State News

Police seek medical records for missing Hickory girl

Posted October 19, 2010 2:19 p.m. EDT
Updated October 19, 2010 8:49 p.m. EDT

— Investigators searching for a missing 10-year-old have asked for medical records from her native Australia, including details on the prosthesis the girl received after losing a leg to bone cancer.

Detectives are seeking details from the Australian medical facility that fitted Zahra Clare Baker with her artificial leg, including its model type, serial number, and material, Hickory Deputy Police Chief Major Clyde Deal said Tuesday.

Deal declined to say if investigators have also sought dental records, which are often used to identify a body. Authorities have said they think the missing girl is dead.

Zahra lived in Australia with her father, Adam Baker, until he met his wife online and moved to North Carolina.

The girl was reported missing Oct. 9. Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, 42, has been charged with obstruction of justice. She is accused of writing a fake ransom note left outside their home in Hickory, about 50 miles northwest of Charlotte.

The girl could have been missing two weeks before she was reported missing, police said.

Teams continued searching small, targeted areas for clues Tuesday, and detectives were keeping up a list of interviews of people who might have information about the case, Deal said.

Investigators were keeping Zahra’s biological mother in Australia updated on developments, Deal said. Adam Baker, 33, has continued to cooperate with investigators, Deal said. Authorities say they have not ruled him out as a suspect in the disappearance.

“If we ask him to be here, he’s showing up where we ask him to be,” Deal said.

Baker said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press he wants to find Zahra and take her back to Australia if she wants to go.