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 ZAHRA CLAIRE BAKER

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sanny
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PostSubject: More Evidence Taken From Home   Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:23 am

More evidence taken from home


Investigators working around the clock








Credit: ROBERT C. REED / RECORD
Doug Dupell street maintinence supervisor for City of Hickory and Hickory Police Investigator Rob Burwell sift through mulch at the home Zahra Baker for the second day in a row.

By Richard Gould
Published: October 29, 2010


HICKORY --


Investigators spent the 20th day of the Zahra Baker search digging through piles of firewood brush and mulch behind the small brick house where the 10-year-old was last seen alive.

About a dozen investigators including officers from the Hickory Police Department, FBI, SBI and K-9 teams converged to conduct a thorough search of the house at 21 21st Ave. NW and the home’s backyard.

Hickory’s Street Maintenance Supervisor Doug Dupel used a backhoe to gently scrape through layer after layer of mulch and chipped limbs in the backyard of the house the Bakers rented. Hickory investigators David Rockett and Rob Burwell spent the day shifting through leaves and mulch in the back yard with rakes.

They used pink flags to mark where they’d been.

“It’s right there. It’s right where your stick is,” Dupel said.

The investigators stopped digging while Inv. Mike Beach shot a picture of the item then got a plastic evidence bag about the size of a Ziploc sandwich bag. He labeled the bag, tucked a piece of evidence inside and stowed it in the back of his Crime Scene Investigations SUV.

The scene was repeated throughout the day.

Investigators conducted a similarly thorough search of the Burke County site where Real Tree Services, the company where Zahra’s father Adam Baker worked, on Oct. 12, three days after Zahra was reported missing.

It is unclear why investigators have returned their focus to the family home, an area that has been searched multiple times since Oct. 9.

“This investigation has taken several turns since Zahra was reported missing,” said Chief Tom Adkins of the Hickory Police Department. “Information uncovered during the investigation brought us back here. We’ll follow it until the lead is exhausted.”

He was not specific about what investigators were searching for.

“We’re looking for any evidence that may be associated with this case,” Adkins said. “We’re going to take whatever time we need to complete the search.”

Jennie Bost lives next door to the Bakers and said it’s been difficult living beside an active crime scene.

“Having this go on next door, it’s been a nightmare,” she said. “I hope she’s found. I’ve given up hoping she’s alive.”

Bost said she also never saw Zahra—or any other children—at the house

When investigators began digging in the Bakers’ yard Wednesday, Bost said there was one area she thought investigators wouldn’t find anything – on the property line between Bost and the Bakers, Bost said that’s where Baker removed two tree stumps.

“It was about three or four weeks ago when Adam chewed those stumps up,” Bost said. “I saw him, and knew he only chewed up those tree stumps.”

Zahra’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, remains in the Catawba County jail under a $97,200 secured bond. She was charged with obstruction of justice following her Oct. 12 confession to investigators that she’d written a fake ransom note demanding $1 million. She has also been charged with more than a dozen additional crimes unrelated to Zahra’s disappearance stemming from nine arrest warrants served on Oct. 10.

Attorney Scott Reilly is representing Baker on her current charges. Attorney Lisa Dubs has been provisionally assigned to the case in anticipation of possible murder charges against Baker.

She has communicated with police investigators through her attorneys and has accompanied them to multiple search areas.

Adam Baker turned himself in at the Hickory Police Department at 3:12 a.m. Monday. He was arrested on charges unrelated to the disappearance of his daughter and jailed under a $7,000 secured bond. The charges include five counts of worthless checks and failure to appear.

Baker bonded out of jail Wednesday after bondswoman Rebecca Potter of Plan B Bail Bonds posted his bail. His attorney is Mark Killian, who practices locally. There has been no provisional attorney appointed by North Carolina Indigent Defense Services, as with Elisa Baker.
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PostSubject: Warrants served on Adam Baker while in Jail & Upcoming court dates   Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:44 am

Warrants served on Adam Baker while in jail








Credit: Catawba County Jail
Adam Baker

By Sarah Newell williamson
Published: October 30, 2010



HICKORY --


While Adam Baker was in jail for several warrants that Hickory police served from Caldwell County, he was also served with outstanding warrants from Catawba County, as well.

On Monday, police arrested Baker, 33, after he voluntarily came in for an interview at about 3:15 a.m. He was arrested for five counts of worthless checks, three counts of communicating threats and one count of failure to return rental property. The charges all stemmed from incidents in Caldwell County.

“At the time, we knew about the warrants in Catawba County and intended to serve (those) to him at the same time,” said Capt. Thurman Whisnant with the Hickory Police Department. “However, those are paper copies and we had to wait for the clerk’s office to open up.”

Baker was served with the Catawba County warrants, which are for four counts of worthless checks, while he was in jail, Whisnant said. Baker bonded out of jail Wednesday afternoon.

Baker is the father of missing 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker. Zahra was first reported missing on Oct. 9 by her father, Adam, although Hickory police believe she’s been missing longer than that. Zahra was last seen by someone outside of the family on Sept. 25 at a furniture store in Hickory. Zahra was in the store with her stepmother, Elisa Baker.

Elisa, 42, is currently in jail for writing a false ransom note, in which she demanded $1 million. Police charged Elisa with obstruction of justice. She has also been arrested 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 areas have been searched for Zahra or for evidence in connection with her disappearance, including a landfill in Caldwell County, the Bakers’ Hickory home and several properties near where the Bakers used to live in Caldwell County.







Adam T. Baker’s upcoming court dates

Caldwell County, Nov. 18

-Worthless check

-Failure to return property on which there is a purchase option

-Communicating threats

-Communicating threats, assault with a deadly weapon

-Worthless check

-Worthless check

-Worthless check

-Worthless check



Catawba County, Nov. 19

-Worthless check

-Worthless check

-Worthless check

-Worthless check
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PostSubject: Elisa Baker in court for worthless checks & Upcoming court dates   Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:46 am

Elisa Baker in court for worthless checks


Baker has more than 20 counts in several counties still pending against her.








Credit: ROBERT C. REED / RECORD
Elisa Baker at a previous court date.

By Sarah Newell williamson
Published: October 30, 2010


NEWTON --


Elisa Baker did not appear in court on Friday alongside her attorney, Scott Reilly. He asked to be appointed as Baker’s attorney for her worthless check charges in Catawba County.

Reilly already represents Baker on the charge of felony obstruction of justice in the case of Baker’s missing 10-year-old stepdaughter, Zahra. Baker admitted to writing a false ransom note, asking for $1 million.

Zahra was first reported missing on Oct. 9 by her father, Adam Baker. Zahra, a cancer survivor, lost her lower left leg to the illness, as well as part of her hearing. Her prosthetic leg was not found at the home when she was reported missing, but her two hearing aids were. Someone outside of the family last saw Zahra on Sept. 25. Zahra’s disappearance has turned into a homicide investigation, with investigators searching several locations in Caldwell, Burke and Catawba counties. Most of the spots are related to where the Bakers used to live.

Baker was scheduled for court Friday for seven counts of worthless checks: four under her married name, Elisa Baker, and three under another name she sometimes uses, Elisa Young. The worthless check charges Baker was due in court for on Friday were:

$64.88, Fresh Air Galaxy

$136.49, Food Lion

$122.47, Food Lion

$158.04, Food Lion

$243.53, Walmart

$80.98, Walmart

$110.57, Walmart

Baker also is facing one count of failure to return rental property to Aaron’s Sales and Lease Ownership, a rent-to-own store, under the name of Elisa Young. Some of the offenses date back to 2002.

Judge Amy Sigmon appointed Reilly on Friday to be Baker’s attorney for these charges.

Baker is also facing several worthless check charges in Caldwell County. Reilly said it hadn’t been discussed yet if he would be her attorney in those cases, but said for efficiency’s sake and because it’s the same judicial district, it would be prudent for him to represent Baker on those charges, as well.

Baker, 42, is currently in jail on a $97,200 bond. Her next court date for the Catawba County worthless check charges is Dec. 17.





Elisa A. Baker’s upcoming court dates

-Nov. 1: Burke County, worthless check, Elisa A. Proctor

-Nov. 3: Catawba County, felony obstruction of justice, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, driving while license revoked; fictitious/revoked registration card/tag, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, operating a vehicle with no insurance, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, misdemeanor fraud disposal of mortgage property, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, driving while license revoked, unsafe tires, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, failure to return rental property on which there is a purchase option, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, misdemeanor communicating threats, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, misdemeanor communicating threats, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, misdemeanor communicating threats, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, misdemeanor communicating threats, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, worthless check, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, worthless check, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, worthless check, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, worthless check, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, worthless check, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 18: Caldwell County, worthless check, Elisa A. Baker

-Nov. 23: Lincoln County, worthless check, Elisa A. Young

-Nov. 29: Alexander County, driving while license revoked, Elisa A. Young
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PostSubject: Illegal dump sites searched again   Sat Oct 30, 2010 12:49 am

Illegal dump sites searched again








Credit: ROBERT C. REED / RECORD
Caldwell County Detective B.J. Fore confers with Hickory Investigator J.B. Wikes and Crime Scene Investigator Mike Beach on Friday October 22, 2010, at the intersection of Pine Mountain Road and Christie Road. A prosthetic leg was found in the brush off Christie Road in Caldwell County Tuesday during the search for evidence in the Zahra Baker case.

By Richard Gould
Published: October 30, 2010


HUDSON --


Hickory investigators spent Friday searching near the area where they found Zahra Baker’s prosthetic leg Tuesday.

Investigators were checking wooded areas, illegal dump areas and walking along Christie Road about half a mile from Pine Mountain Road, said Caldwell County Sheriff Alan Jones.

“We’ve got about 20 to 25 people down there—about what we had here the other day,” said Detective B.J. Fore of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. “They’ve (the Hickory Police Department) asked us to assist, so that’s what we’re doing.”

Deputies manned roadblocks at either end of the 3-mile road. Fore said residents were allowed to go to their homes, but general traffic was blocked to keep officers safe as they searched because the road is very narrow.

The search was similar to the one officers performed Tuesday.

“It hasn’t changed much,” Jones said. “They wanted to come back and take another look at the area.”

While investigators searched, Hickory police officers patrolled outside the Baker’s house at 21 21st Ave. NW in Hickory. The house and yard are ringed with yellow crime scene tape and access to the site is tightly controlled.

The Christie Road search ended at about 3 p.m. Friday and the 1.8-mile road was re-opened to traffic.

The main search area is about half a mile from the Pine Mountain Road and Christie Road intersection.

The brush alongside the road had been cut down Tuesday and cut limbs lay amid piles of trash.

A smell of rotting flesh was strong at the site and piles of small bones were interspersed with bottles, tires and garbage.

Five small animal skulls were scattered near a creek that runs through the property.

A rusted yellow gate with a stop sign hung from it was padlocked and posted no trespassing signs were plentiful.

Police are expected to return to the Baker’s Hickory home to continue their search in the future.
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PostSubject: Search for Zahra Baker resumes in Caldwell   Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:42 pm

Search for Zahra Baker resumes in Caldwell


From WCNC-TV reports
Posted: Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010



Slideshow
« Prev of 4Next »






  • Zahra Baker


  • Lt. Bobby Grace, center, points to an area of interest in the backyard of Zahra Baker, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010 in Hickory, N.C.. Authorities were trying to determine whether a prosthetic leg investigators have found is that of a missing North Carolina girl, police said Wednesday.
  • A. Baker


  • E. Baker


More Information






LENOIR Officers investigating the disappearance of 10-year-old Zahra Baker returned Friday to the location where they found a prosthetic leg earlier in the week.
Investigators expanded a search area along Christie Road outside of Hudson.
The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office would not say why searchers returned to that area.
Zahra Baker, who was reported missing on Oct. 9, wore a prosthetic leg. Police are awaiting medical records to see if the leg found earlier this week matches the missing girl's.
Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, was scheduled to be back in court Friday, but the case was continued until Dec. 17. Baker, who remains in jail, was to appear in Catawba County court on charges of writing worthless checks.
Baker's attorney, Scott Reilly, said in court Friday that he will be representing Baker for all charges against her, including the obstruction of justice charge she faces after police say she wrote a phony ransom note in her stepdaughter's disappearance.
Elisa Baker is now cooperating with police in the search for Zahra.
Investigators will not say if Baker provided the information that led them to Caldwell County, where they found the prosthetic leg.
For several days, investigators have been digging in the backyard of the Baker home in Hickory. On Thursday, investigators used a backhoe to turn over piles of dirt, mulch and wood chips before using rakes and hands to look for clues.
Hickory police Chief Tom Adkins would not say what investigators hoped to find, only that they returned to the house based on new information that had been provided to them.
Zahra's father, Adam Baker, made bail and left Catawba County Jail Wednesday, where he'd been held on charges unrelated to his daughter's disappearance.

**CharlotteObserver
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PostSubject: For Zahra, life in Australia was smiles, survival, family and friends   Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:37 pm

For Zahra, life in Australia was smiles, survival, family and friends








Credit: Photo supplied to the Townsville Bulletin
Zahra Baker during her Camp Quality trip with soldiers from B Squadron, 3rd/4th Cavalry regiment from Townsville's Lavarack Barracks.

By Monte Mitchell

Published: October 31, 2010
Updated: October 31, 2010 - 5:56 PM



(This is the first of a two-part series about Zahra Baker's life)

By Monte Mitchell
MEDIA GENERAL NEWS SERVICE
Giru, the former home of Zahra Baker, is a tiny Australian town that started as a railroad siding on the sugar line.
The Haughton River there draws people who fish for giant barramundi, and many of the houses are built on poles because of occasional flooding.
But above all, Giru is a sugar mill town. Cane fields take over where backyards end, and the giant CSR Invicta Sugar Mill crushes 3 million tons of sugar cane each year.
The sugar mill was the reason Zahra’s family wound up in Giru, a town of less than 400 people in Queensland’s northwest edge.
She had some hard years there, fighting bone cancer first and then tumors in her lungs.
But Giru must have seemed like heaven to Zahra, compared to the hell she endured when her father brought her to North Carolina to live with her new stepmother.
Millions of people in the United States and Australia have come to know 10-year-old Zahra’s freckled face and cute grin during the ongoing ordeal of her disappearance and presumed murder.
But even in the Giru years, before all this happened, Zahra was a bit of a celebrity because of the plucky spirit with which she met cancer.
Kim Wright, 44, of Giru, was sitting in a chair waiting for her head to be shaved four years ago at a cancer fundraiser when Zahra approached her. Zahra, then just 6 years old, was already a cancer survivor.
She took Wright’s hand and told her not to be scared.
That struck up a friendship.
When her health worsened, and Zahra was very sick and in a children’s hospital waiting to have her left leg amputated above the knee, she talked to Wright by telephone.
“It’s OK, because I’m going to be getting a Barbie leg so I don’t want you to be upset,” Zahra told Wright.
A few months later in 2007, doctors found tumors in Zahra’s lungs.
Wendy Wieck, of Toowomba, in southeast Queensland, met Zahra when Zahra and Wieck’s daughter were both receiving treatment at the Royal Brisbane Children’s Hospital in 2007. Between rounds of chemotherapy, the two girls did their homework together and played.
Zahra adjusted to the loss of her lower leg.
“She was always hopping around on her crutches flat out through the ward and was always full of life, energy and always happy considering the illness she had been fighting,” Wieck said. “My husband and I used to marvel at the obvious love her dad and grandma had for her and how they had both put their lives on hold to help her with her treatments.”
Zahra’s father, Adam Baker, who is now 33, had moved to Giru in 2004 for a job at the Invicta mill, where his father and brother also got jobs. Adam’s mother, Karen Baker, looked after her granddaughter.
Adam Baker told friends that Zahra’s biological mother hadn’t been part of Zahra’s life since the little girl was about eight months old. Zahra was born in 2000 in Wagga Wagga, a town in New South Wales, midway between Australia’s two largest cities of Sydney and Melbourne.
The devotion showed by Adam Baker and Karen Baker in the hospital was rewarded with good news. The treatments had stopped the tumors in Zahra’s lungs. But there was another price to pay: the treatments led to a partial hearing loss.
The community and Giru State School raised money for a wheelchair for Zahra, and for a laptop computer so she could do schoolwork from home.
Not long before she and her father left Australia to move to North Carolina with a woman he’d met online, Zahra wound up in the pages of the Townsville Bulletin. Townsville is a city of about 180,000 on the northeast coast of Australia about 35 miles from Giru.
“They don’t make them much tougher than little Zahra Baker,” wrote reporter Jessica Johnston on Sept. 22, 2008. “The eight-year-old Giru girl has overcome more challenges than most people would in a lifetime, but nothing could wipe the smile off the bubbly youngster’s face yesterday.”
The accompanying photo showed Zahra wearing a big helmet, perched on an armored vehicle of the Australian army and giving two thumbs up.
Her grandmother said Zahra’s face lit up when she saw the soldiers.
“Her eyes couldn’t have been any bigger,” Karen Baker said. “She loves the whole army business. The picture tells the whole story, she handles everything with a smile. She has been on camp a couple of years ago, but she hadn’t been well enough to go again until this year.”
The experience was offered courtesy of the military and Camp Quality, a national charity for children with cancer.
“She was the life of any camp we went on, the kids loved her,” said Camp Quality’s North Queensland manager Mark McGregor. “Other kids were so inspired by her enthusiasm and her fight to live against all odds.”
He remembers what she said when other kids asked her how she could do the ropes course on one leg.
‘Because I want to,” Zahra said.
Nikki Hay, a teacher’s aide in the town of Mackay, has a daughter who was a friend and fellow cancer patient with Zahra at Camp Quality.
She remembers seeing Zahra scoot around on her crutches on a trip to Airlie Beach in the Whitsundays region, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef.
After one of the camps, she printed out some photos her daughter had wanted to send to Zahra.
Hay called Zahra’s grandmother and asked how she was.
“She was so upset,” Hay said. “She explained to me that her son had remarried and they had taken off overseas quite abruptly and she didn’t have any idea exactly where they were.”
Hay told her story in an e-mail to Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins recently. Hay is one of the many people in Australia gripped by the mystery and tragedy of what has happened to Zahra.
“I want to thank you and your police department for all the fantastic efforts that your team is doing to find answers,” she wrote. “I hope that you find Zahra so her grandmother can have closure.”
Zahra’s father had hit it off with a Hickory woman, the former Elisa Fairchild. They met on IMVU.com, an online community where people interact with each other in the form of 3-D avatars.
She was a 40-something woman who called herself a gothic fairy, and selected an avatar with red angel wings and a stylish gown to go with his online persona, which was clad in a black duster with bat-wings.
She told friends he was her soulmate, the one she wanted to spend her life with, the one who made her smile when she heard or spoke his name.
“who says long distance relationships dont work,” she wrote on her MySpace page, which was adorned with skulls and crossbones and backed by the thumping music of Rob Zombie’s song “Living Dead Girl.”
The relationship moved from the virtual to Giru, when Elisa went to visit in 2008.
In Giru, the Bakers’ friend Kim Wright thought that Elisa wasn’t telling the truth about who she was.
She claimed to be a police officer shot in the line of duty. She said she was a bounty hunter.
“She had a lot of stories that never quite rang true,” Wright said.
They married in July 2008 in the backyard of Adam’s parent’s house in Giru, not far from the sugar mill. That November, they moved some 10,000 miles to North Carolina.
Zahra didn’t want to leave her grandparents and friends, Wright said.
She hugged Zahra and told her she’d get to go to Disneyland.
But life here in America for Zahra was anything but a happy time.
Her life turned traumatic soon after she arrived. When she asked for a bicycle, stepmother Elisa Baker exacted a heavy price.
The Associated Press and The Townsville Bulletin contributed to this report.
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PostSubject: Investigators comb through Baker house   Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:22 am

Investigators comb through Baker house








Credit: ROBERT C. REED / RECORD
A Bible lies among stuffed toy animals at the shrine to Zahra Baker at her residence on 21st Avenue NW, Sunday afternoon.

By Richard Gould
Published: November 01, 2010



HICKORY --


Hickory investigators returned to the Baker house Sunday afternoon. They spent hours alongside SBI agents combing through the modest brick home where Zahra Baker was reported missing on Oct. 9.

“Hickory’s lead investigators are going back in to look inside again,” said Chief Tom Adkins of the Hickory Police Department.

The home and yard have been searched multiple times during the 23-day search as officers have worked to find the 10-year-old girl.

Cars drove slowly down the residential street and people craned their necks to see what the investigators were doing and to look at the makeshift shrine in the front yard.

Two SBI agents holding garbage bags walked to the shrine at the base of the oak tree in front of the house. They reached in the bags, pulled out toy plush animals and notes that had been left for Zahra and arranged them in front of the tree.

A second shrine has appeared in recent days at the bottom of the family’s mailbox in front of the house because the crime scene tape ringing the property has limited access to the original memorial.

Zahra’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, remains in the Catawba County jail under a $97,200 secured bond. She was charged with obstruction of justice following her Oct. 12 confession to investigators that she’d written a fake ransom note demanding $1 million. She has also been charged with more than a dozen additional crimes unrelated to Zarha’s disappearance stemming from arrest warrants served on Oct. 10.

Attorney Scott Reilly is representing Baker on her current charges. Attorney Lisa Dubs has been provisionally assigned to the case in anticipation of possible murder charges against Baker.

Adam Baker turned himself in at the Hickory Police Department at 3:12 a.m. Monday. He was arrested on charges unrelated to the disappearance of his daughter and jailed under a $7,000 secured bond. The charges include five counts of worthless checks and failure to appear.

Baker bonded out of jail Wednesday.
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PostSubject: Searching for Zahra: Stepmother abused her, neighbors say (Part 2)   Mon Nov 01, 2010 9:12 am

Searching for Zahra: Stepmother abused her, neighbors say


MISSING GIRL, 10, IS BELIEVED DEAD




Next Image > < Previous Image


A cadaver dog sniffs through the backyard of the house where Zahra Baker lived with her father and stepmother in Hickory.

Credit: Media General news service file photo





  • A cadaver dog sniffs through the backyard of the house where Zahra Baker lived with her father and stepmother in Hickory. Credit: Media General news service file photo

  • Doug Dupell (left), Hickory’s street maintenance supervisor, and police investigator Rob Burwell dig at the Baker home. Credit: Media General news service file photo

  • Zahra Baker, 10, and her stepmother, Elisa Baker, at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May of this year. Credit: Media General news service file photo


  • Zahra Baker wanted a bicycle. It was last spring when she lived with her father and stepmother, Adam and Elisa Baker, in Country Manor Estates, a trailer park in Hudson, a community in Caldwell County. Credit: MEDIA GENERAL NEWS SERVICE



By Monte Mitchell, Richard Gould and Sarah Newell Williamson | MEDIA GENERAL NEWS SERVICE
Published: November 01, 2010


Second of two parts


Zahra Baker wanted a bicycle.

It was last spring when she lived with her father and stepmother, Adam and Elisa Baker, in Country Manor Estates, a trailer park in Hudson, a community in Caldwell County.

Neighbor Renee Bobbitt liked to watch her grandson and the other children play outside. Zahra, the 10-year-old girl with the Australian accent, joined right in despite the prosthetic leg she used after her left leg was amputated above the knee because of bone cancer.

“You’d see her on the one good leg, and she’d hop as fast as they could run,” Bobbitt said.

But Elisa Baker, who the neighbors knew as Lisa, didn’t think Zahra had made enough progress on her prosthetic to deserve a bicycle.

“She told her the only way she’d get a bicycle is if she learned to run,” Bobbitt said.
The Bakers’ rented single-wide trailer was on a sloped road that ends in a cul-de-sac.

The cul-de-sac is a place where everybody knows what’s going on. The trailers are close to each other, and people peer around their curtains if a strange car drives in. People step outside to smoke and talk and watch the kids play.

Neighbors saw Lisa Baker repeatedly making Zahra run up and down that hill. Sometimes it seemed to be for therapy; sometimes for punishment.

“I’ve seen her smack her a couple of times and (be) all up in her face because she wasn’t running,” Bobbitt said.

There was another side to Lisa Baker’s relationship with Zahra.

In May, Lisa Baker took Zahra to Charlotte Motor Speedway. In Victory Lane there, Speedway Children’s Charities and other groups delivered hearing aids to children and adults in need.

Although Zahra had lost her leg to bone cancer, her hearing loss came from treatment for tumors that had developed in her lungs. Her cancer was in remission, but the chemotherapy led to a partial hearing loss of high frequency sounds. She had difficulty hearing “s” and “f” sounds.

When a worker asked Zahra what happened to her leg, the 10-year-old Aussie joked: “An alligator ate it.”

Lisa Baker fought back tears as volunteers at the track showed Zahra how to use the hearing aids and racing legend Richard Petty stood nearby.

A hearing-resource teacher at Hudson Elementary School had suggested that the family try to get the hearing aids for Zahra through the Speedway Children’s Charities giveaway.

“(The teacher) said this would be a wonderful opportunity to open up other opportunities,” Lisa Baker said.
Moving to North Carolina

Zahra attended third grade at Hudson Elementary for the last several months of the 2009 school year. Adam Baker married Elisa in Australia in July 2008 and the couple moved to North Carolina, where Elisa Baker was from, in December 2008.

The single father and his future wife met in an online community where people use 3-D avatars to interact.
They lived with Elisa Baker’s father in Hickory until a falling out over money in the summer of 2009.

Adam, Elisa and Zhara moved into an apartment in Granite Falls in July 2009, and Zhara would spend most of the fourth grade at Granite Falls Elementary School.

In Granite Falls, the family lived on Congress Street in an apartment next door to apartment manager Shirley Mims and her husband, Darrell.
The Mimses were unaware that the couple even had a daughter.

“We saw the little girl when they moved in, but we didn’t see her no more after that,” Shirley Mims said. “When I saw the little girl, I assumed it was a grandchild or a visitor, because I never saw her again.”

A few weeks after they moved in, she started hearing Adam and Elisa Baker a lot.

“They fought verbally and physically with each other. You could hear it through the walls,” Mims said. “They’d even take it out into the parking lot.”

The Bakers were fighting so much one time that it knocked the pictures off the wall the Mimses shared with the Bakers, Mims said.

The fighting got so bad that Mims said she asked them to move out in early November 2009. In a day and a half, they were gone.
When the Mimses inspected, they found that the closet that provides access to the attic was missing its door, and the door to the cubbyhole into the attic had been taken off. The couple remembers hearing noises in the attic when the Bakers lived there, something they thought at the time might be squirrels.

“We don’t know for sure, but we think they kept her in the attic,” Darrell Mims said. “There were black shoe-sole prints all around the inside (of the door frame).”

“All the noises I heard in the attic must have been her, but I never heard them again after they left,” Shirley Mims said. “I can’t prove that’s what it was, but in my heart, that’s what I believe.”
She said she would have called authorities if she’d known that a child was living there in such conditions.
Family moved to trailer park
The family moved into the trailer park, but it’s not clear when.

In December 2009, the Bakers’ landlord at the trailer park served Adam Baker with an eviction notice saying that he owed $1,114 in back rent. The trailer rented for $115 a week, seeming to indicate that they had been living there and not paying for about two months, a time that would overlap with the time they were living at the apartment in Granite Falls.

But whenever they started living in the trailer park, Zahra returned to Hudson Elementary School in March 2010 to finish the fourth grade.

In the trailer park, Bobbitt watched Zahra play with the other children, playing ball, playing in the dirt.

“She was the sweetest little thing you’d ever want to meet,” Bobbitt said. “She was full of life.”

Bobbitt’s husband would walk down the hill to give the children candy. Zahra would hug him.

Bobbitt wouldn’t associate with the woman she knew as Lisa Baker because she didn’t like the way she treated Zahra. She said she saw her smack Zahra a couple of times. She saw Baker getting angry and in Zahra’s face because Zahra wasn’t running up that hill.

She thought about calling the Caldwell County Department of Social Services, but said others beat her to it, including officials at Hudson Elementary School.

When Zahra went to school with a black eye, school officials called DSS, neighbor Bobby Green said. He said he saw DSS workers in the trailer.

He said a concerned teacher provided Zahra with her home phone number and told her to call.

Neighbor Kayla Rotenberry said she saw Elisa Baker hit Zahra and noticed bruises on the girl’s face and body. She also said that Elisa Baker told her that Social Services was investigating.
“She was angry that people were getting into her business,” she said. “We all tried to stop her. That little girl was so sweet. Always smiling through it all. She just wanted to be loved.”

Neighbors said that Baker injured her hand when she was beating Zahra and hit the prosthetic leg. Baker told her husband she’d fallen and broken the hand, Bobbitt said.

Bobbitt said she saw DSS workers visit. “Lisa tried to tell them the chemotherapy was giving (Zahra) the black eyes,” Bobbitt said.

It was May 10 when Zahra and Elisa Baker went to Charlotte Motor Speedway to receive the hearing aids.

Two weeks later, on May 23, teenage neighbors took out an arrest warrant on Elisa Baker in connection with an incident related to her making Zahra walk up that hill.

Corrine Yount, 15, lived in a trailer on another road at the base of the hill. Her trailer formed a T to the Bakers’ trailer: the road the Bakers lived on runs up the hill beside the trailer where Corrine lived and in front of the Bakers’ trailer.

Corrine and her friend Brandy Hefner, 16, noticed Zahra crying as she walked up the hill.

“She was making Zahra walk up the hill by herself because that’s how she would punish her because she (Elisa) knew it would hurt Zahra’s leg,” Corrine said.

When the teenagers intervened, Corrine said Baker came out of her trailer and started screaming and threatening the girls.

“She said, ‘I’m going to teach these two teenagers a lesson and whip their butts,’” Corrine said.

She said that Baker continued shouting threats until Brandy’s mother came out and asked what was going on and Baker left, according to the arrest warrant.

Corrine said it wasn’t the first time she’d called authorities about how Zahra was treated.

“You could hear Zahra screaming and Elisa yelling at her, so we would call the police,” Corrine said. “We called DSS on her too, but they never did anything.”

The incident with the teenage girls came the day after Adam and Elisa Baker were arrested and charged with communicating threats against Elisa’s niece Brittany Bentley, her fiancee Zackery Tyler and the couple’s 7-month-old daughter. The threats stemmed from an outstanding debt Bentley owed them, according to the arrest warrant.

“He (Adam Baker) chased me and my fiancee. He literally tried to run us off the road twice,” Tyler wrote in the complaint accompanying the warrant. “He got in the opposite lane, swerved at the driver’s side and we had to swerve to keep from getting hit, then he passed us and slammed his brakes. We had to slam our brakes and still almost hit him.”

The couple went home and gave Elisa Baker the money she was owed, but she demanded more, they said. She and Adam Baker threatened the couple with Tasers, according to the arrest warrant.

“They said they would kill me and Brittany Bentley and that they knew where our daughter was and they would kill her if I didn’t pay her,” Tyler wrote.

Bentley said the couple claimed to have a gun in the car and drove to her mother’s home, where Bentley’s daughter was staying. Bentley’s complaint said she feared

for her life and the life

of her daughter and fiancee.

The Bakers were charged with communicating threats in connection with the accusations. Adam Baker was also charged with assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the incident on the road.
Out of the trailer park

The Bakers moved from the trailer some time over the summer, and in either late August or early September moved into a rented home on 21st Avenue NW, off N.C. 127 in Viewmont.

Neighbors there said they never saw Zahra.

At the trailer park, Bobbitt said she watched as the Bakers moved, but didn’t see the child.

Employees of a Hickory furniture store told police they saw Zahra and her stepmother on Sept. 25.

That’s the only report police have had from anyone who claims to have seen Zahra in Hickory since the family moved.

Adam Baker called police on Oct. 9 to report that his daughter was missing. Elisa Baker told her husband she last saw Zahra sleeping in her bed at 2:30 a.m. that day, about 2½ hours before the couple reported a fire outside their home. Adam Baker told authorities that he panicked after the fire and didn’t immediately check on his daughter.

Despite massive manhunts, Zahra has not been found. Both Adam and Elisa Baker have been arrested separately on unrelated charges. Elisa Baker is cooperating with Hickory police.

Authorities found a prosthetic leg late on Tuesday off Christie Road in Caldwell County, about 4.2 miles from the trailer. The area beside the road is strewn with trash, and a padlocked gate blocks access to a dirt lane that goes back into brush and woods.

They’re still looking for Zahra.

mmitchell@wsjournal.com
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PostSubject: Police: Fake leg belonged to missing NC girl   Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:40 pm

Police: Fake leg belonged to missing NC girl


HICKORY, N.C. (AP) - A prosthetic leg found in western North Carolina belonged to a 10-year-old girl who has been missing for weeks, police said Monday.
The Hickory Police Department said the artificial left leg belonged to Zahra Baker, who lost her own leg to bone cancer. Police said the serial number on the leg recovered last Wednesday matched medical records that detectives collected from the girl's native Australia.
Police said a scanner was used to pull the serial number from a transponder inside the leg. Authorities released no other details, saying only that investigators continue to search the family's home in Hickory for additional evidence.
Zahra's father reported her missing Oct. 9. Authorities believe she is dead.
Searchers found the leg at a home where Zahra's stepmother once lived, Hickory Police Maj. Clyde Deal said last week. Deal said that the family lived at several locations in the county and that he wasn't sure how long ago they occupied that house. Authorities have said that the stepmother, Elisa Baker, is cooperating with the investigation.
Elisa Baker, 42, has been jailed on an obstruction of justice charge since the weekend Zahra disappeared. Police said she admitted to writing a bogus ransom note found at the scene of a fire in the family's backyard on the day her stepdaughter was reported missing.
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.
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PostSubject: Elisa Baker indicted on obstruction charge   Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:44 pm

Elisa Baker indicted on obstruction charge


Police: Prosthetic leg found in Caldwell County was Zahra's.







Zahra Baker was reported missing Oct. 9

By Hickory Record Staff
Published: November 01, 2010

HICKORY --

On the same day Elisa Baker was indicted on a count of felony obstruction of justice, police confirmed that the prosthetic leg found in Caldwell County belonged to Zarah Baker, the 10-year-old girl missing since Oct. 9 and presumed murdered.

A Catawba County grand jury handed down an indictment Monday against Elisa Baker, charging that she “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did with deceit and intent to defraud a police investigation, obstruct justice by constructing and placing a false ransom letter and reporting an abduction of her step-daughter, Zarah Baker.”

Hickory police, meanwhile, said that medical records obtained from Australia, where the prosthetic leg was originally fitted, matched the serial number on the prosthetic device found Oct. 27 off Christie Road in Caldwell County. A scanner was used to extract the serial number from a transponder placed inside the prosthesis.

Crime Scene Investigators from the Hickory Police Department and N.C. State Bureau of Investigation continue to search the Baker home located at 21 21st Ave. NW, Hickory for additional evidence related to this case.
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker case: Prosthetic leg confirmed to be Zahra's   Mon Nov 01, 2010 11:37 pm

Zahra Baker case: Prosthetic leg confirmed to be Zahra’s



Posted on November 1st, 2010 by Valhall
Authorities have confirmed that the serial number on the prosthetic leg found last week at a former residence of the Bakers was Zahra Baker’s. There was a transponder located inside the prosthesis and authorities scanned it to obtain the serial number. They then sent that off to the manufacturer in Australia who had made Zahra’s prosthetic leg.
In a heart-rending article written by the Hickory Daily Record earlier today, more details came out about the sad life Zahra was living under the control of her step-monster, Elisa Baker. Neighbors came forward telling stories of Elisa forcing Zahra to run up and down a hill located at their former residence because Elisa didn’t feel Zahra was progressing fast enough. Elisa told the child she could not have a bicycle until she could run in her prosthesis. In addition to relatives and school staff who have stated they contacted child protective services about their concerns of Zahra’s abuse, two brave teenagers who witnessed Elisa screaming at Zahra, berating her and making her march up and down the hill called the cops, allegedly, more than once. The teenagers tell that when Elisa Baker learned the teenagers had interfered she threatened to “whip their butts” and screamed at them until a mother of the two came out and intervened.
Questions have arisen about the veracity of the sighting of Zahra at the furniture store on September 25th. Hopefully the employees of that store are sure of what they have shared with authorities. The questions arise because of the fact that people witnessing the Bakers move from the trailer they lived in prior to moving to the home on 21st Avenue, where Zahra was reported missing, never saw Zahra during the move. That was before the alleged sighting at the furniture store.
Reports by witnesses of the search, which has returned to the Baker home, are stating investigators, who include Hickory Police and North Carolina Bureau of Investigations, entered the home with chainsaws and were seen leaving with what appeared to be portions of walls. This is a developing situation and will be updated as more information becomes available. UPDATES: wsoctv.com confirms that firefighters were seen entering the Baker residence with chainsaws and leaving with what appeared to by drywall. In addition, wsnc.com reports that investigators were appeared to also be focusing on the kitchen. They were seen removing cabinets from the home.
Meanwhile, Elisa Baker was indicted today on charges of obstruction of justice for writing a ransom note authorities believe was intended to throw the investigation of Zahra’s disappearance off. The grand jury’s indictment stated Elisa Baker “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did with deceit and intent to defraud a police investigation, obstruct justice by constructing and placing a false ransom letter and reporting an abduction of her step-daughter, Zarah Baker” according to the Hickory Daily Record.
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PostSubject: Letters allegedly written by Elisa Baker: Zahra isn't missing   Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:05 pm


Letters allegedly written by Elisa Baker: Zahra isn't missing


Also from letters: 'We didn't really kill her but what he did after the fact is kinda horrifying. Makes me scared of him.'


NewsChannel 36 Staff
Posted: Tuesday, Nov. 02, 2010




Slideshow
« Prev of 3Next »






  • Elisa Baker



  • Adam Baker


  • Zahra Baker








HICKORY - The owner of a website that sells crime memorabilia shared copies of shocking letters that he says were written by Elisa Baker, jailed stepmother of missing 10-year-old Zahra Baker, with NewsChannel 36 Tuesday afternoon.
Hickory Police Maj. Clyde Deal says the handwriting in the letters is similar to that of Elisa Baker. Police will have an expert compare the letters to letters definitely written by Elisa Baker at the jail on Wednesday.
According to those letters, Zahra isn't missing.
"So many missing kids, but Zahra isn't missing, the cops know where she is and what he has done. That's right what he has done. If I hadn't admitted to that stupid note I'd be out in 3 weeks but no they kept pushing and he did that too," says the third page of a letter, which then abruptly switches gears.
"Anyway, how are you spending Halloween? Have fun for me please," read the next two lines.
In the letters, Elisa Baker mentions the fact that her husband, Adam Baker was arrested and released.
"I have never been so angry over stuff as I am right now," the letter says. "He knows what happened to Zahra and yet I'm the one in here, at least for now."
The letters point more blame towards Adam.
"We didn't really kill her but what he did after the fact is kinda horrifying. Makes me scared of him."
The letters also contain a variety of doodles and random phrases like, "be part of the freak show" and "Some girls, wanna be princess's when they grow up. I want to be a vampire!"
On Monday, police confirmed that an artificial leg found off of Christie Road in Caldwell County last Wednesday belonged to Zahra. Police matched the serial number on the prosthetic leg to the number on medical records that detectives collected from the girl's native Australia.
Zahra Baker was reported missing by Adam and Elisa Baker on Oct. 9.
As police moved further into their investigation they discovered that no one, except for Adam and Elisa, could confirm seeing Zahra after Sept. 25.
Elisa Baker was arrested on Oct. 10, the day after reporting Zahra missing, on charged unrelated to the child's disappearance. She was charged with obstruction of justice in connection with the case on Oct. 11. Police say Elisa Baker wrote a bogus ransom note and refused to cooperate with investigators.
Adam Baker was arrested on Oct. 25 on five counts of writing worthless checks, two counts of communicating threats, assault with a deadly weapon and failure to return rental property.
Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said at the beginning of the investigation that Adam Baker had outstanding warrants for worthless checks and that officers would execute those warrants at the appropriate time.

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PostSubject: Exclusive: Letters say Zahra's Dad Did Something 'Horrifying'   Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:18 pm

Exclusive: Letters Say Zahra's Dad Did Something 'Horrifying'

Updated: 2 hours 50 minutes ago






David Lohr ContributorAOL News
(Nov. 2) -- Letters obtained exclusively by AOL News and believed to be written by Zahra Clare Baker's stepmother discuss the 10-year-old disabled girl's disappearance and say that her father, Adam, did something "kinda horrifying" with the young girl's remains.

"We really didn't kill her, but what he did after the fact is kinda horrifying," Elisa Baker wrote in letters to a crime memorabilia dealer. "[It] makes me scared of him. So I probably am gonna go ahead and file [for divorce]. I have lost my whole life anyway."

The letters were sent to Eric Gein, owner of Serial Killers Ink, one of the top-selling murderabilia websites, which frequently publishes letters and artwork from accused criminals. Gein told AOL News that he wrote to Baker in the Hickory, N.C., jail shortly after her arrest. He said he has received two very telling letters from her. He shared copies of both with AOL News.
Serial Killers Ink
This is an excerpt from a letter reportedly written by Zahra Clare Baker's stepmother, Elisa Baker, to crime memorabilia dealer Eric Gein.


Hickory Deputy Chief of Police Clyde Deal acknowledged that the letters likely were written by Elisa Baker. "I think probably these letters were down at the jail," he said after AOL News showed them to him. "I am not a handwriting analyst, but I mean I wouldn't suspect that it didn't [come from her].

"Obviously not everything she speaks in there is true," he added, noting that the contents of the letter "sound much like the same stuff that she's spouting to some other people."

No one has been charged in connection with Zahra's disappearance; both Adam and Elisa Baker have denied any involvement. Adam Baker's attorney, Mark L. Killian, said he had "no comment" about the letters. Jared Amos, Elisa Baker's attorney, also had no comment.

In the letters AOL News obtained, Baker described her life behind bars and some of the details that led to her incarceration.

"I'm going crazy in this cell," Baker wrote. "I have told the cops everything I know [a]bout what's happened to Zahra. They arrested Adam, but he got right back out. How fair is that? See I told you I have no support. I have never been so angry over stuff as I am right now. He knows what happened to Zahra, and yet I'm the one in here at least for now."

On Monday, a Catawaba County grand jury indicted Elisa Baker on a felony charge of obstruction of justice. She was charged last month after authorities say she admitted writing a fake ransom note to confuse authorities.

"If I hadn't admitted to that stupid note I [would] be out in three weeks but no, they kept pushing an[d] he did that too," Baker wrote, according to one of the letters.

Adam Baker told police he last saw his daughter sleeping in her bed about 2:30 a.m. Oct. 9. He said that he and his wife slept in that Saturday morning and did not notice Zahra was missing until about 2 p.m.

During the investigation, specially trained dogs detected the scent of human remains on property belonging to the Bakers. Dogs also detected similar scents during a recent search of property that reportedly belongs to a tree services company that recently employed Zahra's father for about six months.

Elisa Baker was arrested previously on charges unrelated to the child's disappearance, including writing fraudulent checks, larceny and failure to appear. She is being held on $65,000 bond.

In the letters, Baker said she is in solitary confinement and on suicide watch. "I feel like I have nothing to live for now," she wrote.

Baker also said she would like to talk to the media to defend herself.

"I heard I have even made it to the Nancy Grace show," Baker said. "The[y] keep calling my lawyer wanting [an] interview with me. Everyone does. Sometimes I think my lawyer shouldn't keep me out of the media. I want a chance to tell the truth and defend myself. No one else is. But, I keep getting told to say nothing is best."
Serial Killers Ink
This is another excerpt from a letter reportedly written by Elisa Baker.


On Oct. 25, authorities arrested Adam Baker on charges unrelated to his daughter's disappearance. He faces one count of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of failure to return rental property, two counts of communicating threats and five counts of writing worthless checks.

Adam Baker posted $7,000 bond last week and was released from the Catawba County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18.

Investigators said last week that Elisa Baker and her attorneys have been "providing information" to police, but they declined to elaborate. Baker talked about being debriefed by police in one of her letters to Gein and said that Adam is supposed to be arrested again soon.

"I don't know," Baker wrote. "Nothing has went [sic] the way it was supposed to, not yet so far. ... I am beyond stressed. When I saw my attorneys today and they said he was out after them promising me for my safety he wouldn't be let out I flipped and have cried since."
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PostSubject: Zahra New Letter?   Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:19 pm

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Zahra New Letter?



(Nov. 2) -- Letters obtained exclusively by AOL News and believed to be written by Zahra Clare Baker's stepmother discuss the 10-year-old disabled girl's disappearance and say that her father, Adam, did something "kinda horrifying" with the young girl's remains.

"We really didn't kill her, but what he did after the fact is kinda horrifying," Elisa Baker wrote in letters to a crime memorabilia dealer. "[It] makes me scared of him. So I probably am gonna go ahead and file [for divorce]. I have lost my whole life anyway."

The letters were sent to Eric Gein, owner of Serial Killers Ink, one of the top-selling murderabilia websites, which frequently publishes letters and artwork from accused criminals. Gein told AOL News that he wrote to Baker in the Hickory, N.C., jail shortly after her arrest. He said he has received two very telling letters from her. He shared copies of both with AOL News.

Serial Killers Ink
This is an excerpt from a letter reportedly written by Zahra Clare Baker's stepmother, Elisa Baker, to crime memorabilia dealer Eric Gein.

Hickory Deputy Chief of Police Clyde Deal acknowledged that the letters likely were written by Elisa Baker. "I think probably these letters were down at the jail," he said after AOL News showed them to him. "I am not a handwriting analyst, but I mean I wouldn't suspect that it didn't [come from her].

"Obviously not everything she speaks in there is true," he added, noting that the contents of the letter "sound much like the same stuff that she's spouting to some other people."

No one has been charged in connection with Zahra's disappearance; both Adam and Elisa Baker have denied any involvement. Adam Baker's attorney, Mark L. Killian, said he had "no comment" about the letters. Jared Amos, Elisa Baker's attorney, also had no comment.

In the letters AOL News obtained, Baker described her life behind bars and some of the details that led to her incarceration.

"I'm going crazy in this cell," Baker wrote. "I have told the cops everything I know [a]bout what's happened to Zahra. They arrested Adam, but he got right back out. How fair is that? See I told you I have no support. I have never been so angry over stuff as I am right now. He knows what happened to Zahra, and yet I'm the one in here at least for now."

On Monday, a Catawaba County grand jury indicted Elisa Baker on a felony charge of obstruction of justice. She was charged last month after authorities say she admitted writing a fake ransom note to confuse authorities.

"If I hadn't admitted to that stupid note I [would] be out in three weeks but no, they kept pushing an[d] he did that too," Baker wrote, according to one of the letters.

Adam Baker told police he last saw his daughter sleeping in her bed about 2:30 a.m. Oct. 9. He said that he and his wife slept in that Saturday morning and did not notice Zahra was missing until about 2 p.m.

During the investigation, specially trained dogs detected the scent of human remains on property belonging to the Bakers. Dogs also detected similar scents during a recent search of property that reportedly belongs to a tree services company that recently employed Zahra's father for about six months.

Elisa Baker was arrested previously on charges unrelated to the child's disappearance, including writing fraudulent checks, larceny and failure to appear. She is being held on $65,000 bond.

In the letters, Baker said she is in solitary confinement and on suicide watch. "I feel like I have nothing to live for now," she wrote.

Baker also said she would like to talk to the media to defend herself.

"I heard I have even made it to the Nancy Grace show," Baker said. "The[y] keep calling my lawyer wanting [an] interview with me. Everyone does. Sometimes I think my lawyer shouldn't keep me out of the media. I want a chance to tell the truth and defend myself. No one else is. But, I keep getting told to say nothing is best."

Serial Killers Ink
This is another excerpt from a letter reportedly written by Elisa Baker.

On Oct. 25, authorities arrested Adam Baker on charges unrelated to his daughter's disappearance. He faces one count of assault with a deadly weapon, one count of failure to return rental property, two counts of communicating threats and five counts of writing worthless checks.

Adam Baker posted $7,000 bond last week and was released from the Catawba County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18.

Investigators said last week that Elisa Baker and her attorneys have been "providing information" to police, but they declined to elaborate. Baker talked about being debriefed by police in one of her letters to Gein and said that Adam is supposed to be arrested again soon.

"I don't know," Baker wrote. "Nothing has went [sic] the way it was supposed to, not yet so far. ... I am beyond stressed. When I saw my attorneys today and they said he was out after them promising me for my safety he wouldn't be let out I flipped and have cried since."
http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relative_urls&dataUrlNodes=uiConfig,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=950036&pid=950035&uts=1288733844
http://www.aolcdn.com/ke/media_gallery/v1/ke_media_gallery_wrapper.swf
The Zahra Clare Baker Case
Zahra Clare Baker, 10, who is hearing-impaired and lost a leg to bone cancer, was reported missing Oct. 9. Investigators in North Carolina confirmed Monday that a prosthetic leg found last week belongs to the Australian-born girl, who is feared dead.
The Zahra Clare Baker Case
The girl's father, Adam Baker, told police he last saw Zahra sleeping in her bed at about 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 9. He said he and his wife slept late that Saturday morning and did not notice Zahra was missing until about 2 p.m. Police believe the girl may have disappeared before then.
The Zahra Clare Baker Case
Elisa Baker, the girl's stepmother, was indicted by a grand jury Monday on a felony charge of obstruction of justice. Last month she was charged with the same offense, after she allegedly admitted writing a fake ransom note to confuse authorities.
The Zahra Clare Baker Case
No one has been charged in Zahra's disappearance, and both Adam and Elisa Baker have denied any involvement.
The Zahra Clare Baker Case

Everyone, even her own family, has turned against her, Baker said. She also said that everyone is "telling so many lies" about her.

"All I have gotten is hate mail since I been here from everyone, even my kids," Baker wrote. "When I get out I have been told I have no where [sic] to go, so I am a bit scared. I have truely [sic] lost my life."

Baker said if she manages to get out of jail, she will have to "go into hiding and move across the country" because of all the bad press and hate mail she is receiving.

"You wouldn't believe all the hate mail. People actually wanna kill me. ... My lawyers don't tell me all the world is saying but if it is anything like these letters [oh my God]," Baker said.

In regard to her stepdaughter, Baker had little to say other than reporting that the cops "know where she is and what he has done."

"That's right what he has done," Baker wrote.

Investigators are continuing their search of the Baker home for additional evidence in the case today. Police began combing the property Thursday, and the search has been ongoing since.

"I just wonder if Zahra hadn't survived Cancer an[d] been from Australia, if it would truly be like this. There are so many missing kids, but Zahra isn't missing," Baker wrote.

Posted by Seamus O Riley at 3:06 PM
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PostSubject: Crowd taunts as Baker evicted   Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:41 am

Crowd taunts as Baker evicted


House no longer considered part of search








Credit: ROBERT C. REED / RECORD
Adam Baker, father of the missing 10-year old Zahra Baker, places some of his belongings in the back of his pickup truck. Baker was evicted Tuesday afternoon from his residence on 21st Avenue, NW, in Hickory, NC.


By Richard Gould
Published: November 03, 2010




HICKORY --

A crowd turned out to get a look at Adam Baker on Tuesday afternoon when he returned to his home at 21 21st Ave. NW, with his mother, brother and attorney at his side.

The group went into the backyard briefly and took photos before they went inside the same home where, on Oct. 9, Baker had called 911 to report his daughter, Zahra Baker, missing. Three days later, Hickory police cancelled the Amber Alert and said the case was being investigated as a homicide. Police are still searching for the girl.

Baker’s landlord arrived and spoke to the people standing on his property. He said Baker was being evicted and he was in the house to get his belongings.

“I’m putting him out on the street,” he said. “I have no need to have any of his effects in the house and I’m not cleaning it out.”

Capt. Thurman Whisnant of the Hickory Police Department said the house is no longer considered part of the search and confirmed that Baker, through his lawyer, had asked permission to remove his personal belongings from the house.

People in the crowd said they thought Baker murdered Zahra, but Baker’s landlord cautioned them against rushing to judgment.

“It’s still America. It’s still innocent until proven guilty,” he said. “For some reason, the police are letting him walk around while someone else is in jail.”

He told the crowd he planned to leave the shrine for Zahra in place. Then volunteers moved toys and notes from the base of the mailbox to the main shrine at the base of the tree in the front yard.

Unwilling to state the exact reason for Baker’s eviction, his landlord said the police search had rendered his property uninhabitable.

Officers appeared to have focused their attention on the kitchen and bathroom. They removed sections of ceiling, floor and plumbing. No repair cost estimate was available.

Joyce Day of Newton was one of the estimated 15 people who showed up to watch Baker’s departure from the house. She said she knew Elisa Baker because Baker had been married to her nephew, Aaron Young.

Day is convinced Elisa and Adam are behind Zahra’s disappearance, and she had no kind words for either of them.

“He (Adam) let her (Elisa) do this to his kid. He absolutely let her do it,” Day said. “It should have been him instead of this child.”

She said she knows Elisa, but she’d only met Adam and Zahra once at a pet store. “I know Zahra called Elisa ‘mama,’” she said.

Day called Elisa Baker evil and said she is a cold, controlling woman.

“He’s (Adam) just as guilty as she (Elisa) is,” she shouted at the house before unleashing a string of profanities directed at Adam as he gathered his belongings into a suitcase.

“I’m going to get the hell away from here before I kill him,” Day said. “I’m going to be in jail.”

She turned and walked away still fuming.

Baker came out of the house with his head bowed and carrying a suitcase. He put the case in the bed of the truck and refused to answer the media’s questions about where Zahra is and what happened to her.

He climbed into the Dodge Dakota he’d arrived in. A missing child poster was taped to the truck’s rear window. The poster is identical to others posted around Hickory and gives Zahra’s physical description. It states, “Zahra has been abused daily by her mother; who is now in jail and is a suspect in her disappearance.”

A decal depicting a Celtic cross adorned the gas tank door on the truck.

Baker’s attorney, Mark Killian, wouldn’t talk about the case or why he was at the house. He did say Baker is struggling with the loss of his daughter and everything that’s happened since.

“It’s just real tough for him, obviously,” Killian said. “I don’t know a whole lot right now.”

Killian pulled out of the driveway followed by Adam.

As they drove away from the house the only sound heard was a woman’s voice shouting, “Murderer!”

As Baker, along with his mother, brother and attorney left the house, Hickory investigators continued their search elsewhere.

They spent much of the day searching near the area where they found Zahra’s prosthetic leg Oct. 26.

Investigators were checking wooded areas, illegal dump areas and walking along Christie Road about half a mile from Pine Mountain Road

“We will continue until we are absolutely certain we have searched every inch of the property,” Whisnant said. “We’re still hard at work on this investigation. We’re checking every lead and we’ve got a lot of evidence to be processed.”
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker Case: Elisa Baker's disturbing jailhouse letters   Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:29 am

Zahra Baker case: Elisa Baker’s disturbing jailhouse letters



Posted on November 3rd, 2010 by Valhall
Eric Gein runs a freaky little website where he latches on to crime memorabilia and I guess sells it for a buck or two. The website is called serialkillersink.net, but I won’t be linking to it because I think Eric Gein’s is about as freaky as the people he stalks to get letters from and probably has more than sick letters in his closet. He immediately wrote to Elisa Baker so that he could get some more “good ink”. She bit – hook, line and sinker, or sink-her. You can view her letters here. This what Elisa has been doing since she’s been in jail:

  • Flirting with a sick dude who collects killers’ letters.
  • Whining that she’ll miss Halloween, because that’s a Pagan-girls’ best time of the year.
  • Selling her self short (and I mean in the you look way past your age department).
  • Lying…lying, and then more lying. For instance, she doesn’t do drugs. They didn’t kill Zahra, but apparently from whatever accident or death from neglect, or natural causes, or whatever took Zahra’s life Adam (according to lying-Elisa) was compelled to do something “horrifying” to Zahra’s body after she didn’t get murdered.
  • Trying to pin everything on Adam (i.e. destroying the body).
  • Whining some more (she misses her warm little waterbed) and people are talking bad about her and she just doesn’t have any reason to live anymore….my advice is don’t go vampire then, Elisa, because that just draws things out for an extended period of time, according to what I’ve read.
  • And then whining again, because you see, if Zahra hadn’t been such a charismatic child, who had overcome cancer, fought back against the massive odds in her life, and had such a captivating smile – Elisa wouldn’t be where she is now. In other words, it reduces to “we would have gotten away with it”.

This is a 42-year-old woman who signs her letters “Dark Love Always”; uses salutations like “My Favorite Dark Person” (of course, she hasn’t even met him, and only exchanged like…one letter so far with him, but he’s her favoritest dark person now); writes cute, endearing little messages at the end of her letters such as “Your in my dark heart…” and “Some girls wanna be princess when they grow up. I want to be a vampire!!!” (yes, with 3 exclamation points); and accompanies those little sayings with eerie pics of candelabras and spiders. Oh yeah, and “Vampire’s Rule!”…so do Goths!
I don’t believe for a minute that Elisa is an innocent little Gothfairy, vampiress, sitting in jail taking a rap for Adam. And I don’t believe for a minute that whatever “horrifying” thing was done (and I do think it was done) after Zahra was dead all happened behind Adam’s back. With the rental home the Bakers were living in when Zahra was reported missing now gutted – with reports including drywall, cabinets, floors and plumbing being taken from the house, there’s no telling what this sick witch and her previous “favorite dark person” did. But with the commitment being exhibited by Hickory Police officers, I think it will not stay a secret locked deep in Elisa’s dark heart forever.
Valhall.
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PostSubject: Hickory police search for Zahra Baker in pond   Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:30 pm


Hickory police search for Zahra Baker in pond


By Fred Clasen-Kelly
frkelly@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Wednesday, Nov. 03, 2010



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  • Zahra


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As the nearly month-long search for missing 10-year-old Zahra Baker continued today, authorities were draining a Caldwell County pond in an area where they recently found a key piece of evidence.
Investigators looked for clues in a pond near Christie Road, Hickory Police Deputy Chief Clyde Deal said. Deal said police were draining the pond because "we want to be thorough."
The pond is in the vicinity of a brushy area where search crews last week found a prosthetic leg that police say belongs to Zahra.
The Hickory girl, who is hearing impaired, used the prosthetic leg because her lower left leg was amputated due to bone cancer.
No one has been charged in Zahra's disappearance, which was report Oct. 9, but her stepmother and father were arrested on other charges.
Elisa Baker, 42, was charged with obstruction of justice after police say she admitted writing a phony ransom note to throw off the investigation into the missing girl.

**Charlotte Observer
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PostSubject: Man offers Elisa Baker letters for sale   Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:33 pm

Man offers Elisa Baker letters for sale







Zahra was reported missing Oct. 9.

By MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
Published: November 03, 2010


HICKORY

The owner of a crime-memorabilia website is selling two letters he claims he received from Elisa Baker saying that her stepdaughter, Zahra, is dead and that her husband did something “horrifying” after her death.

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

Zahra Baker, who is hearing-impaired and walks with the help of a prosthetic leg, was reported missing by her father, Adam, on Oct. 9, and her story has attracted worldwide attention. Both Adam and Elisa Baker have denied any wrongdoing in the case.

The Hickory Police Department couldn’t confirm that the letters are authentic.

Gein, who lives in Jacksonville, Fla., and owns SerialKillersInk.net, has put the letters up for sale for $1,250 each. He says he believes that the letters are real.
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PostSubject: Authorities report finding bone in search for Zahra Baker   Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:54 pm

Authorities report finding bone in search for Zahra Baker





November 03, 2010 4:31 PM

WSOC


Search teams have found a bone that may be related to the investigation into the disappearance of 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
The bone will be sent to the Medical Examiner's office in Chapel Hill for further examination, police said.
Investigators drained a pond near the site where 10-year-old Zahra Baker's prosthetic leg was found last week.
The pond is near Christie Road in Caldwell County. Police blocked off the road at about 10 a.m. and began searching wooded areas on both sides of the road. More than a dozen officers did a line search, cutting through brush and looking along an approximately 1 and 1/2-mile stretch of the road.
Later Wednesday morning, crews began draining the nearby pond.
Last week, police announced finding a prosthetic leg in the same area that was confirmed to be Zahra’s through a serial number. Zahra got the prosthetic leg after losing her own leg to bone cancer.
Zahra’s father, Adam Baker, and stepmother, Elisa Baker, reported the 10-year-old missing 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.
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 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.
Adam Baker was in jail until last week on charges unrelated to the case. Elisa Baker, who has been in jail over the course of the investigation, was indicted on Monday on an obstruction of justice charge. She was charged after police said she admitted to writing a fake ransom note that was found the day Zahra was reported missing.
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PostSubject: Officers focus on Caldwell Co. in Zahra Baker Search   Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:14 pm


Officers focus on Caldwell Co. in Zahra Baker search


NewsChannel 36
Posted: Thursday, Nov. 04, 2010


Zahra



More Information






CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. – Hickory police say crews are in the middle of one of the largest search efforts they've launched into the disappearance of 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
Police say 30 to 40 people are currently combing a wooded area off of Christie Road in Caldwell County.
Hickory Police Major Clyde Deal says investigators are using equipment to create search grids, looking for evidence related to the 10-year-old's disappearance.
On Wednesday, crews found a bone that they believe could be related to the case. It has been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for testing.
The Wednesday before that find, crews discovered Zahra Baker’s prosthetic leg in the same search area. The 10-year-old lost part of her leg to cancer when she was younger.
Zahra Baker was reported missing from her family’s home in Hickory on Oct. 9. However, no one aside from her father and stepmother has reported seeing the girl since late September.
Zahra’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, is currently in jail, facing charges of obstruction of justice in connection with Zahra’s disappearance. Police say Elisa Baker wrote a fake ransom note that was found the day Zahra was reported missing.

**CharlotteObserver
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PostSubject: Zahra Baker case: Search continues on Christie Road   Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:21 am

Zahra Baker case: Search continues on Christie Road



Posted on November 5th, 2010 by Valhall
As has been discussed for a couple of days now authorities have reported finding a bone on property off Christie Road. This property is a 40-acre ranch reported to be less than 2 miles from a previous residence of Elisa Baker. Some reports state it is the same property on which Zahra’s prosthesis was found, but that causes some confusion with prior reports which stated the prosthetic leg was on the property of Elisa Baker’s former home. Suffice it to say that the two discoveries are close together, it would appear, and close to the former residence. Some sources are stating the bone has been confirmed to be human, but I have not found that confirmed in any media report. If a reader finds where there is an official statement to that effect, please share in the comment section of this article. The bone has been sent to the Medical Examiner’s office in Chapel Hill, NC, for testing to confirm it is “connected to the Zahra Baker case”.
In the past 2 weeks investigators have been seen dedicating extreme search efforts at several locations. The rental property where the Bakers lived when Zahra was reported missing has been rendered “uninhabitable” due to the amount of damage caused in the search for evidence. Authorities have been reported to have taken flooring, walls, cabinets and plumbing from the house. The search then moved to the 40-acre property on Christie Road after the prosthesis was confirmed to be Zahra’s. The efforts on Christie Road have included draining a pond. Reports have stated no evidence was recovered from the pond.
Christie Road has been blocked off during the search and the Hickory Police have declared it a crime scene. Major Deal has stated he believes they will return to the property today to continue the search for what happened to 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
Emily Dietrich, Zahra’s biological mother, (biomum here at The Hinky Meter) has granted an interview with Australian news outlet Seven Network and told of how she located Zahra just 3 days before Zahra was reported missing. Since Adam Baker gave the Australian government a former last name for Emily when applying for Zahra’s passport, thereby causing the Australian bureaucracy to fail to locate “Emily Dietrich”, and resulting in the issuance of the passport without Emily’s approval based on not being able to locate her, when Emily found Zahra it may have been the impetus for the Bakers to report Zahra missing. After all, if Emily began to push her rights to see Zahra, and proved Zahra had been taken out of the country without her consent, it would have been fairly hard to produce the child if she was no longer alive. Just a theory, but one that should be considered. It really depends on what date Zahra died, and no one seems to know that right now since Elisa Baker and Adam Baker are not cooperating.
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PostSubject: Missing Hickory girl's mom thinks daughter is dead   Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:40 pm

Missing Hickory girl's mom thinks daughter is dead






Zahra Claire Baker, 10

This undated photo released by the Hickory Police Department in Hickory, N.C., shows Adam Baker, the father of missing 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker. Adam Baker was being held Monday, Oct. 25, 2010 in a western North Carolina jail on $7,000 bond on charges unrelated to the disappearance of his daughter. Police in North Carolina say Baker has been arrested and charged with writing bad checks. (AP Photo/Hickory Police Department)

Elisa Baker
1 / 3






SYDNEY — The Australian mother of a 10-year-old girl who was reported missing from her North Carolina home nearly a month ago said through tears Friday that she believes her daughter is dead.
Emily Dietrich, whose daughter Zahra Baker was living in Hickory with her father and stepmother, said she has little hope of seeing Zahra alive again.
"I don't feel it," she told Australia's Seven Network in her first interview since the girl's disappearance. "I reckon that mothers just have this bond with their children."
Zahra's father, Adam Baker, reported her missing Oct. 9. Authorities have said they believe the girl is dead. No one has been charged in her disappearance.
Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, has been jailed on an obstruction of justice charge since the weekend Zahra disappeared. Police said she admitted writing a fake ransom note found at the scene of a fire in the family's backyard the same day Zahra was reported missing.
"I never got to say goodbye," Dietrich said of her daughter, who relies on hearing aids and a prosthetic leg because of bone cancer.
Dietrich said she suffered postnatal depression after Zahra's birth and handed over custody to Adam Baker. Later, though, she decided she wanted to be in the girl's life and spent years trying to track the pair. However, every time she found Baker, she said, he would disappear.
Using the Internet, she discovered he was living in the U.S. Just three days later, she said, Zahra was reported missing.
"Why would it happen that I would find her and three days later this would happen?" she said, sobbing.
On Monday, Hickory police said they had confirmed that a prosthetic leg found at a home where Elisa Baker once lived was Zahra's.

**WRAL.COM
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PostSubject: In my heart I know my little girl gone, says mother of Zahra Baker   Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:48 pm


In my heart I know my little girl gone, says mother of Zahra Baker











Zahra Baker, soon after her birth with mother Emily. Emily has spoken out after the 10-year-old's disappearance/ Channel 7 Source: Supplied





Australian 10-year-old Zahra Baker has been missing from her home in the US since October 9 / Supplied Source: Supplied



Zahra Baker's mother Emily has given her first interview since her 10-year-old daughter went missing / Channel 7 Source: Supplied


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  • Zahra's mum gives her first television interview
  • Gave up Zahra because of post-natal depression
  • "Is there any hope she's alive? I don't feel it"
  • She spent last 10 years trying to find daughter


EMILY Dietrich, the mother of missing Australian girl Zahra Baker, knows in her heart her daughter is dead.

From her home in country NSW, Ms Dietrich has told how she has spent the past decade searching for the pretty 10-year-old, whose battle against bone cancer has been a beacon of hope to other sufferers.
Just days before Zahra's disappearance, Ms Dietrich had traced her daughter to the small US township in which she lived. Agonisingly, she was not able to make contact with Zahra or her father, Adam Baker.
"Is there any hope that she's alive? I don't feel it," Ms Dietrich told Channel 7 last night.
"They reckon mothers just have this bond with their children and I think having any hope in me makes it hurt more with what they're finding and the way they were saying she was treated. The only hope I have in me now is that she is gone so she's not being hurt any more."
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Ms Dietrich suffered severe post-natal depression after Zahra's birth and chose to let her newborn go with her father. "I never got to say goodbye, I never got to say hello," she said.
As she recovered her health, Ms Dietrich said she tried to make contact with Baker and her daughter, who had her leg amputated five years ago because of bone cancer. Ms Dietrich said she never gave up looking for Zahra and Baker, finally tracking him to America via the internet, only to have Zahra reported missing three days later.
"Why would it happen that I find her and three days later this happens? It's just mean," she said. "I don't want them to find more because it will tell a story I don't want to hear.
"She found me to find her and I like to believe that . . . she was already gone when I found her and she found me to tell her story and to find her and put her to rest.
"I can't explain the anger . . . the hurt. He had no right to do any of it, to keep her from me. I felt robbed before she was taken for good. Now I just feel broken."
No one has been charged over Zahra's disappearance, reported on October 9. Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, and father have been arrested on other charges. But this week investigators said they sent a bone found in a pond to the office of the Chief Medical Examiner for inspection.
The pond is in the vicinity of a brushy area where search crews last week found a prosthetic leg that police say belongs to Zahra.
Ms Baker claims she last saw Zahra sleeping in her room about 2.30am on October 9 in the family home in North Carolina.
Her disappearance has been the focus of an intensive FBI investigation and has received enormous media coverage in the US.
Ms Baker has been charged with writing a fake ransom note connected with Zahra's disappearance and is currently in jail.
The 42-year-old pagan and goth met Queensland-born Baker on the internet.


Read more: http://www.news.com.au/national/aussie-mother-says-she-tracked-down-zahra-just-days-before-she-went-missing/story-e6frfkvr-1225948521852#ixzz14QYgrC7v
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PostSubject: 'They're not leaving any stone unturned' in Zahra Baker search   Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:27 pm


'They're not leaving any stone unturned' in Zahra Baker search


Search for Zahra continues on man's 40-acre property in Caldwell County.


By Franco Ordoñez
fordonez@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Friday, Nov. 05, 2010





Slideshow
« Prev of 2Next »






  • Caldwell County Sheriff Alan Jones, left, advises N.C. State Troopers M.T. Stutts and Sgt. D.D. Dawson on Thursday about the limited access to Christie Road in Caldwell County. ROBERT C. REED -THE HICKORY DAILY RECORD/AP


  • Zahra


More Information






CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. – A day after investigators recovered a bone that may have belonged to Zahra Baker, search teams returned to a 40-acre ranch in Caldwell County to look for other possible evidence.
Police won't say exactly where the bone was found, but J.T. Isenhour said he believes both the bone as well as Zahra's prosthetic leg were discovered on his property along Christie Road.
On Thursday morning, groups of 15 to 20 investigators walked shoulder-to-shoulder sweeping the property, Isenhour said. Using special poles, Isenhour said they moved the rocks and leaves that blanket the property in search of any tiny piece of evidence that could be hidden underneath.
"They're digging here, digging there. Moving this. Moving that," Isenhour said. "They're not leaving any stone unturned."
Authorities sent the bone to the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for inspection. Maj. Clyde Deal of the Hickory Police Department, which is leading the investigation into Zahra's disappearance, said Thursday afternoon he had not received word about whether the bone belonged to the missing 10-year-old girl.
Zahra, who is hearing impaired and had her left leg partially amputated due to bone cancer, has been the subject of a massive search for nearly a month in a case that's drawn international attention.
Isenhour's 40-acre property extends on both sides of Christie Road. It's mostly woods and has been owned by Isenhour's family for at least two generations. It includes a small house where his wife grew up and a barn where he takes care of a horse.
He has no idea, he says, how Zahra's prosthetic leg and other possible remains wound up on his property.
Speaking from his driveway as a helicopter flew over, Isenhour said the investigation has been emotionally draining. He first learned of the search after returning from a trip to the mountains. The 74-year-old retired truck driver said he was concerned to find five messages on his answering machine from different investigators, including from the Caldwell sheriff's office and the State Bureau of Investigation. Like so many members of the community, he said he's hoping for some closure.
"The thought of this being done to a kid and then to find it in your own backyard so to speak," he said. "It makes for some sleepless nights."
No one has been charged in Zahra's disappearance, but her stepmother, Elisa Baker, is in jail on obstruction of justice charges after police say she admitted writing a phony ransom note to throw off the investigation into the missing girl.
Adam Baker, Zahra's father, was arrested Oct. 25 and later released on bond for multiple charges, including writing worthless checks and assault with a deadly weapon.
Maj. Deal said he expected investigators would return to the Christie Road site today. He would not give additional details on what led them to the property, but The Associated Press has reported that Elisa Baker accompanied police at least once to the area searching for clues.
The search site is less than two miles from a home where she once lived, but Isenhour said he's never met Elisa Baker or known of the family until news broke about a local girl who was missing.
On Thursday, the N.C. Attorney General's office told the Observer its consumer protection division was looking into a group that has raised money in Zahra Baker's name. The Spiritual Counseling Network announced Wednesday it had closed down its Zahra fund - which raised $712 - after receiving a wave of negative publicity. The group drew scrutiny when the police and media outlets raised questions about how the money would actually be used

**CharlotteObserver
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PostSubject: I know my little Zahra is gone, says her Autralian mother   Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:37 pm

I know my little Zahra is gone, says her Australian mother






Happier times ... Zahra Baker and her mother Emily Dietrich / Pic: Channel 7 Source: The Daily Telegraph



Never said goobye ... Zahra Baker's mother Emily Dietrich / Pic: Channel 7 Source: The Daily Telegraph


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EMILY Dietrich, mother of missing Australian girl Zahra Baker, knows in her heart her daughter is dead.

From her home in country NSW, Ms Dietrich has told how she has spent the past decade searching for the pretty 10-year-old, whose battle against bone cancer has been a beacon of hope to other sufferers.
Just days before Zahra's disappearance, Ms Dietrich had traced her daughter to the small US township in which she lived. Agonisingly, she was not able to make contact with Zahra or her father, Adam Baker.
"Is there any hope that she's alive? I don't feel it," Ms Dietrich told Channel 7 last night. "They reckon mothers just have this bond with their children and I think having any hope in me makes it hurt more with what they're finding and the way they were saying she was treated. The only hope I have in me now is that she is gone so she's not being hurt any more."

Ms Dietrich suffered severe post-natal depression after Zahra's birth and chose to let her newborn go with her father. "I never got to say goodbye, I never got to say hello," she said.
As she recovered her health, Ms Dietrich said she tried to make contact with Baker and her daughter, who had her leg amputated five years ago because of bone cancer. Ms Dietrich said she never gave up looking for Zahra and Baker, finally tracking him to America via the internet, only to have Zahra reported missing three days later.
"Why would it happen that I find her and three days later this happens? It's just mean," she said. "I don't want them to find more because it will tell a story I don't want to hear.
"She found me to find her and I like to believe that ... she was already gone when I found her and she found me to tell her story and to find her and put her to rest.
"I can't explain the anger ... the hurt. He had no right to do any of it, to keep her from me. I felt robbed before she was taken for good. Now I just feel broken."
No one has been charged over Zahra's disappearance, reported on October 9. Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, and father have been arrested on other charges. But this week investigators said they sent a bone found in a pond to the office of the Chief Medical Examiner for inspection.
The pond is in the vicinity of a brushy area where search crews last week found a prosthetic leg that police say belongs to Zahra.
Ms Baker claims she last saw Zahra sleeping in her room about 2.30am on October 9 in the family home in North Carolina.
Her disappearance has been the focus of an intensive FBI investigation and has received enormous media coverage in the US.
Ms Baker has been charged with writing a fake ransom note connected with Zahra's disappearance and is currently in jail.
The 42-year-old pagan and goth met Queensland-born Baker on the internet.
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