Police Have Not Found Head Of Zahra Baker

Authorities have not recovered the head of a disabled North Carolina girl whose stepmother has been indicted on a murder charge and accused of dismembering the 10-year-old's body.

An autopsy report released Monday shows that medical examiners say the cause of Zahra Baker's death was undetermined homicidal violence. Examiners say many bones were not present for the autopsy, most notably Zahra Baker's skull. Several bones show cutting tool marks consistent with dismemberment.

Documents show that police learned months ago that the freckle-faced little girl was dismembered after she died, but an exact cause of death has not been revealed. The lack of a head may help to explain that -- and why it took four months for a charge in her death. Stepmother Elisa Baker was indicted earlier Monday on second-degree murder.

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


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The stepmother of a disabled North Carolina girl has been indicted on a murder charge in the child's death.

A grand jury in Catawba County handed down the indictment Monday morning, charging Elisa Baker with second-degree murder. Authorities planned to discuss the case at a news conference later in the day.

Elisa Baker had previously been charged with obstructing justice in the investigation of Zahra Baker's death. The 10-year-old was reported missing in October, and police later found her remains.

A search warrant unsealed last month said that Elisa Baker led police to the places where they found Zahra's remains. She claimed that her husband, Adam Baker, dismembered the body. Adam Baker has denied that.

Attorneys for Elisa Baker did not return calls seeking comment Monday.

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


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