National News

Police find prosthetic leg similar to missing girl's

Posted October 27, 2010
Updated October 28, 2010

— Searchers looking for the remains of a missing North Carolina girl with disabilities found a prosthetic leg and authorities were trying to determine if it was that of the 10-year-old, police said Wednesday.

Hickory Police Maj. Clyde Deal said searchers found the leg at a home where the stepmother of Zahra Clare Baker’s once lived. The girl had an artificial leg because she lost hers to bone cancer. Zahra, who also uses hearing aids, was reported missing Oct. 9 and authorities believe she is dead.

Deal also said a mattress found by workers at a Caldwell County landfill will be tested for DNA evidence.

The prosthetic leg was discovered Tuesday afternoon near some brush in Caldwell County near the home. Deal said the family lived at several locations in the county and that he wasn’t sure how long ago they occupied that house. Authorities on Tuesday took Elisa Baker to a home where she once lived and Deal said she was cooperating after being jailed since the weekend her stepdaughter was reported missing.

Adam and Elisa Baker told police they had last seen Zahra in her bed at their home in Hickory, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte. But police don’t believe them.

Investigators said Zahra may have been alive when the family moved to a new home in North Carolina in mid-September, but they’ve had trouble finding anyone else who has seen her in recent months.

Elisa Baker, 42, has been charged with obstruction of justice. Police said she acknowledged to writing a bogus ransom note found at the scene of a fire in the family’s back yard on the day her stepdaughter was reported missing.

Adam Baker, 33, was arrested Monday. He is facing one count each of assault with a deadly weapon and failure to return rental property, two counts of communicating threats and five counts of writing worthless checks, authorities said. They are not related to his missing daughter’s case.

Authorities in recent weeks have combed wooded areas and a landfill for evidence or her body.

Adam Baker and his daughter lived in Australia until he met Elisa online and moved to North Carolina, where she was raised.

Hickory police have searched his house and property several times, though he insists he had nothing to do with Zahra’s disappearance. Police have not ruled him out as a suspect.

Neighbors and relatives have said that Elisa Baker was abusive toward her stepdaughter. Caldwell County Department of Social Services investigated the family because Zahra went to school with bruises and a teacher alerted school officials.


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  • Hater like Darth Vader Oct 29, 2010

    I'm not funny enough for Charlie Goodnight's.

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Oct 28, 2010

    "I feel that if everyone took my approach instead of complaining on a message board that maybe things would change"

    Uh, we are not complaining about anything. We are just expressing our distraught feelings for what has possibly happened to this poor little girl. That's the purpose of GOLO -- to DISCUSS things. And I would never try and create a joke out of something such as this. If any of your children were missing, would you be trying to make light of the situation with a joke? Furthermore; a joke making a pun out of unfortunate circumstances this girls was living with, which was loosing her leg to bone cancer. If you want to make jokes, go to Charlie Goodnights.

  • Hater like Darth Vader Oct 28, 2010

    Hey everyone, look I really appreciate that you hope nothing happens to my children. (I have 3). I was only making a joke, you people probably aren't nearly as hyper-reactive in real life as you are on a message board. (I hope anyway!) And to HersheyKiss, I'm not trying to tell you that it doesn't rip out my heart to think about a child being abused. I'm merely saying that my reaction to this is not to worry about it happening, it is to prevent my children from ever doing this to a child. I feel that if everyone took my approach instead of complaining on a message board that maybe things would change. I could be wrong though.

  • JAT Oct 28, 2010

    the hearing aids were found in the house originally. The first report was that those weren't with her but the leg was; which was odd because apparently she didn't sleep with the leg on.

  • BigBangTheorist Oct 28, 2010

    This monster AND the so-called father are prime candidates for waterboarding. And, once they confess to their crimes, they should receive the same treatment that they subjected this poor child to. Then, throw them in the general population in prison, and let the miscreants handle them.

  • Go Figure Oct 28, 2010

    JENNY, I personally don't feel like paying for his three hots and a cot. And just because you marry an American citizen does NOT mean you are here legally. Don't know where you got your facts.

  • Go Figure Oct 28, 2010

    bottom line, Elisa and Adam WREAK of deceit. AND they haven't even been charged with this beautiful baby's murder/demise YET. BOTH writing bad checks????

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Oct 28, 2010

    Hater just wants attention. I've seen other posts by them -- they aren't worth noticing.

    As for this story, I think that when you have a prosthesis, you get new ones ever so often. She was a growing child, so she probably has had several since the amputation was done. I just hope where ever she may be, she's happier than she was in the oh-so-uncaring hands of tweedle-dee and tweedle-dumb.

  • lindadaniels Oct 28, 2010

    I believe they only found her hearing aids in the hallway. They said it was normally her bedtime routine to remove her prosthesis but I don't recall them saying they found the "leg" in the house.

  • wildcat Oct 28, 2010

    I thought the "leg" and the hearing aid was left behind in the house. So why did they find the "leg" after digging in the yard?