NEWTON, N.C. — Crime Stoppers groups have combined to offer a reward of up to $4,000 for information about the disappearance of a Hickory girl reported missing from her home Oct. 9.
After Zahra Baker's father reported her missing, it was determined that the 10-year-old was last seen by someone other than her family on Sept. 25.
Hickory police and agents with the state and federal bureaus of investigation searched a landfill in Caldwell County this week for a mattress that belonged to the girl.
Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said investigators knew the mattress had been discarded before Zahra was reported missing, and they hoped to use any evidence it might hold to confirm interviews, reinforce the timeline of her disappearance and gather DNA.
Zahra's stepmother, who was arrested on a charge of obstruction of justice Oct. 10, was being held on $65,000 after prosecutors said she was a flight risk.