State News

Search for missing Hickory girl moves to new location

Posted October 25, 2010
Updated October 26, 2010

— Investigators searching for a missing 10-year-old focused Monday on an area where her stepmother used to live.

Police believe Zahra Baker, who was reported missing Oct. 9 from Hickory, is dead.

Her father was arrested Monday on several charges unrelated to the girl’s disappearance, joining his wife who has been in custody for two weeks.

Adam Baker, 33, 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.

The timing of his arrest raises questions because the charges against him were filed over the last few months. Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins had said authorities delayed taking action because he was cooperating with police.

It was unclear if he was still cooperating. A telephone message left for Adkins was not immediately returned.

Baker, who is from Australia, was being held in a western North Carolina jail on $7,000 bond, Hickory police spokeswoman Libby Grigg said. It was not clear if he had an attorney.

The girl’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, is at the same jail, facing charges including obstruction of justice. Police said she admitted writing a bogus ransom note found at the scene of a fire in the family’s back yard on the day Zahra was reported missing.

Police have said they think someone killed the girl, but have not found her body and haven’t charged anyone with killing her. A three-day search of a nearby landfill last week failed to turn up any evidence.

On Monday authorities were searching along Dudley Shoals Road in Caldwell County, an area where Elisa Baker lived in 2006-2007 before she married Adam Baker and before his daughter, Zahra, moved to the United States.


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  • Go Figure Oct 26, 2010

    MOMMIEOF3, the issue of the wood chipper has long been discussed.

  • Go Figure Oct 26, 2010

    OMG, they are all a family of criminals, less the beautiful child that is missing. Glad they pulled this man in, now kick HIM out of the country. God's love to that beautiful little girl, she is safe now where ever she is.

  • bmg379 Oct 26, 2010

    OK folks,lets bring in the SBI or FBI and find this little girl enough of the lies and story telling,do you believe the mother or dad can tell the truth about anything?

  • barnzez Oct 26, 2010

    UreapwhatUsow: You may be right. If there was a man in England that gave the stepmom $10,000, where is the money now, and what did he get in return?

  • sayitoutloud Oct 26, 2010

    @iamsiam1096, I had heard on Nancy Grace that the Bio mom had not seen or had any contact with this child since she was 8 months old. Sounds like to me she didnt have a chance either way. Its a very sad situation, and I wish they would just find her body so she can finally be put to rest.

  • MommieOf3 Oct 26, 2010

    I hate to say this but has anybody thought about the fact that this dad worked for a tree company and has access to a wood chipper??? There's no way they're going to find this poor childs body....

  • alwaysCool Oct 25, 2010

    here is what the news paper in Sydney says

  • alwaysCool Oct 25, 2010

    Did I miss something? Where was the father during all this time? Cant tell me that he did not notice his daughter gone and to say that his wife Might have done something. Now that the location changed it makes me wonder if he is not involved somehow too.

  • UreapwhatUsow Oct 25, 2010

    Never mind the world being full of sick teenagers, it's full of sick parents too! I don't think she's dead at all, remember Shaniya Davis? I think that evil old stepmother sold that girl!

  • carla349 Oct 25, 2010

    Maybe when he hears the prison door slam behind him he'll decide it's time to turn on his wife.