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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