Local News

Stepmother of missing Hickory girl arrested

Posted October 10, 2010
Updated October 11, 2010

— The stepmother of a missing Hickory girl was arrested Sunday morning on outstanding charges unrelated to the 10-year-old's disappearance.

Police booked Elisa Baker on charges of larceny by employee, driving with a revoked license, passing worthless check and communicating threats. None of those charges is related to the disappearance of Zahra Claire Baker, police said, but Elisa Baker has not been eliminated as a person of interest.

Police said Sunday that details have emerged that make it seem less likely that a stranger abducted Zahra, who was reported missing a day earlier by her father, Adam, and stepmother, Elisa.

The father and stepmother were interviewed early in the investigation, and police were following up leads to corroborate their statements. Investigators were looking at surveillance video from businesses near the Baker home for clues.

Elisa and Adam Barker reported Zahra missing around 2 p.m. Saturday. They said they had last seen her in sleeping in her bedroom at 21 21st Ave. NW around 2:30 a.m., police said.

"We continue to have concerns for her well-being," Libby Grigg, assistant to the Hickory police chief, said in a statement. "We are deeply concerned for the welfare of Zahra but remain hopeful that we will locate her safe and unharmed."

A statewide Amber Alert issued Saturday for Zahra remains in effect. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was assisting in the search for her.

Zahra is described as a white girl, about 5 feet 1 inches tall and weighing 85 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a camouflage Army T-shirt and black knee-length tights, and she has a prosthetic left leg below the knee. She is hearing-impaired but does not have her hearing aids with her.

No information about any potential abductor has been released.

Anyone with information about Zahra's whereabouts is asked to call the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551 or call 911 or *HP.


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  • aleyladuncan79 Oct 12, 2010

    So sad!!....That little girl didn't wonder off...the house backs to a Crossfit Gym and the gym faces one of the biggest Roads in Hickory...Something happened to her... :(

  • KermitDFrog Oct 11, 2010

    As a parent of a 9 & 12 yr old, I know that I at least peek in their rooms every weekend morning. Most of the time they're already awake watching cartoons. How do you go until 2pm to realize that something is wrong?

  • kittiboo Oct 11, 2010

    So much fishy about this. I sure hope she is ok.

  • itsmyownopinion Oct 11, 2010

    If I understood the father correctly in his morning interview on Good Morning America, he was working and came home and the step mother came out and told him the child was missing. That sounded so like the Haleigh Cummings case. :(

  • 007KnightRider Oct 11, 2010

    NC sure been in the national spotlight a lot this year! Boy have times changed.

  • Diabolical Oct 11, 2010

    After watching Good Morning America, I think the father's feeling about his daughter missing is genuine. Now, I noticed in the back there is a big wooded area is it possible she wandered back there and got lost? Kids her age do curious things and like to explore. The Step-Mother I'm still iffy about.

  • esprg Oct 11, 2010

    @ Sea Chell I thought the same thing. I let my 10 yr old sleep late but normally he's up or stirring around or something! No breakfast or lunch?

  • esprg Oct 11, 2010

    Ok is it just me but you last see your child at 2:30am but report her missing at 2:30PM is that a typo?

  • sunydaze Oct 11, 2010

    odd. parents who care enough to check in on their sleeping child in the middle of hte night are not usually ones who don't bother to wonder why their child is not awake by 2pm the next day. please! seems strange they even checked on her at 2:30am unless they were already up...strange!

  • jfc4419 Oct 11, 2010

    We all hope and pray that this beautiful little girl can be found safe and sound. It's hard to believe what some people do to the most defenseless among us today.