State News

Father of slain girl wants to go back to Australia

Posted April 12, 2011 4:01 a.m. EDT
Updated April 12, 2011 5:26 a.m. EDT

— The father of a slain North Carolina girl hopes to be able to return to his native Australia once his legal problems are resolved.

The Hickory Daily Record reports that Adam and Elisa Baker were both scheduled to be in Caldwell County District Court on Monday, but their cases were continued until June 13 because Elisa Baker's attorney could not be in court.

Shell Pierce, the attorney for Adam Baker in Caldwell County, said as soon as the matters are resolved and his client gets permission, Adam Baker will go home to Australia. If needed, Pierce said Adam Baker could return to the United States.

Elisa Baker was indicted in February on charges of second-degree murder in 10-year-old Zahra Baker's death. Adam Baker has not been charged in Zahra's death.

An indictment alleges that the girl, who used a prosthetic leg and hearing aids after being stricken with cancer, was killed on Sept. 24.

After a massive search, police found the girl's remains in different locations around western North Carolina. According to an autopsy report, only a few bones were recovered, and medical examiners were never able to determine how she died.

The indictment lists five aggravated factors in the case that could enhance the penalty Elisa Baker might face if convicted.

According to the document, Elisa Baker had a history of physically, verbally and psychologically abusing Zahra; she kept the girl from her family to conceal the crime; she desecrated Zahra's body; and she abused a position of trust she had with the girl.