National News

Zahra's father watches vigil online, denies killing daughter

Posted November 17, 2010 6:27 a.m. EST
Updated November 17, 2010 6:56 a.m. EST

— Adam Baker cried Tuesday night while watching a vigil for his daughter, Zahra Baker, and denied killing the 10-year-old, according to WBTV.

Baker decided to watch the vigil online instead of attending it, he said, because he thought people would make a scene and call him names.

"I didn’t want everybody to take their focus off Zahra," he said.

WBTV reporter Steve Ohnesorge interviewed Baker and his mother, who was at his side for support, as they watched the vigil online and asked Baker if he killed and dismembered his daughter.

"There’s no way in the world that I would ever hurt my daughter," Baker said. "No, there’s no way I could do that to my baby.”

The disabled girl's dismembered remains were found more than a month after she was reported missing.

Baker's mother said she is hurt by the accusations against her son, but said she will continue to support him.

“It’s really hard to listen to people call him murderous and a child abuser, but people don’t know," she said.

Baker thanked the people of Hickory for holding the vigil to mark what would have been Zahra's 11th birthday.

"It meant the world to me," he said.

Baker said he would like to have a normal life again, but doubts that will ever be possible. He'd like to return to Australia and take Zahra's remains with him, he said.

“There’s no possible way to ever fill the hole left by my daughter," he said.

Zahra's remains and the prosthetic leg she needed after an amputation because of her cancer were found at remote sites around Hickory, a town of about 41,000 about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte, last week, according to court documents.

The documents revealed that she was dismembered and police needed her stepmother's help to find the remains because they were in such remote locations.

Zahra’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, faces obstructing justice and 15 lesser charges unrelated to Zahra's disappearance.

Attorneys for Elisa Baker have argued the woman's bond should be lessened because she helped police. Elisa Baker has been in custody since the day after Zahra was reported missing, and she is accused of trying to throw off investigators by writing a fake ransom note for another child.

Adam Baker was also arrested on a host of charges unrelated to the girl's disappearance, but is free on bail.

No one has been charged in Zahra's death, but police have cast doubt on her parents' claims they last saw her alive Oct. 9.