Elisa Baker denies killing stepdaughter
Posted May 9, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — A woman who pleaded guilty in the death of her stepdaughter nearly three years ago told a Charlotte television station Wednesday that she did not kill the girl.
Elisa Baker, serving up to 18 years in prison at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women in Raleigh, told WSOC-TV that Zahra Baker, 10, had been sick with a stomach problem the day she died in September 2010.
"I plead guilty to something I did not even do, and it wasn't even a murder," Baker said.
She said the girl was not breathing when she went to check on her. She said she should have called 911 instead of trying CPR.
Baker pleaded guilty in 2011 to second-degree murder with aggravating factors that included dismembering Zahra Baker's body.
Zahra Baker wore a prosthetic leg and hearing aids after a struggle with bone cancer. She was reported missing in October 2010 from her home in Hickory.
"Zahra was a blessing. She brought a lot into my life," Baker said.
Several months after Elisa Baker's plea, a hunter found a skull in the northern part of Caldwell County. The medical examiner determined the skull was Zahra's.
The girl's father, Adam Baker, was never charged in the case but was deported to Australia after it was determined he was in the country illegally.
Elisa Baker told WSOC-TV that it was Adam Baker who dismembered Zahra and threw away her remains in different locations throughout Caldwell County.
Prosecutors told the TV station that they knew about her account but that all the evidence in the case shows Adam Baker wasn't involved in either his daughter's death or the disposal of her body.
Adam Baker took his daughter's remains with him to Australia.