Warrant: Zahra Baker Died Weeks Before Reported Missing

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 search warrants unsealed Tuesday, Elisa Baker told Hickory police in November that the girl died on Sept. 24, and was dismembered and disposed of the following day.

The warrant doesn't say how Zahra died.

Police found Zahra's remains at various points around western North Carolina based on information given to them by Elisa Baker.

Zahra was reported missing by her parents on Oct. 9, who said she disappeared during the night. No one has been charged in her death.

Elisa Baker is currently jailed on charges of obstructing justice during the investigation.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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Multiple media reports say a grand jury will meet for a second day Tuesday as they consider possible new charges against Elisa Baker. She is the stepmother of Zahra Baker, a girl who disappeared in October and her scattered remains were later recovered.

Baker already faces a charge of obstruction of justice after admitting she wrote a fake ransom note to throw off detectives investigating Zahra's disappearance. She has remained behind bars since her arrest, though her lawyers have filed for her bond to be reduced.

The community around Hickory has seen an outpouring of support for Baker since she disappeared in October. Investigators eventually found her remains scattered across several sites in the area after she was dismembered.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by jen Location: NC on Jan 10, 2011 at 11:02 AM
    I fully agree that these monsters are clearly guilty, but perhaps law enforcement and the DA's office is taking their time to be 100% certain that they don't do a single thing that could give the defense a reason to shift blame when they actually go to court. Maybe this is the number one case that they want to get right, and if time is what it takes, it's a small price to pay. Elisa Baker is obviously willing to continue giving self-incriminating information, and in the process, NO ONE has been fooled into thinking that she's trying to do her part and bring justice to precious Zahra's memory. Time is a small price to pay if the death penalty is the end result. And even if they don't get sentenced to death, they will still have to face their Maker on judgement day and THAT is what they should be fearing more than anything. While Zahra's earthly death IS tragic, she lives in heaven now, and will never again have to feel alone, scared, or harmed by these two sorry excuses for parents.
  • by NOT STUPID Location: California on Jan 9, 2011 at 07:12 PM
    It seems like the step mother is the only one talking to police she is the one who told them, when they killed the little girl, and where to find and search for body parts and her leg,mattress,she did not do this alone.The father is guilty,and possibly the step brother as well.It is impossible to live in a small house and not know whats going.Their all involved.The POLICE need to arrest the fat lying father before he tries to flee.I believe the step mother is being truthful when she says the father is also a part of this.I know she is a liar,but so is the father,it took both of them to do this,thats why she talking why should she go down alone for this when he is just as guilty as she is. GET BUSY COP'S.DO YOU'RE JOB.PUT THE PRESSURE ON.START MAKING SOME ARRESTS.GET BUSY.It's a discrace its talking so long.I totally agree with Mad and Mean.
  • by Mad and Mean Location: Outside of Washington on Jan 7, 2011 at 05:46 PM
    How can they not have enough to charge her & the father by now?? For crying out loud, is there no justice in this State anymore? Why haven't they BOTH been charged with 1st Degree Murder? To kill her is one horiffic thing to do, but to DISMEMBER her also?? To say they were "sick" is not the right word bc they would probably get off on the insanity plea. They are monsters PLAIN & SIMPLE. Let me be the judge & jury. I say~take them out to the tallest tree and hang them just high enough they don't die; cover them with dead parts from an animal and let the flies & nature take it's course. If I sound too cruel for some of you...stop and think about Zharas body they dismembered and scattered over Western NC. What if it were your child or loved one they had done it to? Sounds like perfect justice to me!!!
  • by richard Location: washington on Jan 5, 2011 at 01:26 AM
    they should be out to death penalty just got ouy of prison and nno gave me a break on what i did to get convicted it was me i would be dead in a week!
  • by Clifton Location: Washington on Jan 4, 2011 at 04:31 PM
    If she was dead two weeks before she was reported missing, HOW can here father say he did not know about it????
  • by Carrie Location: goldsboro on Jan 4, 2011 at 03:47 PM
    Charge both! Its almost evident that both of them had something to do with it. made it happen or let it happen...either way... How ever I am glad they are taking thier time with the carges...would hate to let a stupid technicality take it all down. RIP little lady~~
  • by Jane Location: Greeeville on Jan 4, 2011 at 03:34 PM
    I don't get it either, but I am really not surprised because this happened in NC. Other states would have already had her and Mr. Baker indicted for murder. What more proof do they need? Surely there were finger prints on something to use against them. Wish I'd known about Zahra. I would have loved for her to have been my sweet little girl.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Jan 4, 2011 at 02:18 PM
    I don't know who killed and dismembered this young girl, but please give them death by hanging. "A Mom", you are right "even animals" treat their young better than this young girl was treated. There are so many homes that she would have been welcomed into, mine included/. "REST IN PEACE DARLING"
  • by Anonymous Location: Goldsboro on Jan 4, 2011 at 02:07 PM
    I'm not sure I understand. How is it that the woman knows she died on September 24...her remains were disposed of the following day. Yet - all she has been charged with is obstruction of justice. Did I misread? Have I totally missed something? Obviously this woman knows everything about the case. If she knows when she died and knows when she was disposed of...shouldn't she know who did it? I just don't understand...
  • by Appalled Location: New Bern on Jan 4, 2011 at 02:01 PM
    What in the world is the hold up?? How long is it going to take before there are MURDER charges in this case? There should be no doubt by know about the facts of this case. Something has got to give!!
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