State News

Warrant: Hickory girl died weeks before reported missing

Posted January 4, 2011 4:22 p.m. EST
Updated January 11, 2011 2:58 p.m. EST

— Zahra Baker's stepmother has told police the disabled 10-year-old girl died more than two weeks before her parents reported her missing.

According to some of 29 search warrants unsealed Tuesday, Elisa Baker told Hickory police in November that the 10-year-old girl died on Sept. 24, and was dismembered and disposed of the following day.

The warrant doesn't say how she died, and no one has been charged in her death.

Zahra was reported missing by her parents on Oct. 9, who said that she disappeared during the night.

Elisa Baker was charged with obstructing justice during the investigation. Authorities said she wrote a fake ransom note found the morning after Zahra was reported missing.

During the investigation of the case, police searched e-mail accounts, cell phone records, medical records and cameras, search warrants unsealed Tuesday show.

Police found Zahra's remains at various locations around western North Carolina based on information given to them by Elisa Baker. She said she and Zahra's father, Adam Baker, dumped evidence in the case, and authorities say he hasn't been ruled out as a suspect, warrants state.

One search warrant also states that Adam and Elisa Baker chatted online about role-playing a "chainsaw massacre," even alluding to carrying one out on Sept. 22.

Most of the warrants ask for medical records involving Elisa Baker – she used eight different names while seeking treatment – and Department of Social Services records from several counties involving her three biological children.

Warrants for cell phones included one used by Aaron Young, Elisa Baker's ex-husband. It notes that she told Adam Baker that Young was her brother.

The Bakers' home in Hickory was searched multiple times. Blood evidence was found inside on Oct. 27, and investigators returned four days later with a forensic scientist, a warrant states.

Another warrant notes that the couple used trash bags to hide body parts and that evidence of blood and bone fragments might be found in a bathtub in the house.

Elisa Baker has requested that her bond be reduced on the obstruction charge, but a judge on Tuesday postponed the matter until March.