State News

Warrants: Two men may have been involved in Zahra's death

Posted November 30, 2010
Updated January 11, 2011

— Hundreds of pages of warrants related to the search for a Hickory 10-year-old were released Tuesday in response to a public information request by North Carolina news organizations, including WRAL News.

The documents don't specifically address how the girl died, but they do include details about  two men, acquaintances of her stepmother, who a source said could have raped and killed Zahra Baker.

Zahra was reported missing Oct. 9. Police confirmed Nov. 19 that human remains found in Caldwell County matched her DNA profile. 

In a statement to police, a source wrote that he had third-hand information that a man named "Sammy" ... "had done something very bad and needed to leave town." 

Police searched the home of Timothy Samuel "Sammy" Young and Lewis James Young, at 8630 County Line Road in Hilebran, looking for evidence of firearms, bodily fluids and indications that Zahra had been there. 

The documents also include details from investigators' conversations with Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, and her lawyer. 

Elisa Baker was arrested Oct. 10, and she is accused of trying to throw off investigators by writing a fake ransom note for another child. Her attorneys have argued that her $97,000 bond should be reduced because she helped police find Zahra.

An investigator with the Hickory Police Department wrote in applying for a search warrant that Elisa Baker's lawyer told him Zahra had been dismembered, and that she and her husband dumped a mattress and box springs at a trash dump in Granite Falls and wrapped Zahra's prosthetic leg in a white trash bag and threw it into an apartment dumpster in Hickory.

The warrants note that Elisa Baker showed "deception" in a polygraph test when asked if she knew of any harm that came to Zahra. 

Police also searched records for multiple telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and Internet profiles associated with Elisa Baker.

Zahra lived with her stepmother and father, Adam Baker. In the course of the investigation, according to the warrants, investigators found that Elisa Baker had a history of referrals to the Department of Social Services for alleged abuse of her biological children. Caldwell County DSS reported in July that Zahra got a black eye from her stepmother.

Zahra's father, Adam Baker, has adamantly denied involvement in his daughter's death. He faces unrelated charges of assault with a deadly weapon, failure to return rental property, communicating threats and writing worthless checks.

The search for Zahra gained nationwide attention. On Nov. 12, Hickory police confirmed that human remains found in Caldwell County matched a DNA profile of Zahra.


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  • mom2boys Dec 2, 2010

    There's a special place in hades for whoever was involved in this!!! Such a tragedy!

  • Weetie Dec 1, 2010

  • cariannestanley Dec 1, 2010

    This is ONE weird case........we may NEVER know exactly what happened to this unfortunate little girl! It's a crying shame what evil abounds in this world! What was the point of hurting her? She had suffered so much already..........I can't believe the callousness and cold-blooded twisted behavior of some people!

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Dec 1, 2010

    ncwolf08 -- they have to gather enough evidence to make a solid case against whomever is responsible. If they don't have suffifient or legitimate evidence, there can be no conviction. If they arrest them now based on what ole' looney-booney elisa baker says, there's a chance she could be lying or else the real killers will just get off easy. It sucks to have to wait, but in the end it's for the best.

  • ncwolf08 Dec 1, 2010

    Put them in jail now...what are they waiting for??? I don't care...if the stepmom and dad sat back and let someone do the unspeakable to this precious child, they need to be incarcerated until that time when a jury comes back with a guilty verdict and a sentence of Death. I would be more than happy to be called for jury duty on this one...I would imagine most of us would.

  • so you dont like my opinion ok Dec 1, 2010

    Perfectly said rosered857.

  • rosered857 Dec 1, 2010

    Life is too short as it is. Life was much too hard and too short for Zahra.

    All of those involved in this horribly sickening atrocity should all have their miserable, rat infested lives cut short.

    We don't need to house all of them in prison, with free health and dental care, medications, food and a place to rest their wretched heads on for the next 50 or more years and the law abiding left to foot the bill.

    I'm fed up. The murder of our children should be treated the same as the murder of law enforcement officers. Put the death penalty on the table and LEAVE IT THERE.

    God is with you Zahra and so are all our prayers and tears.

  • CarolinaGirlRJA Dec 1, 2010

    @ MileageDontTakeYourKidsCrap -- I wonder if there are laws that prohibit how far DSS can intervene in a case of child abuse. I would think, with the way our government works, that the child would have to be beat to a pulp infront of LEO before anybody will actually take action against the parents. Almost like domestic violence cases between spouses in NC.

  • gpcatgirl Dec 1, 2010

    MileageDontTakeYourKidsCrap AMEN to your DSS needs a overhaul comment I couldn't have said it better myself.

  • tgriffin09 Dec 1, 2010

    Sometimes....HELL just isn't hot enough...Godspeed Zahra...May your soul RIP...