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 ZAHRA CLAIRE BAKER

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sanny
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PostSubject: Missing girl's Stepmother deemed a flight risk   Thu Oct 21, 2010 10:41 am

Missing girl's stepmother deemed flight risk





By Mitch Weiss
The Associated Press
NEWTON - A judge deemed the stepmother of a missing 10-year-old girl a flight risk and raised her bail Wednesday after the woman's grown daughter testified that she's carrying on an online relationship with a man in England who was sending her thousands of dollars.
While the bond hearing unfolded, dozens of investigators searched a nearby North Carolina landfill for key evidence in the disappearance of Zahra Clare Baker, but police said they don't expect to find the girl's body there.
Catawba County District Judge Robert Mullinax Jr. said there were "disturbing and unsettling allegations" in the case as he increased Elisa Baker's bail from $40,000 to $65,000. Defense lawyers had asked him to lower it to $10,000, which they said fits legal guidelines for her charge of obstructing justice.
Investigators said Baker wrote a bogus ransom note found Oct. 9, the day she and her husband reported Zahra missing. Police have said they think someone killed the girl, who used hearing aids and a prosthetic leg because of bone cancer, but have not found her body and haven't charged anyone with killing her.
Testimony from one of Baker's adult children, Amber Fairchild, helped convince the judge that the woman is a flight risk. Fairchild said she feared her mother after a childhood spent frequently moving to different houses.
Fairfield said that her mother rarely worked and had been sent $10,000 over the last year by a man in England with whom she had an online relationship, despite her marriage to Zahra's father. She said Baker told her she wanted to leave North Carolina the day before she was arrested.
Elisa Baker also had met Zahra's father, Adam Baker, online. Fairchild testified that her mother visited Adam Baker in early 2008, and when she returned from Australia later that year, they were married. Adam Baker also brought Zahra to live with them.
But things didn't go as planned. First, Elisa Baker and her family moved in with the woman's father, but he kicked her out "over bad checks," Fairchild said.
Then they moved four more times - the last time in September, when they moved to the house where Zahra's disappearance was reported.
"Has your mother ever had a stable residence," Prosecutor Eric Ballas asked.
"No," Fairchild whispered.
Baker appeared by video camera, and two of her other children were in the courtroom. Bellas said Baker has routinely missed court appearances over the last 20 years on previous charges ranging from traffic offenses to communicating threats.
"The only time this defendant comes to court is when the sheriff's office brings her to court," Bellas said.
However, defense lawyer Scott Reilly argued that Baker's bail already was excessive before the judge raised it. Reilly said legal guidelines call for a bond of $10,000 in obstruction cases, and he blamed media attention for causing the judge to exceed that.Landfill search

At a news conference, Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said investigators were searching the landfill for a piece of evidence that's critical to establishing a timeline for Zahra's disappearance. Adkins said they didn't expect to find her body in the mounds of trash but wouldn't elaborate on what they were looking for.
Investigators said the day before they were seeking a serial number and other details about the artificial leg the girl used since surviving bone cancer.

**FayettevilleObserver
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PostSubject: Investigators examine mattresses taken from landfill   Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:43 am

Investigators examine mattresses taken from landfill








Credit: Dave Faherty/ WSOC-TV
Local law enforcement search for evidence in the Zahra Clare Baker case at the Caldwell County landfill. Here, officers watch as a mattress is retrieved from the landfill.

By Richard Gould
Published: October 22, 2010


LENOIR --


Investigators spent Thursday searching for clues in the Foothills Environmental landfill in Caldwell County as they continued their search for Zahra Baker.

Men clad in white coveralls and yellow boots watched as an excavator lifted scoops of garbage, placed them onto an area of flat ground then used its bucket to sort through it. Finding nothing of interest, a bulldozer rumbled up and cleared the area for the next scoop.

The investigators and Maj. Clyde Deal of the Hickory Police Department surged forward when they spotted a ruined mattress. The excavator gently plucked the mattress from the pile and placed it at the investigators’ feet.

They examined it, flipped it over then cut the cover from the springs and took it away.

When the excavator found another mattress, they repeated the process.

Police would not confirm that they were looking for mattresses, but nothing else unearthed at the landfill seemed to interest them.

Hickory and Caldwell County officers guarded the landfill’s gates letting in only commercial vehicles.

Area landowners would not let media outlets on their property to observe the search and said officers told them not to.

B.J. Fore of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office said that’s not exactly accurate.

“We asked the land owners to keep people off of the hills overlooking the landfill because the media is taking the focus off what we’re trying to do here,” Fore said. “We couldn’t order them to refuse access, because it’s private property, but we asked them to cooperate.”

Asked for clarification about the nature of the distractions, Fore would only say, “If Maj. Deal says you can go up there, I’ll drive you myself.”

Deal was unavailable for comment.

The Hickory Police Department has invited area media to examine the landfill search site this morning.

A review of the Catawba County jail records this week revealed that Zahra Baker’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, has had two visitors since she was arrested on Oct. 10 , her lawyer Scott Reilly and noted defense attorney Lisa Dubs.

Dubs visited Baker after her bond reduction motion was denied Wednesday.

Baker was arrested on more than a dozen charges on nine outstanding arrest warrants the day after she reported Zahra missing.

She was charged with obstruction of justice on Oct. 12 after confessing to police that she’d written a fake ransom note demanding $1 million.

Baker is being held on a $97,200 secured bond.

Anyone with information about Zahra Baker’s whereabouts or information about her disappearance is asked to call the Hickory Police Department at 328-5551.

WSOC-TV contributed to this report.
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PostSubject: Police hope mattress will provide DNA evidence   Sat Oct 23, 2010 9:06 am

Police hope mattress will provide DNA evidence





By staff reports
Published: October 22, 2010


LENOIR --

Investigators completed their search at the Foothills Environmental Landfill in Caldwell County at about 3 p.m. Friday.
Hickory police confirmed they were searching for a mattress that belonged to Zahra that her parents, Adam and Elisa Baker, got rid of during early October. Zahra was reported missing by her father on Oct. 9.
According to a press release, Hickory investigators are hoping the mattress will confirm interviews and reinforce the timeline that is being established. They also hoped it would provide DNA evidence.
The mattress was not located at the landfill, according to an official with the Hickory Police Department.

Ten-year-old Zahra was first reported missing on Oct. 9 by her father, Adam Baker, although Hickory police believe she’s been missing longer than that. She was last seen by someone outside of the family on Sept. 25 at In Your Home Furnishings on U.S. 70, SE, in Hickory. Zahra was in the store with her stepmother, Elisa.

Baker, 42, is currently in jail for writing a false ransom note, in which she demanded $1 million. Police charged Baker with obstruction of justice. They also arrested her on several other charges unrelated to Zahra’s disappearance.
Police initially called Zahra’s disappearance a missing persons case. On Oct. 12, that was changed to a homicide investigation.
Several crime stoppers organizations are also offering rewards for information in the disappearance and whereabouts of Zahra Baker. Lenoir/Caldwell County Crime Stoppers, Crime Stoppers of Cleveland County, Alexander County Crime Stoppers and Crime Stoppers of high Point are each offering $1,000 cash for information, for a total of $4,000.
Lenoir/Caldwell County can be reached at (828) 758-8300.
Cleveland County can be reached at (704) 481-TIPS (8477)
Alexander County can be reached at (828) 632-8555
High Point can be reached at (336) 889-4000.
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PostSubject: Dubs to defend Elisa Baker   Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:52 pm

Dubs to defend Elisa Baker





By Richard Gould
Published: October 23, 2010

HICKORY --

Zahra Baker’s stepmother has been in the Catawba County jail since Oct. 10, and she’s had frequent visits from three people: her attorney Scott Reilly, attorney Lisa Dubs and private investigator Steve Elhers.


Lisa Dubs confirmed Friday that she has been assigned to Baker’s case as provisional counsel. According to court records, Dubs’ role is to “Conduct a preliminary investigation, determine if the defendant is indigent and needs appointed counsel, and protect the defendant’s rights pending appointment of trial counsel.”


North Carolina’s Indigent Defense Services Director and Capital Defender Robert M. Hurley assigned Dubs to Baker’s case Monday.


Dubs is well-known for defending high-profile murder suspects, and her website describes her specialties as “capital murder cases and serious felonies.”


Dubs is one of about 10 Catawba County attorneys permitted to defend clients facing the death penalty. Even though Baker has not been charged with Zahra’s murder, the case has gained nationwide attention and Hurley has decided that it is appropriate to appoint Dubs because of the likelihood that Baker will eventually be charged with the crime, Dubs explained.


Reilly was appointed to defend Baker on her assortment of charges unrelated to the Zahra Baker homicide investigation and the obstruction of justice charge that followed Baker’s Oct. 12 confession to police that she’d written a fake ransom note demanding $1 million.


Reilly will continue to represent her on those charges, and if Baker is charged with murder and the state pursues the death penalty, it’s possible he and Dubs will defend Baker jointly.
Scott and I have tried capital cases together before,” Dubs said. “Scott already knows a lot about the case, and we’re going to do whatever’s best for the client.”


On the affidavit of indigence that accompanied her request for a court-appointed attorney, Baker listed her monthly household income as $600 from her husband Adam Baker’s job at Real Tree Services, and $200 from additional income such as food stamps or child support.



**TheHickoryDailyRecord
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PostSubject: ZAHRA BAKER   Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:31 am

It is with heavy heart that I add yet another name to our missing, murdered children list.

Zahra had endured so much pain in her short life. She was kept away from her mother. She was brought to a strange land. She was kept isolated, home schooled to prevent contact with other children her own age, and adults who might have noticed the signs of child abuse.

He had lost her leg to cancer. Lost her hearing in both ears from the cancer treatment. Her short life was filled with burdens most adults don't have to experience.

IMO, her father was well aware of what she was having to live through. That causes me to wonder if he was not also guilty of her abuse. I certainly believe he had a hand in her death.

Regardless of which one of them murdered poor, precious little Zahra, they both were in cahoots with the disposal of her body. IMO.
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PostSubject: Adam Baker arrested on worthless check charges   Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:50 pm

Adam Baker arrested on worthless check charges


The Search for Zahra






By The Record Staff
Published: October 25, 2010
Updated: October 25, 2010 - 2:03 PM



HICKORY --

Hickory police arrested Adam Baker, father of 10-year-old Zahra Baker, on seven outstanding warrants for writing worthless checks Monday. The charges are unrelated to the disappearance of Zahra.

Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins had said authorities delayed taking action because Baker was cooperating with police since Zahra's disappeared Oct. 9.

Baker, who is from Australia, was being held in Catawba County Jail on $7,000 bond, said Hickory police spokeswoman Libby Grigg. It was not clear if he had an attorney.

The girl's stepmother, Elisa Baker, is at the same jail, facing charges including obstruction of justice. Police said she admitted writing a bogus ransom note found at the scene of a fire in the family's back yard on the day Zahra was reported missing.

Police have said they think Zahra is dead, but have not found her body and haven't charged anyone with killing her. A three-day search of a Caldwell County landfill last week failed to turn up any evidence.

Monday morning, Hickory police and Caldwell County investigators returned to Foothills Environmental landfill searching for evidence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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PostSubject: Adam Baker Arrested (Updated)   Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:55 pm

Monday, October 25, 2010


Adam Baker Arrested (Updated)





update: CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Hickory police have arrested the father of a missing 10-year-old girl on charges unrelated to her disappearance.

Adam Baker was arrested Monday morning on five counts of writing worthless checks, two counts of communicating threats, assault with a deadly weapon and failure to return rental property.

Baker was being held on $7,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 18.

Baker's daughter, Zahra, was reported missing on Oct. 9 and is presumed dead. Baker's wife, Elisa, is being held in jail on charges of obstruction of justice. Police say Elisa Baker wrote a fake ransom note and has not cooperated with investigators.

Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said at the beginning of the investigation that Adam Baker had outstanding warrants for worthless checks.

Adkins said officers would execute those warrants when the time was appropriate. Baker wasn't arrested earlier because he was cooperating with investigators in the search for Zahra


Police have arrested Adam Baker for passing bad checks.
Is this part of a police strategy in order to increase pressure on him?

Adam Baker's 911 calls to police indicate deception and deliberate withholding of information with regard to the disappearance of his daughter, 10 year old Zahra Baker
.

Adam Baker's Arrest: Part of Police Strategy?
Yes, they are building a case
No, it's incidental
pollcode.com free polls



Hickory police arrested Adam Baker on seven outstanding warrants for writing worthless checks. He is the father of Zahra Clare Baker, the 10-year-old girl who was reported missing on Oct. 9.

This morning, Hickory police and Caldwell County investigators were back at the Caldwell County Environmental Landfill searching for evidence.

Baker's wife, Elisa Baker, remains in jail on several charges unrelated to the case, plus a charged of obstruction of justice in the disappearance of her stepdaughter.

Posted by Seamus O Riley at 8:30 AM
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PostSubject: Crews searching Caldwell County in Zahra Baker case   Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:02 pm

Crews searching Caldwell County in Zahra Baker case



Crews searching Caldwell County in Zahra Baker case


by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on October 25, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Updated today at 2:08 PM


Related:




Gallery







See all 2 photos »



CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. – Crews have resumed their search into the disappearance of 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
Right now police have closed off roads near Dudley Shoals Road in Granite Falls to search the area.
Zahra Baker’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, used to live near that area.
Elisa Baker was arrested on Oct. 10; the day after Zahra was reported missing, on charges unrelated to the 10-year-old’s disappearance. However, Elisa was later charged with obstruction of justice in connection with the case. Police say she wrote a fake ransom note and has not cooperated with the investigation.
Police haven’t identified exactly what they’re searching for in Granite Falls. Last week crews searched a Caldwell County landfill, looking for mattress that Zahra’s father and stepmother had disposed of in early October. Their search came up empty.
Zahra’s father, Adam Baker, was arrested Monday morning on five counts of writing worthless checks, two counts of communicating threats, assault with a deadly weapon and failure to return rental property.
Police acknowledged that Adam Baker had outstanding warrants for worthless checks when the investigation began, but said that they would execute those warrants when the time was appropriate.
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PostSubject: Baker's Stepmother Brought To New Search Site   Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:07 pm

Baker’s Stepmother Brought To New Search Site




Posted: 10:33 am EDT October 25, 2010
Updated: 4:25 pm EDT October 25, 2010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Zahra Baker’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, was taken out of jail and brought to the newest search site in the investigation into the disappearance of the 10-year-old girl, officers confirmed to Channel 9.

Police said on Monday morning that they are following up on a “promising lead” in the search for Zahra, who was reported missing on Oct. 9.

VIDEO: Police Following ‘Promising Lead’ In Search For Zahra


They began searching the area around Dudley Shoals Road in Caldwell County before daylight on Monday. The area is less than a mile from where Elisa Baker lived three years ago.

Elisa Baker has been in jail over the course of the investigation. She was charged with obstruction of justice on Oct. 12, after admitting to writing a phony ransom note. Last week, a judge raised her bond from $40,000 to $65,000.

RELATED STORY: Judge Ups Bond For Zahra Baker’s Stepmother


While at the search site on Monday, Eyewitness News reporter Dave Faherty did not see Elisa Baker get out of the SUV that she was brought to the area in.

Zahra Baker’s father, Adam Baker, is also in police custody. He was arrested early Monday morning and is facing several charges unrelated to his daughter’s disappearance.

He faces five counts of worthless checks, two counts of communicating threats, one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of failure to return rental property. He was arrested just after 3 a.m. and is being held at the Catawba County Detention Center on a $7,000 bond.

Zahra’s father and stepmother reported her missing at about 2 p.m. on Oct. 9, telling Hickory police officers that they last saw her sleeping in her bedroom at about 2:30 a.m. (Click here to listen to the 911 call made to report Zahra missing.) An Amber Alert was issued and a massive search for 10-year-old Zahra ensued.

IMAGES: Photos Of Zahra Baker


On Oct. 12, Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins announced the cancellation of the Amber Alert and the decision to investigate Zahra’s disappearance as a homicide. She was last seen by someone other than a family member on Sept. 25, police said.

Police have searched several other areas in the investigation into Zahra's disappearance, including a wood pile in Burke County, a nearby pond, homes where the Bakers had lived and, most recently, a Caldwell County landfill.

The landfill search focused on a mattress belonging to Zahra that had been disposed of by her parents sometime in early October, days before Zahra was reported missing, police said. Investigators said they hoped to use the mattress to confirm information gathered in interviews and also to reinforce the timeline of her disappearance. They had also hoped the mattress would provide DNA evidence related to the case, police said.

Several mattresses were tested in the course of the landfill search, but none were Zahra's, police said.
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker: A Deal to be Made?   Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:49 pm

Zahra Baker: A Deal to Be Made?




With Adam Baker arrested, Elisa Baker is taken to the search site.

Will this be a race to the front door of the prosecutor to make a deal?

We know:

Step mother admitted writing the fake ransom note;
Dad, Adam Baker, is deceptive in his 911 call, and has reason to be deceptive...

Will he make a deal before Elisa?
Will Elisa view his arrest and rush to make a deal?
Will Adam Baker seek extradition to Australia? He has asked that contact be made with Australian officials?
If she is talking to police, her attorney is on board with it.
Can the police build a case without either of them?


Who Makes the Deal?
Step Mom, author of ransom note
Dad, Deceptive 911 caller
Neither, Prosecutors will find body without them
pollcode.com free polls

Posted by Seamus O Riley at 4:01 PM 0 comments
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker Case: Zahra's body reported to have been found UNCONFIRMED   Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:38 pm

Zahra Baker case: Zahra’s body reported to have been found unconfirmed



Posted on October 26th, 2010 by Valhall
Hinky readers are reporting news is breaking from searchers that Zahra Baker’s body has been found wrapped in a mattress. The body is reported to have been located somewhere in Caldwell County, North Carolina. Latest posts state Zahra was found off Burns road and that someone assisting in search reported her body has been found off Christie Road.
This is developing, and unconfirmed at this time. Please read comments from readers to stay up to date.
Rest in Peace, Zahra…it’s all over now.
Valhall.
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker Update - Heavily Wooded Area Near Waterfalls Searched   Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:54 pm

Zahra Baker Update - Heavily Wooded Area Near Waterfalls Searched

Posted on October 26th, 2010
by Jan Barrett in All News, Society and Culture, crime
Read 1,047 times.

Ten year old Zahra Baker has become well known since she was reported missing on October 9, 2010 by her father, Adam Baker, 33 and her stepmother, Elisa Baker, 42. According to the father, his wife claimed that the last time she saw the little girl was about 2:30 that morning.
Elisa Baker confessed that she is the one that wrote the ransom note asking for $1 million that was found after police arrived and she has since been arrested and charged with obstructing justice for writing the fake ransom note. She is being held on a $65,000 bond after the judge listened to the disturbing and unsettling allegations levied against her.
Yesterday morning authorities in Caldwell County, North Carolina were searching for little Zahra in a heavily wooded area near some waterfalls. They appeared to be extremely interested in the stream located at the foot of the falls near the road. They were there searching from daybreak Monday until about 5:35 pm. Caldwell County Sheriff, Alan Jones said they were following up on leads they get in their county and they have received several.
Apparently they brought Elisa to the search area but was not allowed to get out the car she was brought there in. She was later returned to jail around 6:00 that evening. Jones made the statement saying, “We always like to be hopeful… We’re not going to rest until we find the little girl.”
Also on Monday Adam Baker was arrested on charges related to bad checks and is currently being held on a $7,000 bond. The Sidney Morning Herald paper is reporting that he was arrested at the Charlotte-Douglas Airport. They believe he was at the airport to pick up some relatives that was flying in from Australia. Baker is now facing 5 counts of communicating threats, one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of failure to return rental property.
I hate to think of this case turning into a circus with non-related problems to take the focus off of what is the more important problem of all, that is of finding little Zahra. Police are calling this a homicide case now unfortunately. Zahra has been through more than your average 10 year old child has been through. She has had bone cancer which she lost one of her legs from. She was wearing a prosthetic leg and she wore a hearing aid, which were both found at her home after she was reported missing. Still the mystery remains, what happened to this child? Where is she? What could she possibly have done to make someone harm her in anyway whatsoever?
She needs to be found and brought home. Just like the other missing children out there. Little Adji Desir has been missing since January 10, 2009. Haleigh Cummings has been missing since February 10, 2009. Masaraha Ross and her mother Ronkeya have been missing since October 18, 2009. There are so many more that I can’t begin to list here as well. Where are all these children? Why haven’t they been found? They have disappeared without a trace. Someone has answers but yet no one is talking. Someone in all these cases needs to start talking so these children can be brought home, they deserve to be found and brought home. My prayers will continue for each and every one of them.

Jan Barrett
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PostSubject: Zahra Search Continues - No Remains found   Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:02 pm

Zahra search continues


Police chief says no remains found





By Richard Gould
Published: October 26, 2010



HUDSON --

Misinformation is circulating that Zahra Baker’s remains were found stuffed in a mattress during today’s search on Christie Road in Hudson.

Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said there is no truth to the rumor. He said investigators have not found Baker’s remains.

A matress was found today at the Caldwell County landfill where investigators have spent several days searching. The mattress contains "This mattress possessed DNA evidence that will be tested in the future to confirm if it is involved with this investigation," according to a Hickory police press release.

Adkins confirmed that Baker’s stepmother Elisa Baker has been cooperating with police and providing them with information through her attorneys, Lisa Dubs and Scott Reilly.
For more on this story, check back for continuing updates.

**The HickoryDaily Record
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PostSubject: Mattress found at landfill, to be tested for DNA   Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:55 am

Mattress found at landfill, to be tested for DNA


Elisa Baker talks through attorneys








Credit: John M. Setzler, Jr.
A search of a site in Dudley Shoals for missing Zahra Baker turned up animal bones on Monday...

By Richard Gould
Published: October 26, 2010
Updated: October 27, 2010 - 12:36 AM


HUDSON --
Investigators spent Tuesday searching for Zahra Baker’s remains off Christie Road in Hudson about seven miles from the site they had searched Monday.


Misinformation persisted throughout the day. One frequently repeated rumor was that Zahra Baker’s body was found stuffed in a mattress at the search site.


Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said there is no truth to the rumor. He said investigators have not found Zahra’s remains.


A mattress was found at the Foothills Environmental landfill in Caldwell County Tuesday, but it contained no remains. Employees discovered the mattress when they were regrading the area that was searched last week. Hickory police confirmed that, “This mattress possessed DNA evidence that will be tested in the future to confirm if it is involved with this investigation.” The nature of the evidence was not released.


Adkins said investigators have been getting information from a newly-cooperative source: Zahra’s stepmother, Elisa Baker. He said Baker is cooperating with police and providing them with information through her attorneys, Lisa Dubs and Scott Reilly.


Zahra’s father, Adam Baker, has been in the Catawba County jail since he turned himself in at the Hickory Police Department at 3:12 a.m. Monday. He went to the police station after picking up his mother and brother at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.


Baker was arrested on charges unrelated to the disappearance of his daughter and jailed under a $7,000 bond. They include five counts of worthless checks and failure to appear.

The Australian Consulate in Atlanta was notified of Baker’s arrest at his request.

THE SEARCH

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office posted barricades and deputies at both entrances to Christie Road as investigators combed the area with dog teams.


“We just had to shut the road because it is so narrow down in there,” said B.J. Fore of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. “We’re extending the search area. We’re going to be here at least until dark.”


Though access to Tuesday’s site was tightly controlled, Monday’s search location near the intersection of Dudley Shoals Road and Burns Road was not secured.

Investigators had searched along a short dead-end road. The smell of rotting flesh was heavy in the air.

Small flags in the thicket on the southern side of the road marked several rotting deer carcasses. Long jawbones, skulls ribs and vertebrae littered the ground. A hoof and tattered hide lay beside the road.

Trails on the northern side of the road led through a stand of trees to a stone dam where water cascades onto smooth rocks below.

The sound of the rushing water contrasted with the piles of trash and clothes moldering under wet leaves. An orange flag marked a small bone. A pile of rotten boards looked like it had been sifted and dug through in recent days.
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PostSubject: Zahra's Mattress Found   Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:01 am

Zahra's Mattress Found




Authorities find mattress considered key in search for missing
Investigators have found a mattress they hope is key to probe of a missing girl
Police consider the case of Zahra Baker, a girl last seen weeks ago, a homicide
The girl's stepmother, who police say wrote a fake ransom note, is now cooperating
The missing girl's father was arrested before dawn Monday on unrelated charges
(CNN) -- Four days after calling off a search for key evidence, investigators have located a mattress that they believe is important to their probe of a North Carolina girl who hasn't been seen for weeks.

The missing mattress, which belonged to 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker, was thrown out by her parents in early October, days before she was reported missing, police say.

While authorities continue to look for Zahra's body, the search for the mattress itself was called off Friday. But on Tuesday, employees at Foothills Environmental Landfill in Lenoir, North Carolina, found the mattress and turned it over to investigators.

The bed contained DNA that will be tested to confirm it is indeed related to the Zahra Baker case, according to a statement from the Hickory, North Carolina, Police Department.

Authorities say the girl's disappearance is being investigated as a homicide.

She was reported missing October 9. But no one other than a family member has reported seeing her since September 25, when a woman saw her at a furniture store.

The missing girl's stepmother, Elisa Baker, who police said last week admitted to writing a fake ransom note the day after the girl's disappearance was reported, is now cooperating with investigators, Hickory police said.

Initially arrested on October 10 on several unrelated charges including writing worthless checks, Elisa Baker was additionally charged with obstruction of justice for leaving the note. That charge is a felony.

On Monday, Elisa Baker joined joined police as they searched for evidence at a site near a home she lived in three years ago.

Zahra's father, Adam Troy Baker, was arrested just past 3 a.m. Monday in nearby Catawba County on eight charges, including five counts of submitting worthless checks and three counts of failing to appear in court.

Police earlier acknowledged that Adam Baker faced bad-check charges, which are unrelated to the disappearance of his daughter. But they did not initially arrest him, as he had been helping authorities in their search.

Adam Baker was at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport picking up a family member Sunday before he voluntarily went to the Police Department in Hickory, about 60 miles northwest of Charlotte, to talk to authorities.

At the request of Adam Baker, who is an Australian citizen, the closest Australian consulate, which is in Atlanta, Georgia, was notified of his arrest.

The disappearance of Zahra, a freckle-faced youngster who wears a prosthetic leg and hearing aids, has made international news. The girl lost her leg to bone cancer, according to CNN affiliate WCNC-TV in Charlotte.

Family members and neighbors have told reporters that Zahra's stepmother abused her. Her attorney has denied the allegation.

Police also have said they had been in contact with Zahra's biological mother in Australia and asked for the girl's medical records.

Posted by Seamus O Riley at 3:47 PM
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker case: Why is the mattress important?   Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:12 am

Zahra Baker case: Why is the mattress important?



Posted on October 27th, 2010 by Valhall
It is reported that investigators searching for missing and assumed deceased 10-year-old Zahra Baker have the mattress they were looking for at the Foothills Environmental Landfill. Apparently 4 days after they called off the search for the mattress employees at the landfill located it and investigators returned yesterday to retrieve it. The reason given by investigators for why the mattress was important, and the statements made by law enforcement since the mattress was recovered allude to needing to retrieve the mattress for DNA evidence. I’d like to look more carefully at these statements so we might be able to figure what the importance of the mattress might be.
CNN is reporting that the statement from law enforcement since the mattress was discovered was that they intend to do DNA testing to confirm the mattress is indeed Zahra’s. Okay, that makes sense and of course they have to do that. The Hickory Daily Record reports it slightly different. It states that Hickory police confrimed “This mattress possessed DNA evidence that will be tested in the future to confirm if it is involved with this investigation.” They go on to state “the nature of the evidence was not released.
Now, let’s look back at what the Hickory Daily Record was reporting as the reason for looking for the mattress before it was located. They stated on Friday:

Investigators had focused on finding a mattress belonging to Zahra Baker that had been disposed of by Zahra’s parents sometime during early October, days before Zahra was reported missing. Investigators hoped that the mattress could help them narrow their timeline, corroborate interviews and provide DNA evidence in what police are calling a homicide investigation.
So before the mattress was found police were telling local media, apparently, that the mattress was a key piece of evidence because they believed it would provide DNA evidence in a homicide investigation. The second important point of the mattress was that it would assist in ratcheting down a timeline…with the end of that statement apparently being “of when Zahra was murdered.” And the third point to stress is that they needed the mattress to corroborate interviews. This second part makes sense because it has been reported that the mattress was disposed of within days (CNN stating within 2 days) of when Zahra was reported missing. The investigators, by now, will at least have the exact date, if not time, of when the replacement mattress was purchased, and apparently someone either involved in the disposal of the old mattress or who witnessed the Bakers removing the old mattress from the home has informed investigators about what they know – to some degree.
So instead of focusing on what police are saying right now (that they need to confirm it is Zahra’s mattress, which goes without saying), let’s focus on what they said when they were wanting to find this reportedly “key piece of evidence”. Let’s look at the timeline. On October 15th, 6 days after Zahra was reported missing, investigators were reported to have searched the Baker home and removed the following items:

  • Zahra’s bed frame
  • Zahra’s mattress (i.e. the mattress on Zahra’s bed frame)
  • Zahra’s box springs
  • and two bags containing unknown evidence.

During this search, investigators also brought dogs (assumed to be cadaver dogs) and their handlers to search inside and around the Baker home. It has not been reported, at this time, that the dogs hit in the house or around the house. The only cadaver dog hits associated with the Bakers at this point have been the early reports that dogs hit on both Baker vehicles for signs of human decomposition. During this same time frame is when investigators, with cadaver dogs and handlers, were searching the property on which large equipment, mulch and timber piles were located. I do not believe it has ever been confirmed, but reports at that time stated that dogs were hitting on mulch piles and a woodchipper on that property. Only 3 days before what we now know to be the “new” mattress in Zahra’s bedroom was removed from the Baker home is when Hickory police announced the case was moving from a possible abduction to a homicide case and Elisa Baker had confessed to writing the “ransom note”.
So on October 15th police had the “new” mattress from Zahra’s room. It is unknown if they took that mattress because they had already been provided information the mattress was purchased just days before Zahra was reported missing, or if it was for another reason. But with the intense search for the “key evidence” which is the old mattress, it would appear they had knowledge of the mattress swap prior to taking the new mattress from the Baker home on the 15th. If Zahra was already deceased and disposed of prior to the purchase of the new mattress police would have been unable to obtain Zahra’s DNA from that mattress. The absence of Zahra’s DNA on this new mattress would have been partial substantiation of an account that the mattress was replaced.
Within days of taking the new mattress, the search in the homicide investigation moved from property where the landscaping equipment and mulch piles were located to the landfill. That’s when the statements were made that a “key piece of evidence”, which was not a body, was trying to be located and then eventually the reports that investigators were searching for Zahra’s old mattress for the purposes of tightening the timeline, substantiating an interview, and obtaining DNA evidence.
So we’ve covered that if the mattress was replaced within days (maybe 2?) of Zahra being reported missing, and assuming no benevolent reason for replacing that mattress at such an odd time, it would definitely narrow the timeline of Zahra’s possible demise. I’d like to point out that if the reports from CNN that the mattress was replaced 2 days before Zahra was reported missing, that would be Thursday, October 7th, which is the same day Adam Baker originally stated he had last saw his daughter before she went missing. While we don’t have confirmation of the veracity of CNN’s claim, it is rather interesting that those two claims coincide. We’ve also reviewed how testing the new mattress for DNA and not getting Zahra’s helps to substantiate an unidentified source’s account that the mattress was replaced. But what we haven’t touched on is why Zahra’s DNA on the old mattress would be considered “key evidence”.
And I think it’s a pretty important point.
While the Baker’s appear to be Dumb and Dumber, I don’t believe they’re all the way over in the total moron category to where they would rid the house of every single item containing Zahra’s DNA, like clothing, toothbrush, hairbrush, etc. In fact, we know from the start that Zahra’s hearing aides were still in her room on the day she was reported missing. So investigators were not looking for this mattress because they needed to get a DNA sample of Zahra. They were looking for this mattress because they believed it contained a specific type of DNA evidence, it appears. In other words, there’s no reason to replace Zahra’s mattress if she didn’t die in it, OR her body left on that bed after decomposition had begun. So while the “nature of the DNA evidence” has not been revealed, logic would have it that investigators are looking for either Zahra’s blood, or signs of her decomposition on that mattress. It has not been reported, nor do we have evidence one way or the other, that cadaver dogs were called to the landfill when the police were contacted about the mattress being found, so we don’t know if dogs checked the mattress and maybe hit on it for signs of decomposition.
Another thing we don’t have enough information to allow us to speculate on is the natures of the hits on the Bakers’ vehicles. Where, exactly, on those vehicles did the hits occur? Here are some scenarios to consider:

  • Hit in cargo compartment of both vehicles.
  • Hit in driver’s seat of both vehicles.
  • Hit in cargo compartment of one vehicle, driver’s seat of one or both vehicles.

You can quickly see that different scenarios can be constructed from where the dogs hit. If the hits were on both driver’s seats and neither vehicle’s cargo compartment, or only one vehicle’s cargo compartment, it would indicate two drivers handling a body, and one of the vehicles being used to transport the body. It doesn’t make much sense that both of the Bakers would be involved in the handling of Zahra’s body considering either Baker could handle moving Zahra’s small body on their own. Is it possible that both vehicles’ cargo compartments were hit on by the dogs? If so, does this indicate that one Baker transported Zahra’s body for disposal while the other Baker transported the mattress she had been lying on for disposal? Just something to consider.
Valhall.
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PostSubject: Searchers Back At Baker Home; News Conference Set for This Afternoon   Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:15 pm

Searchers Back At Baker Home; News Conference Set For This Afternoon






Related Stories/Links
MORE INFO








Posted: 1:46 pm EDT October 27, 2010

Updated: 2:01 pm EDT October 27, 2010

HICKORY, N.C. -- A team of investigators is going through piles of mulch around the home of missing 10-year-old Zahra Baker.

About a dozen officers are searching the area around the home, which has been taped off. They’re using rakes and other equipment to comb through mulch.

Police have searched the home, located on 21st Avenue in Hickory, before. Investigators have not said what led them to begin searching the area again, but police have scheduled a news conference in connection with the case at 4:30 p.m.

Zahra’s father and stepmother reported her missing at about 2 p.m. on Oct. 9, telling Hickory police officers that they last saw her sleeping in her bedroom at about 2:30 a.m. (Click here to listen to the 911 call made to report Zahra missing.) An Amber Alert was issued and a massive search for the girl ensued.

IMAGES: Photos Of Zahra Baker[/url]


On Oct. 12, Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins announced the cancellation of the Amber Alert and the decision to investigate Zahra’s disappearance as a homicide. She was last seen by someone other than a family member on Sept. 25, police said.

Police have searched several other areas in the investigation into Zahra's disappearance, including a wood pile in Burke County, a nearby pond, other homes where the Bakers had lived and a Caldwell County landfill.
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PostSubject: Police find prosthetic leg similar to missing girl's   Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:07 pm

Police find prosthetic leg similar to missing girl's




Adam Baker, father of Zahra Baker, was arrested Monday on assault and worthless check charges.
1 / 2







HICKORY, N.C. — Police on Wednesday afternoon said a prosthetic leg similar to one used by a missing 10-year-old Hickory girl was found in a brush area in Caldwell County late Tuesday afternoon.
Investigators were checking to see if the serial number on the leg match the one used by Zahra Clare Baker, who was reported missing on Oct. 9.
Police also said they uncovered information that led them to search the Baker's house on Wednesday. They would not elaborate on what they were searching for or what information prompted them to conduct the search.
On Tuesday, police said Zahra's stepmother started cooperating with investigators.
The girl's stepmother, Elisa Baker, and her lawyer are talking with investigators, said Maj. Clyde Deal, deputy police chief in Hickory, where the child was reported missing.
Police believe the girl is dead. She uses hearing aids and has a prosthetic leg because of bone cancer. Authorities in recent weeks have combed wooded areas and a landfill for evidence or her body.
Deal said Tuesday that Elisa Baker, 42, was taken earlier this week to a home where she once lived. But he declined to elaborate.
“We’re working with her attorney to see what information she has and what she is willing to share. We’re treating her like every other source of information,” he said.
A telephone message left for Elisa Baker’s attorney, Scott Reilly, was not immediately returned.
The stepmother has been charged with obstruction of justice. Police said she acknowledged to writing a bogus ransom note found at the scene of a fire in the family’s back yard on the day Zahra Clare Baker was reported missing.
The girl’s father, Adam Baker, was arrested Monday on unrelated charges. He and his daughter are from Australia. He and his daughter moved to North Carolina in 2008 after he married Elisa Baker, whom he had met on the Internet.
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.
The timing of his arrest raises questions because the charges against him were filed over the past few months. Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins had said authorities delayed taking action because he was cooperating with police.
Deal said investigators haven’t talked to Adam Baker since his arrest. He also said Adam Baker did not have an attorney.
Adam Baker was being held in a western North Carolina jail on $7,000 bond. Elisa Baker is at the same jail.
Police have not found the girl’s body and haven’t charged anyone with killing her.
A statement from Hickory police Tuesday afternoon said a mattress similar to Zahra's was found by workers at a Caldwell County landfill when the area was being regraded following a search last week. The statement said the mattress will be tested for DNA evidence.

**WRAL
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker Update: Prosthetic Leg Found, Is It Zahra's?   Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:30 pm

Zahra Baker Update: Prosthetic Leg Found, Is it Zahra’s?

Posted on October 27th, 2010
by Jan Barrett in All News, Society and Culture, crime
Read 122 times.

Police have found what they believe could be the prosthetic leg that belonged to missing 10 year old Zahra Baker from North Carolina. CNN is reporting that it was found in a bushy area off Christie Road in Caldwell County according to Police Chief Tom Adkins of Hickory North Carolina but MSNBC is reporting that it was found at the family home where Zahra lived.
Adkins says the prosthetic leg is consistent with that of little Zahra, who lost her leg during her battle with bone cancer when she was only 5 years old and who later on developed lung cancer as well. Law enforcement are comparing the serial numbers on the prosthetic that was found to the one that Zahra got while she was still living in Australia, where both of her natural parents are from. Police have contacted her mother and they have requested to have her medical records sent to them.
Now the focus on their search for this precious angel has turned to the home that Zahra lived in with her father and stepmother in North Carolina. They have brought in a backhoe and other machinery to use for digging in the yard of the family home while investigators rake through the dug up dirt looking for evidence. Police dogs have been brought in as well to go over the yard where they are digging. So far it is being reported that at least one bag of evidence has been taken from the home as of this morning. Adkins says they have received new information which led them to start the search inside and outside the family’s home. Adkins said, “We’re looking for any piece of evidence that can help in that investigation.”
Are they getting close to finding poor little Zahra? The chances of finding her alive look very slim to none but I do pray that at least she will be found. If she is dead then at least she will be able to be laid to rest properly if they can find her. She deserves that at least.
I will be watching for any new news on this case. Please keep praying for Zahra Baker.
Jan Barrett
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker Case: A review of yesterday's activities   Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:41 am

Zahra Baker case: A review of yesterday’s activities



Posted on October 28th, 2010 by Valhall
In addition to landfill workers finding the mattress law enforcement believes was Zahra’s old mattress, apparently replaced for no good reason, yesterday the announcement came they had also found her prosthetic leg. While Hickory police are not yet stating it is hers, because they are waiting for confirmation of the serial number from the manufacturer, the odds that a child’s prosthetic leg would be found on the property that Elisa Baker previously lived at and NOT belong to Zahra would be something akin to astronomical.
Yesterday evening had law enforcement back at the rental home where the Bakers were living when it issuspected Zahra met her death. They were seen digging numerous holes around the property both with large equipment and with shovels. Eventually searchers were seen removing what appeared to be a couple of pieces of fibrous material (which could have been shredded clothing or a hair mass possibly) from one particular hole they were digging in with shovels. Numerous evidence bags were removed from the property during the search.
In addition to the digging up of the property law enforcement were seen through the windows using ALS techniques in one particular bedroom. They seemed to be focused on the walls of the room. It is also reported by citizens observing the activity that law enforcement were using lighting and Luminol on objects in the home, including another mattress. Investigators stated that returning to the Baker rental home was because of new information supplied to them by an unidentified source. While it is reported that Elisa Baker is not only talking, but cooperating with law enforcement, it is unknown if this “new information” came from her or someone else.
Meanwhile, Adam Baker has been reported to have bonded out of jail after his Monday morning arrest for bad check charges, communicating threats and other unrelated charges. It is unknown at this time where Adam went after bonding out.
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PostSubject: Missing North Carolina girl's father released on bond on charges unrelated to her vanishing   Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:17 pm

Missing North Carolina girl's father released on bond on charges unrelated to her vanishing



Associated Press

Last update: October 28, 2010 - 8:36 AM



NEWTON, N.C. - The father of a missing North Carolina girl is free after posting bond on charges unrelated to his daughter's disappearance.
Adam Baker, 33, arranged for a bondsman to post his $7,000 bail, Catawba County Sheriff Chief Deputy Coy Reid said Thursday. Baker was arrested Monday on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, failure to return rental property, writing worthless checks and other charges.
Hours before Baker's release Wednesday evening, police announced that searchers found a prosthetic leg they think could be the one worn by 10-year-old cancer survivor Zahra Baker. She was fitted with an artificial leg after losing hers to bone cancer. Authorities say the one they found is consistent with hers.
Zahra's father reported her missing Oct. 9. Authorities think she is dead.
Searchers found the leg at a home where Zahra's stepmother once lived, Hickory Police Maj. Clyde Deal said.
The prosthetic leg was discovered Tuesday afternoon near some brush in Caldwell County near the home. Deal said the family lived at several locations in the county and that he wasn't sure how long ago they occupied that house. Authorities on Tuesday took Elisa Baker to a home where she once lived and Deal said she was cooperating after being jailed since the weekend her stepdaughter was reported missing.
Deal also said a mattress found by workers at a Caldwell County landfill would be tested for DNA evidence.
Adam and Elisa Baker told police they had last seen Zahra in her bed at their home in Hickory, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte. But police don't believe them.
Investigators said Zahra may have been alive when the family moved to a new home in North Carolina in mid-September, but they've had trouble finding anyone else who has seen her in recent months.
Elisa Baker, 42, has been charged with obstruction of justice. Police said she acknowledged writing a bogus ransom note found at the scene of a fire in the family's back yard on the day her stepdaughter was reported missing.

**Newton NC News
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PostSubject: Search crews return to Zahra Baker's home in Hickory   Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:08 pm


Search crews return to Zahra Baker's home in Hickory


NewsChannel 36
Posted: Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010


Zahra



More Information



  • Hickory police find new clue in search for Zahra Baker
  • Mattress being tested for link to missing girl
  • Key evidence found in Zahra case
  • Adam Baker is out of jail on bond
  • N.C. prosecutions without a body

    1860: Robert T. Williams, of Rockingham County, is suspected of murdering girlfriend Peggy Isley. Although her body is never found, bone fragments are discovered in a fire on his farm. Williams is also seen spreading ashes over his field supposedly in preparation for planting - in the wrong season for tobacco.
    1985: Johnny Head of Mooresville is convicted of killing Donna Gabriel, a real estate agent who disappeared after being called to appraise his home. Gabriel's body is never found, despite years of searches. Forensic evidence, including fibers and fingerprints, ties Head to the crime.
    1988: Estil Ward, Lori Mayse and Hobert Adams are convicted in Alexander County of killing Robert Mayse and putting his body in a Dumpster. Although Mayse's body is never recovered from area landfills, Lori Mayse and Adams testify against Ward and tell jurors that they were all involved in killing Robert Mayse.
    1995: Charles Anthony Walker is convicted of killing Elmon Tito Davidson Jr. in Greensboro. Four co-defendants testify against Walker in exchange for lesser sentences, and Walker is convicted without Davidson's body being found. Walker was released from prison in 2009 and re-arrested earlier this year, accused of shooting at an ex-girlfriend who testified against him at trial.
    1997: Donald Abercrombie is convicted in Lee County, southwest of Raleigh, of killing 79-year-old Hoyle Smith and 66-year-old Margie Smith. He said he buried the couple's bodies in nearby woods, but the pair wasn't found.





HICKORY, N.C. - Investigators have returned to the home where Zahra Baker lived with her father and stepmother, searching the property for evidence connected with the 10-year-old’s disappearance.
Police returned to the home Wednesday afternoon.
“All of a sudden a huge number of police arrived,” says neighbor Eddie Mitchell.
Hickory police have been at the house all morning Thursday. Officials won’t say reveal what evidence they’re hoping to find, but say that new information brought them back to the house.
"They found some stuff, I saw them photographing one of the holes there," says Mitchell.
Meanwhile, Zahra's father is free after posting bond on charges unrelated to his daughter's disappearance.
Adam Baker, 33, arranged for a bondsman to post his $7,000 bail, Catawba County Sheriff Chief Deputy Coy Reid said Thursday. Baker was arrested Monday on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, failure to return rental property, writing worthless checks and other charges.
Hours before Baker's release Wednesday evening, police announced that searchers found a prosthetic leg they think could be the one worn by 10-year-old cancer survivor Zahra Baker. She was fitted with an artificial leg after losing hers to bone cancer. Authorities say the one they found is consistent with hers.
Zahra's father reported her missing Oct. 9. Authorities think she is dead.
Searchers found the leg at a home where Zahra's stepmother once lived, Hickory Police Maj. Clyde Deal said.
The prosthetic leg was discovered Tuesday afternoon near some brush in Caldwell County near the home. Deal said the family lived at several locations in the county and that he wasn't sure how long ago they occupied that house. Authorities on Tuesday took Elisa Baker to a home where she once lived and Deal said she was cooperating after being jailed since the weekend her stepdaughter was reported missing.
Deal also said a mattress found by workers at a Caldwell County landfill would be tested for DNA evidence.
Adam and Elisa Baker told police they had last seen Zahra in her bed at their home in Hickory, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte. But police don't believe them.
Investigators said Zahra may have been alive when the family moved to a new home in North Carolina in mid-September, but they've had trouble finding anyone else who has seen her in recent months.
Elisa Baker, 42, has been charged with obstruction of justice. Police said she acknowledged writing a bogus ransom note found at the scene of a fire in the family's back yard on the day her stepdaughter was reported missing.
(The Associated Press contributed.)


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PostSubject: Zahra Baker's Mother?   Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:38 pm

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Zahra Baker's Mother?




This is reported to have come from Zahra Baker's mother. editing for analysis

"*the media has stated I have not Zahra since she was 8mths old – false (and I do have photo evidence to prove that, when I am more comfortable with the public knowing who I am)
*My relationship with Adam with full of manipulation and mental & emotion abuse which left me an empty shell of who I was. Once Zahra was born I suffered severe post natal depression, and that was worsened when I finally gained the strength to leave him and was left to try and raise Zahra on my own. I could barely look after myself, let alone a baby (as much as I wanted to), so Zahra began living with Adam (I assumed he would at least treat his daughter well). We had discussed it so that I could see her whenever I could while I got back on my feet, and then she would come back to live with me. This never happened…
One day I had gotten a lift from a friend to Adam’s to see Zahra, and when we arrived at his unit is was empty, no furniture, no nothing. He had up and left with her without notifying me. I went to the police, but because there were no custody orders in place at the time it was not regarded a crime, and they could not really help me, so it was up to me to try and find her.
*after a lot of searching, and legal advice, I managed to track down Adam and get custody papers drawn up and put through the courts, which were finalised 9th July 2001. These stated that Zahra was to reside with Adam in Newcastle (7hrs from me) but was basically “joint custody”. I was to have her school holidays, anytime throughout the year in 4 day blocks etc, and we were to (and I quote the custody papers) “have joint responsibility for the long term care, welfare and development of the child”. I got to see her once, and he disappeared again.
*It has been 8 years since I have seen her, and yes I now have 2 more children which are my everything. What I have never had is endless funds to keep paying solicitors to keep tracking him down. Here in Australia you can easily hide if you want to, our privacy laws are amazingly strict.
*I was not told she was sick until 2007, and then the person to notify me was told by Adam not to notify of their whereabouts, or her illness, but this person felt that was wrong and told me Zahra was in Queensland and very ill. As soon as I was made aware I applied for her medical records which I regularly updated, but once again privacy laws prevented me from knowing where she was, except for the state.
*In 2008 i finally hit on an article with a pic of her from a cancer camp, while it let me know she was doing ok, it was no help as to anymore detail.
*Assuming there was no way she was out of the country, I refined my searches to Australia, which is why I never found anything after that one article, it seems she had been taken to the US…..
*They are claiming they the bakers) and the authourities tried to contact me when leaving the country but failed, but this is also false. I have payed child support to her every single week since she left my custody, I recieve a family allowance for my other children, and zahra is also linked to my medicare card. All these things are provided by government agencies so I am easily found, unlike themselves….

I hope this is enough to keep you skeptics happy, because it has hurt me like hell bringing it all up. While I don’t feel I should have to explain myself to the world, I have had enough of people passing judgement (and harshly) on something they know absolutely nothing about, and at a time when my emotions are already running wild.
Now please just let me grieve for my daughter, and for all the lost chances I never had with her. I am more eager than anyone for this truth to come out, so lets finally shift our focus to that."


Posted by Seamus O Riley at 3:02
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker's "biomum"   Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:01 am

“aussie girl said: { Oct 14, 2010 – 06:10:10 }
i just want to clarify that the bio mother did not know that zahra was in the states… adam some how forged a passport to get her out of australia… u need both parents signature. She loved her little girl with all her heart and was lookign for her.. i have read comments all over the internet saying that the bio mum must not have loved her or gave a shit , but this is far from the truth… adam took off with this lil angel not letting the mother see her…. some one needs to also look into her passport application and find out how she was able to leave australia tpo begin with… if her wasnt invloved in the dissapearance ( doubtful) it his fault she was there to begin with”

» biomum said: { Oct 24, 2010 – 09:10:50 }

aussie girl, i have no idea who you are, but you are obviously someone close to me and I thank you for speaking the truth when I have not been strong enough to have a public voice.

I am the biological mother (only mother) of this beautiful angel. aussie girl has stated the most important point, I have never stopped loving Zahra, and never will. nor did a day go by that I, and my family, didn’t try in someway to find her. I am here to clear up a simple fact while I am having a day that I feel strong enough to.

*I have not stepped up to the media for my “15mins of fame” , as some have referred to it, because the last 11 years of MY life are irrelevant, the truth of Adam and his hurtful and manipulative ways will come out in time.. what IS relevant is finding Zahra and putting her to rest with some dignity.

while i have read some very “interesting” theories about what has happened, i would hope that none of these horrible things are true. I cannot fathom the possibility of my daughter going through things that would never even enter my night terrors, and if i had known where she was, and what was being done to her, I would have taken her away immediately.

i can only send out my greatest appreciation to every single person who has spent so many hours away from their own families to help bring these monsters to justice, and many thanks to all the people who have had such beautiful words to say about a daughter I was never given the chance to know.

please keep praying they find her. I am not not holding onto any hope of her being alive, I have to accept the reality of what these monsters have done. but please pray her body is found and she can be shown respect and dignity by those who really do, and will always, love her.

let each and every one of our tears lead them one step closer to the truth.



» biomum said: { Oct 27, 2010 - 09:10:16 }

All I can do from back in Australia is sit on the internet all day trying to piece things together. I have my passport ready to go, but I’m just waiting for the right time to fly over, & right now I would just be getting in the way, and Chief Deal (my rock) has agreed I’m best here with my family at this stage. My saving grace is when my children get home from school, and I shift my focus onto them. They know the situation, and are so supportive, giving more hugs and kisses than i can sometimes handle.

I am all barr living on this site, and love seeing that so many people out there are trying their hardest to make some sense of this god awful mess. Being that you are all that bit more level headed than me at this point, there have been several senarios/details I have not even thought about, and as differing as some of your opinions are, most of your theories are possible.

I am upset that it was even possible for AB to even be bonded out, and even more worried than ever that he now has an opportunity to flee (whether he would try or not I don’t know). When I received the call early this morning (just after lunch in the US?) that it MAY be Zahra’s prosthesis, I was so glad that their search was one step closer to the truth, but that thought is waring off now, that is not necessarily reality.

I look forward to keeping track of all your ideas, many of them give me so much hope that the search is not too far from the end. And thanks to all of you from the US who are helping me understand the different LE strategies used over there.

Lets hope that our beautiful angel has the strength to lead us to her, and then she can finally rest in peace.

biomum said: { Oct 28, 2010 - 12:10:58 }

to those who are understandably skepical of me, and/or my “story”, it is a long story, as you could imagine, and I do understand all your questions. you do need to bare with me though. While it is easy for you to all cast doubt on my situation, and make judgement on what you believe to know, it is not that easy for me to live through the pain of this whole situation, and also relive the emotions of when she was first taken from my life.

I’ll make things short and sweet as I can…

*the media has stated I have not Zahra since she was 8mths old – false (and I do have photo evidence to prove that, when I am more comfortable with the public knowing who I am)

*My relationship with Adam with full of manipulation and mental & emotion abuse which left me an empty shell of who I was. Once Zahra was born I suffered severe post natal depression, and that was worsened when I finally gained the strength to leave him and was left to try and raise Zahra on my own. I could barely look after myself, let alone a baby (as much as I wanted to), so Zahra began living with Adam (I assumed he would at least treat his daughter well). We had discussed it so that I could see her whenever I could while I got back on my feet, and then she would come back to live with me. This never happened…

One day I had gotten a lift from a friend to Adam’s to see Zahra, and when we arrived at his unit is was empty, no furniture, no nothing. He had up and left with her without notifying me. I went to the police, but because there were no custody orders in place at the time it was not regarded a crime, and they could not really help me, so it was up to me to try and find her.

*after a lot of searching, and legal advice, I managed to track down Adam and get custody papers drawn up and put through the courts, which were finalised 9th July 2001. These stated that Zahra was to reside with Adam in Newcastle (7hrs from me) but was basically “joint custody”. I was to have her school holidays, anytime throughout the year in 4 day blocks etc, and we were to (and I quote the custody papers) “have joint responsibility for the long term care, welfare and development of the child”. I got to see her once, and he disappeared again.

*It has been 8 years since I have seen her, and yes I now have 2 more children which are my everything. What I have never had is endless funds to keep paying solicitors to keep tracking him down. Here in Australia you can easily hide if you want to, our privacy laws are amazingly strict.

*I was not told she was sick until 2007, and then the person to notify me was told by Adam not to notify of their whereabouts, or her illness, but this person felt that was wrong and told me Zahra was in Queensland and very ill. As soon as I was made aware I applied for her medical records which I regularly updated, but once again privacy laws prevented me from knowing where she was, except for the state.

*In 2008 i finally hit on an article with a pic of her from a cancer camp, while it let me know she was doing ok, it was no help as to anymore detail.

*Assuming there was no way she was out of the country, I refined my searches to Australia, which is why I never found anything after that one article, it seems she had been taken to the US…..

*They are claiming they the bakers) and the authourities tried to contact me when leaving the country but failed, but this is also false. I have payed child support to her every single week since she left my custody, I recieve a family allowance for my other children, and zahra is also linked to my medicare card. All these things are provided by government agencies so I am easily found, unlike themselves….

I hope this is enough to keep you skeptics happy, because it has hurt me like hell bringing it all up. While I don’t feel I should have to explain myself to the world, I have had enough of people passing judgement (and harshly) on something they know absolutely nothing about, and at a time when my emotions are already running wild.

Now please just let me grieve for my daughter, and for all the lost chances I never had with her. I am more eager than anyone for this truth to come out, so lets finally shift our focus to that.

biomum said: { Oct 28, 2010 - 12:10:51 }

rereading my last post, I do apologise for the tone I took by the end. I don’t want to attack anybody, nor do I want to come across as someone I’m not. This whole thing has my head in all sorts of places. one minute I’m crying and the next I just want to break something. I guess the subject of Adam makes me feel more of the latter.

I do understand all of your confusion, th media confuse matters and Adam has never done anything but lie.

Please accept my apology, and I hope the info I have given you has made things a little clearer. I also hope that none of you mind the occassional rant from me on here…

biomum said: { Oct 28, 2010 - 06:10:04 }

it seems I have woken with no more news than when I went to sleep. With the time difference between Australia and the US I have had a lot of reading to do this morning. Since finding this blog site, and reading all your writings, I haven’t felt so alone or lost. Being so far away, hearing things from those of you that are local makes me feel that bit closer to everything.

I want to thank (name left out) for her support through this. It is true that this is the only place I have been making posts, or any comments. I’m not sure why exactly, but after reading the educated discussion before making my first posting, I had this feeling of safety and compassion, but also honesty without being offensive. As she said, I am happy for you to ask me questions, and if I am up to it I will answer them best I can. I am finding helping you all to understand quite cathartic, and makes me want to do something other than cry and sleep.

*I noticed that a lot of you are curious about Child Support. There are a few ways you can pay your CS payments in Australia, in this case I make automatic payments to the Child Support Agency (CSA, which is federal) and they then electronically transfer it to his nominated account. Our federal Privacy Act prevents he or I from gaining each others details, but (for example) if DFAT (dept of foreign affairs & trading) were to need to find me to give authourity for Zahra’s passport, then as a Gov agency they could access it. (as far as I have been made aware).

I was in contact with CSA earlier this week, and he has not breached their guidelines by going to the US, as the US is an “affiliate country”, or something along those lines. And as I was finding this out, they also made me aware that when they were made aware of her “disappearance”, they automatically put a hold on my payments as of the date she was reported missing.

*As for Adam himself… I must admit that I have always been drawn to the “bad boy” facade, but note “facade”. I was 18 when I met him, and as far as I know he had no criminal record. I was fully aware of some “mischief” he had, and was, getting up to, but thats all it was, teenage trouble making. My mum and sister warned me of what they were seeing, but as they say “love is blind”. next thing I knew I had no contact with my mum and sister, and for some reason believed they were just trying to not let me be happy. I had lost contact with my friends, and was pregnant and living at his mothers house.

Looking back with older, more worldly eyes, it is easy for me to see the manipulation and all the signs, but we all know what they say about hindsight…. I still didn’t know the complete truth until the week Zahra went missing, this month. My mum and sister had not told me, all those years ago, that while I was in labour with Zahra, Adam and his mother wouldn’t even let them in to see me. Even after her birth it was him and his mother. My mother and sister have felt all these years that she was never going to be mine, she was always going to “belong” to the Bakers. That hurt to find out, and I feel so much pain for them. I understand why they would not tell me that, but it must have been so hard for them to keep that inside for so many years.
As for what happened in detail, I will leave that for another post. I am just spewing out information as it wants to come out, so sorry if I ramble. I have never really told this complete story to anyone, even my friends all have just a little piece each.

I think I need a break, and umpteen more cups of coffee. I will be making several posts today, simply because I am feeling more and more comfortable with you all, and the more I seem to release in this “anonomous” way, the less fear I have of the media when I do get to the US….

keep up the awesome investigative work, you are all wonderful for caring so very much hugs to you all.
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PostSubject: Re: ZAHRA CLAIRE BAKER   Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:03 am

post to biomum { Oct 28, 2010 - 09:10:16 }: "Early on it was stated briefly in news articles that Zahra’s biological mother had only recently found her “within the past 2 weeks” prior to her going missing."

biomum said: { Oct 28, 2010 - 09:10:06 }


it was this timing that had me in complete disbelief. Was it karma/Fate that brought me back to Zahra now, to help fight for her..? or was it my finding her that could have triggered these events? these are questions I have tried to stop asking myself because I was driving myself into a very dark and miserable place.
I understand that some hteories as to what happened are horrific, and noone wants to think of them as a reality, but it is these things I, and my family have to prepare ourselves for. In this circumstance, if we don’t accept the worst now we will never handle when whatever truth is revealed.


there is one point I do ant to put “on record”, that to me is very important. While I am far from a fan of the Bakers, I do have to give some appreciation and thanks to Karen, GM. From what I can understand of Zahra’s medical records, it was Karen who nursed her trhough her cancers, and was te one to take her to most of her Physio appointments etc. while I despise the fact she had part in keeping Zahra from me, I thank her for being there during some of Zahra’s worst times.

post to biomum { Oct 28, 2010 - 09:10:51 }:
Can you go back and look at your message you got from Karen saying NO to your request to communicate with Zahra and tell us what date she responded NO to you? Please?


biomum said: { Oct 28, 2010 - 09:10:07 }
I have had no communication with Karen, it was through my god friend and her mother. Karen would have nothing to do with me, and actually proceeded to “badmouth” me to my friend….


I can’t remember the day I got the response, as it was via “facebook chat”, but I got a text from my friend on Oct 12, and she was upset because of the horrible things karen had been saying about me, and was feeling heartbroken at the fact she had to break the news to me about Zahra’s disappearance.


Zahra in 2000





Zahra in 2001



Such an adorbale little girl.

biomum said: { Oct 28, 2010 - 09:10:11 }

after several of those previously mentioned coffees, and watching some Ellen (who I love btw, she always makes me laugh regardless of what’s going on), I am back with some more rambling…
it had been pointed out that maybe I should explain how I found out Zahra was in the US the week before all this mess started. I will do this, but please understand, even I had trouble believing that I found her the way I did… It is a “6 degrees” situation which absolutely dumbfounded me…
before I do this I just wanna answer a couple of simpler questions that have been asked…
firstly someone asked about the brother who went to the US with AB’s mum… well he only has younger brothers so that answers that…

secondly, I did see someone ask about if AB is innocent why is he not filing for divorce.. not that I want to explain his unforgivable actions to anyone, but if hey were married in Australia (as has been said) they have to be legally seperated for 12mths before they can be divorced. I am not aware of any “loopholes” in that requirement, but it is a way of our government minimising our divorce rate, not that it necessarily works. Also i’m not sure how it would be initiated being that they are both residing in the US.

Now, to how I finally found my baby.
to get the most unbelievable part out of the way, I will just use the word FACEBOOK…

As I have said previously, my family and I were constantly searching the internet for Zahra and any of the Bakers. I had put their names into FB, MySpace and Bebo many times before and only come to dead ends. Now, I don’t know whether these people thought I had given up, or just plainly “slipped up”, but on October 5th I was doing my usual search and up came a Karen baker on FB that I had not seen before (no profile pic). I clicked on her name and she had a private profile, but I could see her friends list, I thought i would go through that to se if any of the family that I knew was on there… (over the years I have become somewhat of a PI, and found ways around things). next thing I’m not knowing what to do because I found her youngest sons name, Adam, and Karen’s sister (who he first ran to when h left Wagga with Zahra). I knew I had the right profile… I didn’t understand why I had searched for Adam on there before and never found him, but that was because I limited the search to Aust, which I would soon find out was not the best idea.

Next came the real shock, which threw be back about 20 paces. Also on Karens friends list I found the mother of one of my best friends (who had moved to adelaide, in another state). Of course my first reaction was to get paranaoid and think it was kept from me, but thinking again I realised my friend was not that hurtful, so I “inboxed” her with the situation, and I got response of shock, amazement, and excitement taht she had known the family all this time and just not put it all together over the years, because i never really mentioned Adam’s family, only Zahra. The connection started making sense, both my friends father and AB’s father had both been in the same military core and had been at the same base in Wagga just after Adam had run off with her.

This all happened mid morning, and by that night my friend had arranged with her mother to email me some updated pics she had of Zahra. I didn’t wanna believe any of it, but then I received the email I just looked and cried. I just could not stop crying. I was looking at my own childhood photos, and then as I kept looking I found ones that looked just like my other daughter who is with me… it was amazing… I’m bawling now remember those feelings…. here was this beaautiful young girl, smiling, looking so happy. I had absolutely no reason to think she was anything other than happy and well cared for.

Then came the news, that they had moved to the US 2 years ago. I couldn’t believe it. they didn’t know where. I was just staring at the pics wondering how the hell to find out where she was and how they did this when i noticed in one pic she was hold a certificate from school, so I zoomed in and it said “Granite Falls Elementary School”. I was straight onto google and then all of a sudden, by expanding my search there were pics of her from when she received her hearing aid, and again she looked so happy and content.

I asked a favour of my friend and her mother, to ask Karen if we could find a way to communicate, if even by email, to find out what was going on. The response to this was a flat out NO, which I guess didn’t really suprise me. I then sent the emails to my sister and mother (who are now 6hrs from me as I only recently moved), and Zahra’s godmaother. they were also understanbly exstatic… we had found her

That amazing high was extremely short lived. I was walking on clouds, everything looked more colourful, I couldn’t stop smiling and then I got a phonecall from the friend who got me the pics, I was assuming with more good news, I so very wrong….

all i remember was hearing “she’s missing”, and I didn’t understand. she wasn’t missing becuase we’d just found her, she wasn’t missing anymore. She told me to get online and I would understand, to type in her name like I usually would….. I still didn’t understand. had Adam somehow found out I knew where there were and concocted some elaborate prank to throw me off…. was it all mistaken identity… was it a different Zahra Baker from Australia….. I can’t explain what i was feeling, it think I just went numb, I can’t really rememebr to be honest. I had just found her, she COULD NOT be missing.

I rang my sister and told her to “google” zahra and she could barely understand me. Not thinking that she was at work I just kept telling her to search for her that she was missing and it was everywhere…. I don’t think I still really understood what it was all saying. She wen to shock immedately aswell and we were both making no sense…

Once I had finished that call I had to somehow tell my mother. This was gonna be a hard one as she was in hospital recovering from fluid on her lungs, turn out it was the best place for her, as they ended up “assisting” her to calm done. She broke my heart, she just kept saying, “but no, we just got her back, we just got her back. how can they take her away again..”" I t was so hard being away from them and having to break this horrible news…

as we all know things \have just gotten worse from there. Hearing them remove the amber alert and change it to a homocide…… how to handle that? ther eis no book to tell you what to do. there are no pamphlets telling you what to do next.. I just curled up in a ball and cried. I cried from the physical pain that I was feeling, from the anger that someone could do this to her, for my mother and sister who were so far away, and at that point, and of anger with myself, that I had somehow let this happen.
I’m sorry, excuse my rambling… I’m off to pull myself back together…..again thank you


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