November 3rd, 2010
07:44 PM ET

Bone found in search for missing North Carolina girl

Search teams have discovered a bone that may be related to the disappearance of 10-year-old Zahra Baker, police in North Carolina said Wednesday.

The bone will be sent to the medical examiner's office in Chapel Hill for further examination, the Hickory Police Department said.

In the past week, the Hickory Police Department said it has recovered key pieces of evidence in the search for the 10-year-old cancer survivor, who was reported missing by her stepmother on October 9.

Zahra Baker was reported missing by her stepmother October 9.

Police on Monday confirmed that a prosthetic leg found last week in a brushy area off a road belonged to Zahra, who lost her leg to bone cancer when she was 5.

Also last week, employees at an environmental landfill found a mattress thought to have belonged to Zahra. Investigators believe the mattress was disposed of days before Zahra was reported missing, and hoped to use it to reinforce the timeline of her disappearance.  DNA tests on the mattress are being performed.

The discovery of the bone also comes two days after a Catawba County grand jury indicted Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, on an obstruction of justice charge related to the search for Zahra.

The charge stems from a fake ransom note that authorities say Baker admitted to writing to distract police from the search for Zahra.

Zahra's father, Adam Baker, is in custody on charges of submitting worthless checks and failing to appear in court.

Police earlier acknowledged that he faced bad-check charges, which are unrelated to the disappearance of his daughter. But they did not initially arrest him, as he had been helping authorities in their search.

The disappearance of Zahra, who was hearing impaired and had persevered through numerous health battles, has made international headlines.

Baker and his daughter, who are from Australia, moved to the United States after he met his future wife, Elisa Baker, online.

Meanwhile Wednesday, crews continued to search for evidence near the lake where Zahra's prosthesis was found, CNN affiliate WBTV reported.

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Filed under: Crime • Justice • Missing Children • North Carolina
soundoff (322 Responses)
  1. jacqueline

    The two of them

    November 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • unknown

      the parent did it !!!!! it dosent take a rocket scientist to figuire this out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      November 4, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Shane

      The stepmother did it and I hope she suffers tenfold what that poor girl had to go through. How in the hell do you kill a small girl who was deaf and was fighting cancer?! If there is a devil, her name is Elisa Baker.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Austin

      I already posted, but these two parents are monsters. End of story. It sickens me that HUMANS can be so inhumane and have such a lack of compassion and empathy. These two individuals deserve whatever the American legal system throws at them because they are tied to the disappearance, and possibly, death, of an innocent child. Let them burn eternally for their selfish actions.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Rocky Termanini

      We all are responsible for Zahra's death...All of us...Whoever did it has no heart and ought to be impaled like they do in the Middle East, or maybe stoned to death by East Los Angeles Gangs, or run over several times by an 18 wheeler. Our justice system won't do justice...I am sick in my stomach.

      November 4, 2010 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      I can't even begin to imagine the horror and pain this poor child went through. I hope her killers suffer for a long, long time. I would write more, but only expletives come to mind when I think about her "parents."

      November 4, 2010 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Debbi

      The step monster probably took the physical abuse a little too far one day and killed the girl. The father monster was helping her cover up her gastly mistake. May this little angel rest in peace.

      November 4, 2010 at 7:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      It's people like this that are the reason why we need to bring back public crucifixion.

      November 4, 2010 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Maya2007

      @Debbi.... that's exactly what I think happened. I sure hope they find this little girl so these 2 monster can be brought to justice. They are not consider human being IMO... Monster it is!!

      November 4, 2010 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Willy

      May God Bless Her Little Soul, if they did not want Her, there were so many people out there that would have taken her and loved Her.

      November 4, 2010 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • realist

      @Unknown: I think everyone agrees with you, the issue is it has to be able to be proven before they can be punished.

      There is nothing that can be done to those parents to make them pay for their crimes adequately. Death is a good start though.

      November 4, 2010 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • superhamster

      Sorry Rocky, but in no way, shape or form am I in any way responsible for Zahra's death. So, a murder trial for all of humanity is likely not forthcoming.

      November 4, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  2. IndependentJones


    November 3, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karren

      I agree with Martin. SHUT UP. Are you so insensitive that you will post your drivel in any venue? This is about a
      news report that a child is missing and suspected to be dead. This is NOT about your political comments driven by
      YOUR political agenda. If you want to propose that people vote a certain way, find a forum where you can address
      that. I am certain no one here cares about your "outsourcing issues." We all have them. Just not in a venue that is
      not about politics. Perhaps you can take a moment out of your stupid existence to pray for this child.

      November 3, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • firewall

      best comment ever

      November 4, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mogwi

    Psst! This story is about a kidnapped child, not politics. I hope the truth comes out. Good job law enforcement! You've been working long and hard on this. Keep it up. We're with you.

    November 3, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Come on she was not kidnapped if her stepmother and father killed her...!

      November 6, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jim Brieske

    Having trouble posting. Tried five times while rewriting the comment.

    They can find her. I won't let them fail.

    November 3, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Martha mann

    I am outraged! this beautiful child had persevered, the mental anguish and physical trauma, then to be murdered so hainously! There are several things that are a given; she is in the arms of our heavenly father, john walsh is involved in solving her murder, and the hickory police have their teeth in the alledged murderer and they are not letting go, but the gratification is,there is a special path to hell...for whoever is responsible! It has sickened me. Martha brunson mann

    November 3, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Martha mann

    I am outraged! this beautiful child had persevered, the mental anguish and physical trauma, then to be murdered so hainously! There are several things that are a given; she is in the arms of our heavenly father, john walsh is involved in solving her murder, and the hickory police have their teeth in the alledged murderer and they are not letting go, but the gratification is,there is a special path to hell...for whoever is responsible! It has sickened me. Martha brunson mann laurens,sc

    November 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mandy

    We live within 30 minutes of the town of Hickory. It's just a worldwide state of shock, I believe. This is horrific. Everyone's heart is breaking. Everyone knows what happened, but until it's confirmed, we don't want to give up hope...that maybe...just maybe...she's still alive. What kind of life this poor child the hands of her own Father. Even if he didn't abuse her...which I believe he did.....he allowed her to be abused. It's his duty, as her father, to protect her. Bless her heart. They neglected her, abused her, and eventually killed her. Our system failed this little girl tremendously, more than once. There are a lot of people with blood on their hands. I commend this police department in Hickory. It's a really small town. They are doing things right. This is the bible belt, and Elisa & Adam Baker are about to get whooped.

    November 3, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Becca

      I just bet that the rug was about to be pulled out from under these two rotten excuses for humans...just what we may never know and I bet the were running scared and had to get rid of this poor child. This just makes me sick to even think some one could do this to a child let alone to their child. Excuse me people but some times I wonder is there really a god that would do this or let someone do this stuff But who knows maybe she is in a better place and that is why I do not understand the why's of this all.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Austin

      The issue isn't about whether or not there's a God. If you believe in God, then the belief is that He!! is a disconnect from his presence, love, and compassion. I'm 18 years old and consider myself agnostic, but whoever harmed this girl is a monster. It's my belief that happiness stems from how true you are to your morals. Her parents are conspirators, if not guilty, in my eyes. They will face the justice system in correspondence to their peers, and if there is a heaven, then sure as HECK, they will face the consequences here on after. Such a shame a beautiful, helpless girl was subjected to the wills of such inhuman beings. I hope there is a heaven, because this girl deserves it after what she went through.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. Norma Jean

    Zara Beker
    I have worked in Social work for almost 33 years and thought I had "see it all" " heard it all, This hideous heartbreaking crime has been on my mind since day one! The guilty one or ones should be punished to the fullest extent of the law!'
    I do not have enough words to explain my outrage for what has happened to Zara Baker!

    November 3, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      it's Zahra Baker.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. De

    I am praying for the police and searchers on this case too. They have worked hard and they need a good break in this case. It is little wonder this case bewilders so many people. It is apparent this little girl had nobody in this world but the Lord. Most of us have recognized the spirit, courage and heart of this little girl as light from the Lord. Nothing that has the light of the Lord stays hidden in the dark for long; darkness cannot withstand the light of truth. It may be a matter of G_d's time and people may have to continue being observant, diligent and praying. Most of us have come to empathize with this child even though few could imagine what she must have endured in the control of a pair that have demonstrated beyond belief inability to care for a helpless, little girl. If that was the purpose of her suffering and her short life then her life was well lived. It is important that her remains are found and a proper burial held for her because most of us know in our hearts her life and her suffering mattered. And then there is the job of making sure that whatever dark heart did this to her is held fully accountable for it and that the accounting sticks.

    November 3, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • fefe

      ...what's G_D...are you afraid to refer to Him as GOD which is who He is...

      November 4, 2010 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
    • KC

      fefe, I'm sure De was just concerned that putting God in the post would get it deleted.

      November 4, 2010 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
    • deskjob4me

      @fefe: It could be that the poster that typed "G_d" is Jewish, since followers of the Jewish faith never spell out "God".

      November 4, 2010 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Suz

      LOL, Fefe, it's a Jew thing. We're not permitted to spell out the name of G_d as a means of respect. Go to jewfaq dot org to learn more.

      I love how you confused fear with respect, though. That's cool.

      November 4, 2010 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  10. Maria Castro

    Did this child attend Special Education Services in her School District? Where are the social workers to meet the needs of this family? I pray for her each night. God Bless her soul. She is now with the Angels!

    November 3, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maya2007

      This child was homeschooled. The parents kept her hidden really good before all this happen. I would not be surprise to find out the stepmommy was the culprit to this whole thing and the daddy just followed along. God knows exactly what to do with these 2 human beings.

      November 4, 2010 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Sennen

      She was home schooled, and in any case there is no indication that she would have needed special ed.

      November 4, 2010 at 7:09 am | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      She was never properly registered for home-schooling. They just pulled her out of school the last time they moved to avoid people starting to look into reports of abuse, and said they were going to home-school her. So they never had the proper inspections, registration, etc. I think she had just become "too much trouble" for them, personally.

      November 5, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Leeann

    I have cried and prayed every night for this little girl. So many people in the world that can't have children and that would love to have a child, even one w/ that has endured so much and from what I understand stayed cheerful through it all. I would love to hold her and kiss her and tell everything will be ok. I have a feeling that she is in our Father's arms now, singing and playing w/ the angels. No pain or suffering, her own legs to run and hearing to hear the angels sing. The people responsible for her death will face judgement, if not here, then on judgement day.

    November 3, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Karren

    If nothing else can be learned from this case, perhaps it is that each of us can take responsibility when we see abuse in any form and report it. There was a comment initially that family members of the step-mother commented that "they knew something like this was going to happen." If they knew she was being physically and verbally abused, why didn't they call Children's and Family Services or whatever it is called in that county and report it. Living in a foster home or with other family members is always a viable option when a parent cannot care for a child regardless of the reason.
    This child would still be alive today if people cared enough to get involved. My heart breaks for what she must have gone through.

    November 3, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tia

      Go back and read the original articles. People DID report it. Nothing was done.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
    • JFT

      They did report it to CPS. The stepmother and father moved multiple times, across county lines, and they supposedly homeschooled the little girl, so they weren't easy to trace down. People need to stop pointing fingers at the family and friends, there were calls made to CPS, and CPS did investigate to the best of their ability. People like this move constantly to avoid prosecution for all sorts of things – both the stepmother and father constantly wrote bad checks, etc. CPS doesn't have a crystal ball to help them find people who continually change residence.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Austinpowers

    OK, listen up; the following things are fiction and/or fantasy and should be clearly so to any rational and sane human being over the age of 7 (which obviously rules out many of the posters here):
    gods, hobgoblins, angels, sprites,
    devils, prayer, the afterlife, devine intervention, zombies, etc.

    The only reality is what humans choose to do to one another, and the consequences that arise from those conscious acts. One chooses to kill another, and beauty dies and is removed from the world. There is no greater punishment than that. Live with that, and grow up already.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Amen, haha!
      Couldn't resit.

      I was about to write something similar but found your comment – your words work for me!!!

      November 4, 2010 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
    • 5T1V roma

      gotta agree all this "she's in the arms of the angels now" stuff is rubbing me the wrong way too.
      If you SEE something like child abuse SAY SOMETHING to the authorities !!

      November 4, 2010 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Tia

      Well said! Saying she's "in the arms of angels" and "in a better place now" is like saying that it's a good thing that she's dead because now she's better off.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
    • JFT

      Thank you. It was becoming nauseating, almost as if they're glad she died.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Leila

      She's in the wood chipper!! But now shes with angels

      November 4, 2010 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • free2comment

      r u certain your take on reality is the Truth and not merely your perception?

      November 4, 2010 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
    • austinpowers30


      November 4, 2010 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
    • SoulKandy

      Spare us from your paranoid delusional fantasies. You should take your own advice and try "growin up". I guess you are one of the left behind in the mental evolution of our species. Billions of people over thousands and thousands of years have discovered the truth but of course they were all wrong, it turns out some mal-adjusted kid on cnn comments has it all figured out.

      ehhh, not very likely is it.

      November 4, 2010 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Justamom

      And you choose to belittle others because they don't believe what you believe. Hypocrite.

      November 4, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. deskjob4me

    That poor little girl. Wronged by all of the people that should have done right by her...

    November 4, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Popepuncher

    Ok, let's leave your G-D out of this, since He is the one that told a father (Abraham) to kill his son Issac to proof his love for Him. No better than the murderer of this child. I can only hope I can stand over the one(s) who did this in hell and torture there disgusting souls for eternity.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
    • free2comment

      r u certain those r the facts and that u r not merely propagating a myth by repeating what u heard in sunday school?

      November 4, 2010 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
    • simon

      Your ignorance of the story of Abraham shows. God was TESTING Abraham's obedience. He stopped Abraham from actually following through. But since you don't understand the concept of faith to begin with, you'll not understand God's methods of testing faith, either. And that's cool with God...he doesn't need your understanding to validate His deity. If you're enlightened enough to read the entire Mosaic law, you'll see several times how God condemns child abuse and child sacrifice.

      November 4, 2010 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Suz

      As a Jew, I'm thrilled to see that you're having proper respect for the name of G_d by not spelling it out, the same way we do. Love that! 🙂

      November 4, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
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