
But when a 10-year-old dies after repeated complaints of mistreatment and abuse, a broader adult failure is apparent. Children rightly rely on adults to keep them safe from such treatment - or to provide timely and adequate help when we can't. In Zahra's case, adults failed. Now, with an autopsy labeling her death of "undetermined homicidal violence," adults must figure out why. How could Zahra Baker end up dead, especially when adults knew or suspected she was abused?
Social service agencies in Catawba and Caldwell Counties are surely reviewing their role. For the first time Monday, they acknowledged they had investigated four complaints that Zahra was being mistreated but never found evidence of "maltreatment or child safety issues." The last Department of Social Services investigation was closed six weeks before authorities say Zahra was killed on Sept. 24.
But other adults must examine their roles as well. Family members of Elisa Baker have said Zahra was locked in her room much of the time and was allowed five minutes a day to eat. Brittany Bentley, who is married to a nephew of Elisa Baker, has said Zahra "was beat almost every time I was over there" by her stepmother.
Some family members did report abuse suspicions to the DSS in Caldwell County. But she was still left without the protection she needed.
Zahra's father has not been charged in her death, and he told WBTV that he had nothing to do with her dismemberment or death. But if Zahra was being abused in the home, it is difficult to fathom that Adam Baker was unaware of that. If he did know, he too failed to adequately protect her.
In North Carolina, many children face a life of abuse and neglect in the home. Last fiscal year, 123,734 children were referred to local DSS agencies for possible abuse and neglect. In 2009, 17 children died at the hand of a parent or caregiver in this state. In all, there were 36 child homicides in the state that year. That was a great improvement on the year before when there were 58. But even one homicide of a child is too many. In Mecklenburg County that year there were four such deaths, and 40 child homicides from 2005 to 2009.
Only we adults can change that outcome for children such as Zahra. N.C. law requires all adults to report suspected child maltreatment. We must do so. You do not need proof that maltreatment has occurred; you only need reasonable cause to suspect maltreatment. We can also help parents or caregivers whom we suspect of being abusive. Talk to them about the children in their care, and refer them to resources that can help them provide a safe environment for their kids.
Children depend on adults. All of us must commit to being there to protect them, and act to ensure they are.


Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/02/22/2083578/many-adults-failed-10-year-old.html#ixzz1EkrZiJtp
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker's Mother Welcomes Indictment   Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:09 am

Zahra Baker’s Mother Welcomes Indictment


Stepmother Accused In Child’s Death




POSTED: 6:37 pm EST February 22, 2011
UPDATED: 6:45 pm EST February 22, 2011



WAGGA WAGGA, Australia -- The Australian mother of a child killed and dismembered in North Carolina said she welcomes the news that her daughter’s stepmother has been indicted for murder.



Zahra's mother, Emily Dietrich, said she gave up custody of her daughter while she was suffering from postpartum depression. Zahra later survived cancer that cost her a leg and then metastasized to her lung. She was brought to the United States by her father, who had met Elisa Baker and moved to the states to be with her.


Elisa Baker is accused of killing Zahra on Sept. 24 and then dismembering her body.


Dietrich said, "I could deal with her not having a leg, or even if they couldn't find a torso. But that part of her. It's just disgusting and inhuman and she didn't deserve any of it."


Dietrich, said, "Nothing is going to bring Zahra back but knowing (Baker’s) sitting there rotting sort of gives it this odd sense of satisfaction that firstly she can't do it to anyone else. But the fact that she's put a child through something that nobody should go through. She needs to sit there and rot."
Copyright 2011 by WYFF4.com.
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker's Case: An Indictment Handed Down For Elisa Baker.....But Is That It???   Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:55 am

Zahra Baker’s Case: An Indictment Handed Down For Elisa Baker…..But Is That It???


An indictment has finally been handed down for Elisa Baker, the stepmother of Zahra Baker. The indictment was for second degree murder, which to many, including myself, is not enough. No one really believes that Elisa acted alone, and no one really believes that this was any less than capital or first degree murder. I find it very hard to believe that Zahra had been missing all of that time and Adam Baker didn’t notice, and especially because of the turmoil that went on day in and day out, due to the abuse of Zahra by Elisa. How does one not notice that this just stopped and long before Mr. Baker reported Zahra missing? Almost a month. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it. Now I do realize from all that I’ve read that they have Elisa Baker’s cell phone pinging in the areas where Zahra’s remains were found at approximately the right time frames, and Adam’s phone never pinged in those areas, but we all know that cell phone pings can be deceiving and we all know that all a person has to do is not carry the phone with them (especially if their spouse has theirs with them). I also realize that they never found Zahra’s head, and some of her bones, and this could be the reason for the charge of second degree murder, and not first degree. I’m gathering that they’re leaning toward a case of Elisa just went too far with the abuse one day, and didn’t intend to kill Zahra, and didn’t really plan to in advance. It would be easier to prove and I get that.

The Indictment
The Autopsy Report
Only about half of the following video is on the case, but it was good coverage with a brief interview with Adam, so make sure once it cuts to other news about midway through that you just stop it, unless you want all of the local news there.



Another good source:
Elisa Baker Indicted On Second Degree Murder
When I first read the initial reports it was being reported that law enforcement stated that there is absolutely no reason for them to believe that anyone other than Elisa Baker is responsible for the death and dismemberment of Zahra, and the public has of course been outraged, as it just does not seem likely. If Adam Baker loved his little girl as much as he has claimed, then why in the world would he wait so long to report her missing? Why did he not miss seeing his daughter or interacting with her for so long and not question it??? I just do not see it.

What parent that has custody of their child, doesn’t miss one day of interaction with their beloved child??? If he loved his daughter so much then why did he allow Elisa to torture Zahra, and not intervene? I just don’t buy it. He claims that Elisa was abusive to him as well……Does he look like a man who would tolerate that? Mr. Baker had been on the run so to speak with Zahra for many years to keep her from her bio mom to start with. What parent that truly loves their child just picks up someone, as a mate off of the internet and leaves them in charge of their beloved child, not knowing a thing about them? My point is that Mr. Baker is not exactly a model of love and compassion and great parenting. In fact I can’t see any evidence that says he loved his daughter from anything I’ve read, except it’s what he says. Anyone can say anything. I just don’t see all of this going down under his nose without his knowledge.
Now I will give you a bunch of source links on all of this, and I do have a bit more to say, but before I do, I’d like to point out that prior to this indictment that Mr. Baker was doing the media rounds blaming Elisa, and making his claims of her being so abusive to him as well as Zahra, but also claiming he had nothing to do with this. Take a look:
Zahra Baker’s Dad Denies Involvement In Her Death
Zahra Baker’s Father Addresses The Media
Zahra Baker’s Father Says Wife Was Manipulative
I tried to find his Sunday interview with 60 minutes Australia, but could only find references to it. I used the articles as reference, that I did to show you that he was making the media rounds and to show you what he’s saying. He claims that Elisa was manipulative and abusive, and that she was even abusive to him, but she lied about her abuse of Zahra, so he just suspected that. He said that Zahra backed her stories up out of fear. He also claims that his long hours at work are the reason he didn’t notice Zahra missing sooner and as the reason he had no idea what was going on. Mr. Baker had been on the run with Zahra, trying to elude her bio mom as I had mentioned before, but now that she’s gone, he’ll stay as long as authorities need him to, but then he’s going back to Australia with Zahra’s remains.
Here is where it gets interesting……..In all of my research I found the following report and I highly recommend you read it and watch the video. Specifically note the following part of this report:

Adam Baker, Zahra’s father, faces no charges in his daughter’s murder. Gaither says, “At this time, the state has no credible evidence to suggest that anyone other than Elisa Baker was involved in the murder of Zahra Clare Baker.”
But moments later, Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said this, which seemed to leave the door open on other possible suspects, saying “Not every case is clear-cut and only the facts and evidence of the case can dictate who is charged and for what offenses. We will continue our investigation and follow every lead until the first day of trial.”
Source:
Elisa Baker Charged With 2nd Degree Murder
It is also worth noting the reason given for the second degree murder charge. That was the only article I found that showed the possibility of someone else being charged. I could be wrong, but I tend to lean in that direction myself. At least that is my hope, that this is not it for JUSTICE FOR ZAHRA. I did find that if convicted for second degree murder Elisa is looking at serving anywhere from 8 to 30 years.
Other Sources Of Information:
Stepmother Charged
Stepmom Indicted
Elisa Baker Charged
Police Never Found Zahra’s Head
Stepmother Charged In Disabled Girl’s Murder
Stepmom Charged With N.C. Girl’s Death





February 22, 2011 | Categories: Crime | Tags: Justice, Murder, Child Abuse, Crimes Against Children, Zahra Baker, Elisa Baker, Adam Baker, North Carolina, Justice For Zahra | 2 Comments »
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PostSubject: Body Language Clues From Zahra Baker's Father   Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:18 am

Body Language Clues From Zahra Baker's Father


Updated: 2/22/2011 7:18:37 PM

Greensboro, NC -- In a case that seems to get more bizarre by the day, we're finding out what Zahra Baker's father is and isn't telling us about his daughter's death.
Monday, his Elisa Baker was charged with second degree murder in Zahra's death. Our news partner WBTV in Charlotte got an exclusive interview with Zahra's father, Adam Baker, after he heard the news. In it, Baker said he jumped for joy when he heard Elisa was indicted. He also claimed Elisa verbally and emotionally abused him during their marriage.
We know the words he said, but we wanted to know what his body language was telling us about him. We showed the video to body language expert Patti Wood. She saw what some people couldn't.
In the interview, Wood said she looked for what would be a normal reaction for people in Adam Baker's circumstance. "In this case, quite dramatically how calm his voice is throughout the interview," was one thing Wood noticed. She said his voice changed and he got irritated only when the reporter asked about Elisa Baker's many marriages. Wood said Adam Baker could be using the calm, restrained body language as a cover.
Wood also pointed out a moment when Adam Baker laughed during the interview. She said sometimes that's used as a cover, as well as anger.
When asked about the eye contact Baker was making with the reporter, Wood said "about the age of five, children learn to make eye contact when they're lying." Wood said she was more concerned about specific times when Adam Baker looked down and paused for long periods time. She said the information he was giving was more thoughtful and not fluid or spontaneously like it would be if he were telling the truth.
You can hear more from the body language expert in the attached video.
Zahra Baker's death investigation started in October when Adam Baker reported his daughter missing. Days later the amber alert turned into a homicide investigation. Soon after, Adam's wife Elisa Baker admitted to police she wrote a fake ransom note to throw off the investigation.
In November, investigators found Zahra's remains scattered in Caldwell County. Search warrants revealed Elisa Baker told police Zahra died in September, two weeks before she was reported missing.
Another twist in the case, in January, Elisa was indicted on bigamy charges. Records show she's been married seven times and to more than one man at a time on several occasions. Her marriage to Adam Baker was one of them.
Through all of this, Adam Baker has not been charged in his daughter's murder. He plans to one day return to his native Australia with Zahra's remains.
To find out more about Patti Wood click here.
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker: Did The DSS Fail To Protect Her?   Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:27 pm

Zahra Baker: Did The DSS Fail To Protect Her?




Zahra Baker

As an American of the United States I have a right to voice my opinion on something here. Actually I have a few problems that I am sure I am not alone in wondering about.
Zahra Baker, the child from Australia brought to the U.S. with her Father, Adam Baker, to live with her new stepmother, Elisa Baker, died in 2010. This 10 year old child had survived bone cancer but lost her leg in the process, but she learned to wear a prosthetic leg.
After Zahra was reported missing, police started searching everywhere they could think of for her. Elisa Baker was arrested after she admitted to the police that she was the one that wrote the ransom note that was found. She was charged with obstructing justice and held on a high bond.
Zahra’s body was later found but not as a whole, her little body had been dismembered and scattered out in different areas. Yesterday it was announced that her skull has yet to be found.
The autopsy report came in also yesterday and they say Zahra died as a result of “undetermined homicidal violence”, a term not well known but Steve Ward who has been a Mecklenburg prosecutor for 25 years said, “It means the medical examiner is saying the victim was killed, but they have no idea how it happened.”
Now Elisa Baker has been formally charged with second degree murder. This I must say was expected to happen but there are still questions from the time prior to Zahra’s death that need to be answered.
It has been noted that The Department of Social Services from Catawba and Caldwell had made at least 7 different visits to the Baker home between February 1, 2010 and August 5, 2010. Their reports says they were responding to three reports made to their office that Zahra Baker was being mistreated, including one report followed by a second complaint.
The DSS claim that after investigating they concluded that there was no evidence found to substantiate the claims. According to a neighbor, Kayla Rotenberry, Elisa Baker was notified in advance that the DSS would be coming so she would clean up the house and make sure Zahra knew what to say. “The little girl was so scared. They threatened her. She didn’t want to be taken away,” she said.

The Catawba County DSS spokeswoman Margaret Allen wouldn’t discuss the case because of the pending prosecution. She did however say that the agency does believe it did everything it could to protect Zahra. “We always strive to protect the children,” she said. “We follow the guidelines in our investigations.”
Caldwell County’s DSS declined to comment or at least did not return the calls to them Tuesday.
Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright said, “I hear the frustration from some people, but I know DSS has a very difficult job.” I can understand that but how many times have we heard this? How many times have they answered our questions about why they didn’t follow through on a case with answers like the statistics of how many reports in a year that they receive and how they do their best to investigate them all. Then most of the times we hear about how their departments are on budgets and they don’t have the manpower or the funds to do it differently. Well in the meantime our children are forced into staying in homes being abused and that sometimes costs them their lives.
I guess they are telling us that the budget doesn’t allow them to investigate thoroughly enough at times. Then the government needs to raise the budget and give the DSS more funds and manpower to do a better job here. Let the politicians take a cut in pay… let the President of the US take a cut in pay or find the funds somewhere. Too many useless grants are handed out to ridiculous research that could be used to save our children. Our government spends money on things like Alaska’s Bridge to Nowhere or to study how bugs mate with each other or the study of whale snot. Let them drop all these stupid grants and let them put that money where it could be used to help our children.
Something needs to be done before another innocent child loses its life. Little Zahra Baker might be alive today if only the DSS would have checked deeper into those complaints. How many other lives are going to be taken before the government finally does something about it? Let’s pray none.
I personally think the DSS let Zahra down. I don’t think they protected this child. And I doubt I am the only one thinking this way. When will it end?
Zahra Baker, May You Rest in Peace. May God be with you and I will be praying that you will get justice in all of this.
Jan Barrett
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PostSubject: Your sins will find you out - Zahra's stepmother charged with murder   Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:53 pm


Your sins will find you out - Zahra's stepmother charged with murder



  • February 23rd, 2011 1:17 am ET





After gathering forensic evidence for several months, Catawba County prosecutors have charged Elisa Baker with second degree murder in the death of her ten year old stepdaughter, Zahra. Still, not all of the body (including the skull) has been found, and the exact cause of Zahra's death is listed as, "undetermined homicidal violence." This will be a difficult case to prove with very little evidence as to the exact cause of death. Elisa Baker has already seen, however, that your sins will find you out, as the Bible states in Numbers 32:23.



Even if Elisa Baker did not murder Zahra, the long list of things she must have thought she had gotten away with over the past years has hardly been flattering. The first impression the public at-large got about Elisa came very early on, as she admitted she lied about receiving a ransom note - she had written the note herself in an effort to hide the fact that Zahra was missing by her own hand, and then concocted a nearly incoherent story of how the kidnappers must have mistaken the girl for the daughter of her husband's boss. This was, incidentally, the plot of an old "Law and Order, SVU" episode.
Next to come to light was Elisa's MySpace page. This had comments she had published such as "I am Gothic...and proud", and "your kids rip your heart out." The background of the page was black with red skull and crossbones, and a picture of Zahra was posted with the comment by Elisa underneath: "The dark child". The page has since been removed.
Stories from relatives surfaced, alleging that Baker used Zahra to con money, even from her own family. There were also heavy allegations of abuse - one wonders why none of them did anything about it if they saw this abuse? Apparently someone did, because the Bakers were investigated by social services more than once in more than one county, and this may have been part of the reason they moved so often.
And then it was found that Elisa is a bigamist. At one point, she was married to three different husbands at the same time. All together, she was married seven times (her first marriage ending before she was even 18). During her second marriage, she was served a restraining order, after stating to her mother-in-law: "If I have to get out of here, I’ll burn the house down. I’m going to kill this baby. I’m going to wreck this car. I’ll kill those kids." That was in 1989. More than 20 years later, those words may come back to haunt her.
Her third and fourth husbands both say she abused her daughters. The fifth says she beat him with a baseball bat and threw rocks at him. She walked out on the sixth to travel to Australia to meet husband number seven - Adam Baker.
This is a woman who has moved 42 times, and cut all ties several times in order to try and stay ahead of her past. She has lied so often, she may be beyond recognizing truth. She has woven a web of deception that she has now ended up being caught in herself. Hard questions are asked now, such as, if the death of Zahra Baker was due to illness and Elisa is innocent, why would she go to such extreme lengths of dismembering the body and hiding it in multiple locations? How can a person even do something like dismember a child's body? And if she loved Zahra, why did she say the things she said about her online, and evade Children's Services so many times? Should Elisa be able to once again evade retribution, she will still have to face it one day. No matter how smart a person believes herself to be, she can not evade God.

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PostSubject: Elisa Baker's Arraignment Hearing Set For April 4   Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:45 am

Elisa Baker's Arraignment Hearing Set For April 4




Posted: 6:30 am EST February 24, 2011

Updated: 6:42 am EST February 24, 2011

HICKORY, N.C. -- The stepmother of a 10-year-old girl will keep her same lawyer now that she has been charged with the girl's murder.
District Attorney James Gaither says Elisa Baker appeared for a status hearing on Tuesday to determine her legal counsel.
A Catawba County grand jury on Monday indicted Baker on a charges of second-degree murder. She is being held on more than $300,000 bond from a variety of charges.
Timeline of Events In Zahra Baker's Disappearance
Scott Reilly, who has been representing Baker, was assigned as her lawyer. A call to Reilly was not immediately returned Wednesday.
Baker is to be arraigned April 4. At an arraignment, a suspect typically enters a plea.
Gaither says the only purpose of Tuesday's hearing was to find Baker an attorney. Earlier, his office mistakenly announced Baker had been arraigned.
Previous Stories:


Copyright 2011 by WSOCTV.com
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PostSubject: Stepmother's Former Attorney Discusses Zahra Baker Case   Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:28 am

Stepmother's Former Attorney Discusses Zahra Baker Case



Posted: 11:58 am EST February 24, 2011
Updated: 6:17 pm EST February 24, 2011

HICKORY, N.C. -- Elisa Baker’s former attorney said she did her job, keeping her client from being charged with first-degree murder in the death of her stepdaughter, 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
Elisa Baker was indicted on a second-degree murder charge on Monday. (Click here to read more about the indictment.)






Complete Coverage Of Zahra Case
RAW VIDEO: Hickory Police Hold News Conference On Elisa Baker Charge






Lisa Dubs spoke with Eyewitness News reporter Dave Faherty about the case on Thursday, telling him that one of the keys in the case was a deal she cut with District Attorney Jay Gaither in which Elisa Baker agreed to cooperate with authorities.
Gaither declined Channel 9’s request on Thursday to discuss the agreement.
At the time of the deal, police had not found Zahra’s remains but investigators were making progress, searching for the girl’s mattress and recovering evidence from the home. Dubs negotiated the agreement during a 24-hour period after one of her investigators recovered a key piece of evidence in the case. She did not say what that piece of evidence was.
“Our investigator did collect evidence,” Dubs said. “Yes he did. And that's completely legal, completely ethical.”
In November, Baker led investigators to three different places where Zahra's remains were discovered.
“If Elisa Baker hadn’t cooperated, I am convinced that there would still be a big mystery about what happened to Zahra Baker,” Dubs said.
Elisa Baker maintains that she did not kill her stepdaughter.
Dubs said she was initially appointed to the case because the district attorney went to the capital defender and said he considered the case to be capital. Dubs is a public defender for capital murder cases, so she no longer represents Baker since she faces a second-degree murder charge.
“For Elisa Baker not to be standing trial for anything more than second-degree murder, I think is a win,” Dubs said.
Scott Reilly, who has also been representing Baker, was assigned as her lawyer during a status hearing on Tuesday.
Baker is to be arraigned April 4. At an arraignment, a suspect typically enters a plea.
Copyright 2011 by WSOCTV
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker Update: No Death Penalty Request For Stepmother   Fri Feb 25, 2011 1:47 pm

Zahra Baker Update: No Death Penalty Request For Stepmother




Zahra Baker

Zahra Baker is the 10 year old Australian girl that fought to survive after having cancer. She lost a leg and she had to wear a hearing aid. With the help of a prosthetic leg this amazing child learned to walk, not letting her losing her leg stop her. She had a smile on her that would brighten the world.
Zahra unfortunately lost her fight to live by the hands of someone else. Police believe that someone else happens to be her own stepmother, Elisa Baker. Zahra moved from Australia to the United States with her father after he and Elisa were married.
Apparently what seemed to be great on the outside wasn’t so good behind the closed door for this beautiful little girl. After some investigation it appears that Zahra was being abused by her stepmother. Neighbors could see it and her own father claims he feared it as well, but didn’t do anything about it to protect her.
Zahra was reported missing in October 2010 and when police found what was left of her little body it was so gruesome and sick. She had been dismembered and her body parts had been scattered in different locations. Her skull has apparently not been found either.
Elisa Baker was arrested the day after Zahra had been reported missing by her father, Adam Baker, after she admitted to police that she was the one that wrote the fake ransom note to make Zahra’s disappearance look like a kidnapping.
The public waited for someone to finally be arrested for the murder of this child and finally that day came this week. Elisa Baker has now been formally charged with second degree murder of her stepdaughter, Zahra Baker.
Due to a formal plea agreement Elisa Baker will be spared getting the death penalty when she goes to trial if she is found guilty. Baker’s former attorney, Lisa Dubs claims that the prosecutors are not going to ask for the death penalty in return for her cooperation which includes her showing them where Zahra’s remains were.

Dubs also states that a crucial piece of evidence had been found that convinced them that Elisa was telling them the truth and they have turned the evidence over to the investigators. She says she makes it a practice when one of her clients agrees to cooperate that she makes sure she has something that she can convince herself with that they would be telling her the truth.

Elisa Baker

There is no doubt that Elisa Baker was involved in the murder of her stepdaughter, but the question is, did she do it alone or did she have help? Police also have learned that Zahra was more than likely killed around September 24 but not reported missing til the first part of October. I am not an investigator or law enforcement officer but common sense should make one ask where the father was between September 24th and the time he reported Zahra missing, which was about 2 weeks later, and how could he not have known that she was nowhere to be found. He claims he played no part in harming his daughter, although his wife claims he is the one that dismembered the child and helped dispose the parts. This should raise quite a few questions.
DSS had been called at least 7 times after reports of abuse in the Baker home were made but they claim they were no signs of any when they checked it out. According to a neighbor, Elisa Baker was made aware of the visits from the DSS before time so she had lots of time to clean the home up and make sure Zahra knew not to talk.
Adam Baker admitted when he found Zahra with a black eye he didn’t really believe the story he was given as an explanation for the black eye. He said he thought maybe his wife was abusing his daughter but he did nothing to stop it. Why didn’t he? Why didn’t he protect his daughter?
Zahra didn’t ask for this. She deserved better. The pain this child went through must have been horrific when she was killed. I pray that one day she will receive the justice she so rightfully deserves in all this so she will be able to rest in peace finally. Zahra my heart and prayers are there for you. I know you are in a safe place now though and no one can hurt you any more. May God be with you.
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PostSubject: Skull, open questions beset NC girl's murder case   Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:44 pm

Skull, open questions beset NC girl's murder case







Zahra Claire Baker, 10

FILE -This May 2010 file photo shows Zahra Clare Baker, 10, getting a hearing aid during an event at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Hickory, N.C. Elisa Baker , stepmother of Zahra Clare Baker, was indicted Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 on a second-degree murder charge in Zahra Clare Baker's death. Elisa Baker had previously been charged with obstructing justice in the investigation of Zahra Baker's death. The 10-year-old was reported missing in October, and police later found her remains in different locations in western North Carolina. (AP Photo/The Independent Tribune, James Nix, File)


This undated file photo released by the Hickory Police Department in Hickory, N.C., shows Elisa Baker, the stepmother of missing 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker. Baker was indicted Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 on a second-degree murder charge in Zahra Clare Baker's death. Elisa Baker had previously been charged with obstructing justice in the investigation of Zahra Baker's death. The 10-year-old was reported missing in October, and police later found her remains in different locations in western North Carolina. (AP Photo/Hickory Police Department, File)





By MITCH WEISS, Associated Press; TOM BREEN, Associated Press
Hickory, N.C. — A missing skull. An uncertain cause of death. A two-week gap between a little girl's alleged slaying and the time her father reported her missing.
The case of 10-year-old Zahra Baker seemed to reach a turning point this week when her stepmother was indicted for murder and an autopsy report was released for the freckle-faced Australian girl, who had a prosthetic leg and hearing aids because of her fight with bone cancer.
There also were revelations that social service agencies failed to find mistreatment in Zahra's home despite numerous complaints and the admission by the former defense team that they removed a key piece of evidence from a crime scene.
Yet, as some questions are answered, new ones keep cropping up, most importantly: Will anyone be convicted in Zahra's death?
Elisa Baker, 42, is charged with second-degree murder, but medical examiners haven't been able to determine precisely how Zahra died. Her body was dismembered and scattered in remote areas in two North Carolina counties.
Experts say prosecuting a murder case without a clear cause of death will be difficult.
Complicating matters, her skull has not been found, along with her hands and other bones. If medical examiners had not been able to match DNA from some of her remains with a sample taken from a toothbrush, they wouldn't have been able to determine the sex, race or height of the remains that have been found so far.
Elisa Baker led police to at least three sites where she said Zahra's remains were found, but they have not recovered the skull, which may provide important clues about the cause of death. It's unclear why Elisa Baker led investigators to some body parts but not the skull.
Although the medical examiner found clear evidence that Zahra's body had been dismembered, the office concluded the cause of death was "undetermined homicidal violence."
That will likely be a challenge for prosecutors, according to Richard Jaffe, a nationally prominent lawyer and co-chairman of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers' committee on the death penalty.
"First, the prosecution has to get over the hurdle of (the question) is this death a result of a homicide," Jaffe said. "My guess is the defense will be challenging not only whether the person charged is the right person but also the cause of death and manner of death."
The lack of an exact cause of death requires the prosecution to spend more time establishing what in other cases are basic facts — and gives the defense more opportunities to create reasonable doubt.
District Attorney James Gaither declined to comment, but a prosecutor experienced in similar cases says that although it can be difficult to land convictions with missing body parts or uncertain causes of death, it's not impossible.
Linda Tally Smith, the Commonwealth Attorney for Gallatin and Boone counties in Kentucky, estimated that about 70 percent of the homicide cases she's prosecuted in Boone County have involved dismemberment — enough to earn the grim sobriquet "Bone County" from a state forensic expert.
"When you're dealing with a victim's remains that are not the whole picture, a lot of times you have to use circumstantial evidence or statements form other witnesses or even jailhouse informants," she said. "Cause of death becomes the main issue in the case."
Zahra's remains aren't the only unanswered questions prompted by this week's indictment. Social services agencies in two counties visited the homes where she lived seven times in 2010 in response to complaints that she was being mistreated. None of those investigations concluded there was any abuse, but both departments, in Catawba and Caldwell counties, have refused to answer detailed questions about the investigations or say whether anyone was disciplined.
Lisa Dubs, a Hickory attorney who was representing Elisa Baker until this week, told The Associated Press a private investigator working for her removed a piece of evidence from a crime scene to verify what Elisa was saying. Dubs wouldn't say what the evidence was or how long she had it before turning it over to investigators but maintains she did nothing wrong.
Elisa Baker herself is largely an enigma. Living a semi-nomadic lifestyle around western North Carolina, she immersed herself in a dark, gothic online persona and had a tangled personal history. The Associated Press found that she has been married seven times, including several overlapping marriages. She's been charged with one count of bigamy for her marriage to Zahra's father, Adam. The couple met online, and they were married in Australia in July 2008 before moving to North Carolina.
Adam Baker has not been charged in connection with Zahra's disappearance or death, but he faces charges in unrelated matters like bad checks.
Investigators believe Zahra died on Sept. 24, but Adam didn't report her missing until Oct. 9. The family lived in a one-story, 978-square-foot home in Hickory at the time. It isn't clear what happened in that two-week span, and lawyers for both Adam and Elisa Baker have not responded to multiple calls and e-mails seeking comment.
People in the community say they can't understand how Adam could not have known that his daughter was missing for two weeks, and they have pressed police and the district attorney's office for answers.
"It's incredible they're saying no one else was involved than Elisa," said Eddie Mitchell, who lived across the street from the Bakers' last home in Hickory. "You're telling me he didn't know anything? That was a tiny house. How can you go more than two weeks without seeing your daughter in such a small house? The community is really upset about the way this case was handled."
__
Weiss reported from Charlotte.

RELATED TOPICS: Death PenaltyCopyright 2011 by The Associated Press.
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PostSubject: Elisa Baker Facing New Felony Charges   Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:58 pm

Elisa Baker Facing New Felony Charges




Posted: 4:22 pm EST February 28, 2011

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. -- Zahra Baker's stepmother, Elisa Baker, faces new felony charges unrelated to the 10-year-old’s death.




Complete Coverage Of Zahra Case




The new charges of financial identity fraud and obtaining property by false pretenses came Monday, one week after Elisa Baker was indicted for second-degree murder in Zahra’s death. An indictment accuses Baker of taking her adult’s daughter’s personal information to get a cell phone and electricity last year.
Attorney Herb Pearce, who has worked on high-profile murder cases as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, is not connected to the Baker case but spoke to Channel 9 about the new charges on Monday.
“If she was convicted of these offenses, it might raise her level of culpability to as how much time she could get,” Pearce said.
A person convicted of second-degree murder without any previous convictions could face 12 years of jail time. But if other felony convictions are present, a judge could add time onto a sentence, up to 32 years.
Baker does not currently have any previous felony convictions.
Pearce said he thinks that while the strategy might work, it wouldn’t amount to significant time if Baker were to be convicted.
“Certainly by months,” he said. “You'd have to look at the sentencing chart."
Copyright 2011 by WSOCTV.com. All rights reserved.
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PostSubject: Ellisa Baker Court Appearances Postponed   Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:03 pm

Elisa Baker Court Appearances Postponed

03/09/2011 donchais
Defense attorney Scott Reilly appeared in court yesterday on behalf of Elisa Baker.

Baker’s obstuction of justice hearing has now been moved to April 4, the same day she is to appear on the second degree murder charge for the killing of her stepdaughter, Zahra.
Baker faces five aggravating factors in Zahra’s murder. She also had a history of abusing Zahra verbally, physically and mentally.
The murder indictment can be found here.
Defense Attorney Scott Reilly expects to obtain copies from the state of all the investigative files, DVDs, and interviews pertaining to the case, today.
Reilly says there were more than 11,000 pages of reports from Hickory police, 117 DVDs of interviews and 65 DVDs with photos and phone records. There is also additional materials from other agencies involved in the case. All of the material totals more than 20,000 pages and needs to be transcribed. Reilly said it will take months to sort through.
Adam Baker has not been charged in his daughter’s death. District Attorney James C. Gaither said there was “no credible evidence” to charge anyone other than Elisa Baker.
Baker is also expected to appear in court in June on bigamy charges.
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PostSubject: Re: ZAHRA CLAIRE BAKER   Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:58 am

Bump, very sadly bump.
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker Update: Will Stepmom Get Change of Venue When Going To Trial?   Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:36 am

Zahra Baker Update: Will Stepmom Get Change of Venue When Going To Trial?




Zahra Baker

The stepmother of little 10 year old Zahra Baker is being charged with the death of the girl. Zahra’s body was found dismembered scattered in different places. Zahra was an special little girl. She was the survivor of bone cancer which caused her to lose one of her legs. She was determined not to let that stop her from living her life. She was fitted with a prosthetic leg and learned to walk with it so she could walk like all the other kids could.
On October 8, 2010, Adam Baker, Zahra’s father called 911 and reported his daughter, Zahra missing. We now are being told that when he made the call, it was his wife, Elisa Baker that told him what to say to the operator. He said she was very good at manipulating people.
Elisa Baker has now been formally charged with the murder of her 10 year old stepdaughter. Elisa’s attorney, Scott Riley says he is planning to file a plea of not guilty on all the charges against his client. He also says that he thinks in order for his client to receive a fair trial, all the cases against her will need to be moved out of the Hickory, North Carolina area, because of all the publicity and the cost will be astronomical to the state. Will a Judge grant a change of venue for the trial? For a case read about not only nationwide but, due to the nature of this crime and the fact that the child was Australian, it has received worldwide attention.
Elisa has tried to implicate that her husband, Adam Baker was the one that dismembered the girl and then the two of them disposed of the body parts by scattering them in various locations.
In an interview with WBTV in North Carolina, Adam Baker spoke about this. He claims that his wife kept his daughter’s death hidden from her family members including him.
“With work, I was gone first thing in the morning and didn’t get home til late,” he said.










Elisa Baker

He said that his daughter was usually in bed at night early and when he would come home at night he would peek into her room. “From what I could tell she was in bed, it looked like she was in bed, there was something in bed”, he said.
Most people are having a hard time understanding just how Elisa Baker could have possibly kept this from her husband about his daughter being dead or missing. Most believe that Adam Baker had to be involved but according to the police, they have no evidence that can possibly link the man to the death of Zahra.
One day the truth will come out. When it does little Zahra will finally get the justice she deserves. Killing anyone, especially a child is sick but when you do what was done to this child, it is cold and heartless. The one that did this can not possibly have any feelings at all. I hope they pay for what they have done.
Please say a prayer that Zahra can get that justice. While saying your prayers, please remember all the other children that are missing, abused or that have been killed. To name a few that I have been following from day one, includes Haleigh Cummings, from Florida, Adji Desir from Florida and the adult man, Zachary from Louisiana. Zach may not be a child to us but he certainly is to his mother, Christy Ragas. She continues searching for her son everyday and is determined to keep on searching until she finds him. My prayers are with you Christy. God bless all the children.
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PostSubject: Elisa Baker indicted on additional charges   Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:48 am

Elisa Baker indicted on additional charges


Zahra Baker's stepmother faces two more felonies in Catawba County.


Credit: ROBERT C. REED/RECORD




Elisa Baker, stepmother of Zahra Clare Baker, was indicted on Monday on two felony counts of obtain property by false pretense. Baker sold a pressure washer and wide screen TV to Hickory Pawn & Gun. She is being held in the Catawba County Detention Center for the second-degree murder of 10-year old Zahra Clare Baker. Credit: ROBERT C. REED/RECORD




By Sarah Newell williamson
Published: March 21, 2011
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NEWTON --

Elisa Baker was indicted on another pair of felony charges Monday in court.

Baker, 42, the stepmother of Zahra Baker, was indicted on two counts of obtaining property by false pretense. According to the indictment, Baker went to Hickory Pawn and Gun on Aug. 18, 2010, and pawned a 46-inch TV for $200 — something she didn’t own. The warrant states Baker, “knew she was not entitled to the money because she did not own the television and did not have the authority to pawn it.”

The second indictment states Baker returned to the store, which is on U.S. 70, SW, on Sept. 7. This is just 17 days before investigators believe Zahra died. Baker has been charged with second-degree murder in Zahra’s death.

This indictment says Baker pawned a pressure washer for $100. Both indictments state Baker, “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did knowingly and designedly with the intent to cheat and defraud” money from the pawn shop, and that it was “calculated to deceive and did deceive.”

Mitchell McCoy is the manager of Hickory Pawn and Gun. While he said the store could not comment on whether Baker bought or sold anything there, he said that some items are in more demand at a pawn store than others.

“You get about half (the value) of a used resale item, sometimes a little more or a little less,” McCoy said. “Things like iPods are hot, so we would give them a little more for that. Construction is down right now, so something like a pressure washer is not that desirable. That would probably get less than half.”

The store’s inventory consists of anything that has a resalable value, he said.

When people come to Hickory Pawn and Gun to sell an item, they must have a state-issued photo ID or a driver’s license, McCoy said. After an item is sold, information from all transactions is given to the Hickory Police Department and the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, he said.

The store has been open 23 years, and McCoy said less than 1 percent of the time they have problems with merchandise that should not have been sold. He said there is no set way to tell if something was stolen, although the store tries to judge how well someone knows the product they’re pawning. They also have people call the shop, to let them know to watch for items stolen from their homes. McCoy said the police department will also alert them of certain people.

Baker is now charged with eight felonies and numerous misdemeanor charges. All of the misdemeanors are unrelated to the death of her 10-year-old stepdaughter, Zahra.

Zahra was first reported missing from her Hickory home on Oct. 9. Baker was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice the following day for writing a ransom note in connection with Zahra’s disappearance, in which she demanded $1 million.

Investigators searched for Zahra’s body for weeks, ultimately finding her remains scattered in Caldwell County in October. Parts of Zahra, including her head, have still not been recovered. The state medical examiner’s office reported she died from undetermined homicidal violence. Police believe Zahra died on Sept. 24, her body dismembered and scattered the following day.

Baker has been incarcerated in the Catawba County jail since October.
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PostSubject: Elisa Baker - The Hits Just Keep Coming   Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:31 pm

Elisa Baker – The Hits Just Keep Coming

03/22/2011 donchais


Already charged with second-degree murder and the dismembering of young Zahra Baker, Elisa Baker has been keeping the Grand Jury quite busy! She has just been indicted on two more felony charges for two counts of obtaining property by false pretense.
Seems she pawned a 46-inch TV at Hickory Pawn and Gun on August 18, 2010 and on September 7, she pawned a power washer.
The indictments state she, “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did knowingly and designedly with the intent to cheat and defraud” money from the pawn shop, and that it was “calculated to deceive and did deceive.”
What is really impressive with these latest indictments is it brings her grand total to eight felonies!
Catawba County
- 1 counts of second-degree murder
- 1 count of bigamy
- 2 counts of obtaining property by false pretense
Caldwell County
- 2 counts of financial identity fraud
- 2 counts of obtaining property by false pretenses
It’s apparent that Ms. Baker is a career criminal. How many more indictments may be handed down?
Scott Reilly, Baker’s appointed attorney has said he plans to ask for a change of venue.
“I can’t imagine her getting a fair trial in this area, and I can’t think of an area around here where she could get a fair trial.”
Adam Baker still denies any wrongdoing in the death of his daughter.
Sources
Hickory Daily Record
Examiner
WSOC
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PostSubject: Re: ZAHRA CLAIRE BAKER   Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:50 pm

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PostSubject: Re: ZAHRA CLAIRE BAKER   Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:11 pm

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PostSubject: Riding in Zahra's Memory   Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:10 am

Riding in Zahra's memory


The Angel Wings Zahra Baker Memorial Ride will be held on April 16.




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Credit: ROBERT C. REED/RECORD













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By Sarah Newell williamson
Published: April 01, 2011

CONOVER --

Gail Boyce lived in the Dudley Shoals community of Caldwell County for 30 years. When she heard about Zahra Baker, it struck a chord with her.

“I didn’t live far from where this happened,” she said, alluding to where the missing 10-year-old’s remains were found on Dudley Shoals Road. “This has hit home in that community, and people are angry. I had to do something positive.”

Two-time cancer survivor Zahra Baker was first reported missing in October. Hickory police announced it was a homicide investigation within days, and discovered Zahra’s prosthetic leg off Christie Road later that month. Their investigation later found most of her remains not far away. Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, has been charged with second-degree murder in Zahra’s death, as well as obstruction of justice.

“I wanted something positive to come out of this,” Boyce said. “I looked at my husband and said, ‘we’re going to do a ride.’”

A biker herself, Boyce now lives in Conover with her husband. She has been planning the Angel Wings Zahra Baker Memorial Ride since she first got the idea in December. Since then, Boyce said the event has taken on a life of its own.

“It’s more than just a ride,” she said. “It’s not a poker run, it’s a memorial ride, touching on all the places this child lived without touching on the negative.”

Estimated to take about 75 minutes to ride, the bikes will start at Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson in Hickory on April 16. They will go up U.S. 70 to U.S. 321, eventually going to Hudson Elementary School, where they will make the only stop of the ride.

The bikes are stopping at the school for a visit to Zahra’s Garden, where Zahra attended elementary school. The garden was created by students and staff this fall in honor of Zahra. It is a work-in-progress, and Boyce said the Memorial Ride plans to make a donation to the garden, but is not certain yet if it will be plants or money, so the school can get what it wants.

After the stop at the school, the bikers will take a different way back to Blue Ridge Harley-Davidson.

In addition to motorcycles allowed in the memorial ride, Boyce said they are also allowing classic and custom cars, which can also be parked at the Hickory Metro Convention Center through 4 p.m.

Although Boyce wants everyone to have a good time on the ride, she also wants them to be aware of a larger reason for the ride: Child abuse and prevention.

Of the money that’s raised on April 16, it will be slplit evenly between the two charities being supported: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the North Carolina chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse, a non-profit corporation.

“It’s more than just a ride for us, it’s an awareness day,” Boyce said. “We picked BACA, because they’re against child abuse and serve children in a lot of ways, even going to court with kids if need be. And we chose the children’s hospital because it’s one of the things Zahra stood for. She beat childhood cancer. It takes $1.6 million a day to run St. Jude.”

At the Zahra Baker Memorial Ride, two T-shirts will be sold: A limited edition one, which is only black and white, and has the name of the ride and “silence is not an option” on it, and is $10. There is also a red, white and black one with the name of the ride that is $15. Half the proceeds from the ride and T-shirts sales will go to the charities. Food vendors will also donate a portion of their profits, Boyce said.

After the memorial ride, Chrome will perform. The DeLeary sisters, Brooke and Laura, will perform their song, “Voiceless,” that they wrote after Zahra’s death.

There is also a chance to win a Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased now at Cubbard Express stores in Catawba, Caldwell and Alexander counties.

“I always wanted to do something to help abused children,” Boyce said. “If we can save one child, it’s all worth it.”
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker Update: Defense Attorney For Stepmother Wants Change of Venue   Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:30 pm

Zahra Baker Update: Defense Attorney For Stepmother Wants Change of Venue




Zahra Baker

Zahra Baker was the little 10 year old Australian girl that was murdered and her body was dismembered and scattered to different areas, The case hit major headlines as the gruesome story began to unfold.
Zahra’s father married Elisa Baker while they were in Australia and then the three of them moved to the United States. After the father, Adam Baker reported his daughter missing, there was a ransom note found but later it was reported that Elisa Baker admitted she was the one that wrote the fake note so she was arrested. She has been in jail since October but not only is she now being charged with obstruction if justice, she us being charged with second degree murder.
According to reports this morning, Elisa Baker appeared in court this morning. They were there to try and set a date for her trial on the obstruction of justice but the reports say she nearly fainted.
Her attorney brought her a glass of water and the bailiffs had to help her to her seat but it wasn’t made clear as to what the problem with her was. Baker’s attorney, Scott Reilly was asking the courts to set the trial in May but the Superior Court Judge Eric Levinson denied that request. The judge decided to delay the hearings on bother the obstruction and second degree murder charges until June 27.

Elisa Baker










Reilly told the judge that he plans to seek a change of venue for the trial but District Attorney Jay Gaither said that would be up to the judge to decide if it would be appropriate but he said he did think the people of the Catawba County could make a judgment in the case so that Elisa Baker could receive a fair trial. The judge said before he can rule on that Scott Reilly must file the change of venue motion.
This case has become pretty high profile as the Casey Anthony murder trial has become. Anthony’s trial is scheduled to begin next month for the murder of her two year old daughter, Caylee Anthony. Elisa better watch out, she might make Casey Anthony jealous if she starts getting more attention than she is.
I do hope by the time this trial is over that little Zahra will get some sort of justice from it. That child had fought so hard to live into this world and then to only have her life taken away from her by the hand of someone else is so sad. My prayers are with that this child is served the justice she so rightfully deserves.
Jan Barrett
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