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. Tanja

    'Parents' are guilty, no doubt! For them – swift death penalty, no excuses!

    November 4, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mad Doc

    What took this reporter or any reporters so dunking long to say Hearing Impaired? Have you confirmed to say "Deaf" or you are too stupid not to ask?

    November 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • KDW31

      What exactly are you getting at? Hearing impaired is the actual medical term used. It ranges from mild hearing impairment to severe profound hearing impairment. The child was in a mainstream classroom (before they took her out of school) as far as I can tell. This would imply to me that she had reasonably good hearing when she wore her hearing aids and/or good lip reading skills. The term deaf is not really used much since it is not as medically descriptive. If it is used it is used more to describe those with little to no residual hearing and who use sign language as their primary means of communication.

      November 4, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Venus

    Frankly speaking...I don't see any difference between Iran and most of the countries who call themselves protector of human rights..Children are getting ill-treated in every part of world whether it is USA, Iran or India (I am from India). Really, I feel very sad when I see her face. God is surely with her and we pray all good things for her. What can I say?

    November 4, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. MomOf3

    I hope her step-mommy gets the chair.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • kcom

      I'm not sure "mommy" is the right word. I think of a mommy as someone who is caring and loving, not someone like this. Poor Zahra.

      November 7, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. ACIM

    Wishing pain and suffering and death on anyone for any reason only brings it upon yourself. Thoughts do not leave their source. Afterall, we are all connected, there is only one collective mind, no separation. That is what Jesus and many other masters have taught. We are all one and we only think we see a separate body of flesh and bone. The grand illusion of mankind. If you wish to change the world then start with yourself and eliminate the internal voice for hate, judgement, fear, guilt, blame. There is only love – everything else is an illusion. There is no sin, evil, devil etc. God is only love and therefore, only capable of creating love. As Jesus said: "Forgive them for they know not what they do" still applies today. People that kill – honestly do not have a clue of what they are doing and are so caught up in separation and fear. If they did know the truth, the idea of hurting another would be an insane idea because they would know it would only be hurting themselves. Lastly, to all those that are fed up with the world as it is today – Our perception of the world is a reflection of our perception of ourselves.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. cat

    What I want somebody to talk about is where the hell this child's mother is? I know there was early mention that she was in another country. Could it be that she could possibly any worse of a parent than her father has turned out to be. I hope they throw the father and step-mother under the jail!

    November 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      They are all from Australia that's where she still is. Someone mentioned she had abandoned her. Well there are deadbeats in any country but this poor girl has been very unfairly unlucky with her parents! If only they'd have just given her for adoption if they didn't want her – that goes for so many people.

      November 4, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. barbara dellinger

    i cannot rest for wondering what has happened to this child. ever since this story broke, she has been on my mind. i too, had a child with cancer, and she beat that, only to die later from an un-related illness. my point in bringing this up is that these are special children, and they are fighters, and they deserve every GOOD thing life has to offer. my heart breaks to think of little zahra lying lifeless and alone somewhere while the perpertrators of this horrendous evil are still out there, conniving and plotting ways to lessen the seeming severity of what they have done. nothing will bring zahra back to us, but may the severest form of punishment be meted out to the guilty. may God have mercy. if there is any one out there who has a child/children that you feel like you might harm, please take them to a family member, your church, or social agency, or even to your local hospital, no questions asked. someone will be glad to take them in order to prevent another awful tragedy like what has happened to "our" zahra.

    November 4, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jane

    SMART BLONDIE .When tragedy happen the subject of god comes up . it made up of people condemning others for their belief that's were it all STARTED on here . people weren't discussing anything about god when it started . they were making comments about how zahra resting with lord , if this is what they believe so what ,try telling a pastor not mention god at all if one was to discuss this case. were it became a discussion is were people were defending their beliefs. i don't think their whole point was to just talk about god and not the case. that what it seems like your saying . when i posted i said how i feel about the case i added a appoint about the lord to those who believe and how we should try and make a difference in society as Christians.The main point could have applied to anyone in our society . regardless of belief . I directed this point at the end ov my message to Christians and even wrote to them TO EACH YOUR OWN.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. rico

    this is why you don't pick up chicks on the internet

    November 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. snadjafinia

    Can someone fire this nancy grace lady? Her mean nasty immature voice makes me want to throw up in my lap.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Glenda Stafford

    When we talk of miracles one has to wonder why this child was denied one. This will be one of my first questions when I die and see God.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anone

      Well said...

      November 4, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ccm123

    This is just a terrible story. That poor little girl should had a rough life only to be worsened by a evil and disgusting step mother.

    November 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jay

    First, I'd like to know how Mr. Baker obtained custody of his daughter? What Australian divorce court saw HIM as the more capable parent? What sort of custody agreement existed between Zahra's parents that allowed him to seperate his cancer-strickened daughter from her bioligical mother to marry some woman he met online (a woman who apparently identifies with vampires based on exerpts of letters she wrote from jail)?

    November 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • FEDUP

      What about her birth mother. Not yet has I heard anything from her other than she was sending medical papers to the authorities. I don't think that the birth mother wanted her. If it was my child I would have taking the first flight out of dodge
      to help find my child. Something with this just ain't right. To me the birth mom is unattached. It never fails the wicked step
      mother and the evildoer dad . What a combination

      November 5, 2010 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
    • SCbeachmom

      This was in a local paper in SC about her birth mother
      http://www.thesunnews.com/2010/11/05/1794915/missing-aussie-girls-mom-thinks.html

      November 5, 2010 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Wow, Thanks SCBeach this puts quite a different spin on it. Amazing if true that she had finally tracked her daughter down & then 3 days later they reported her missing (so most likely she was already dead!) Very sad.

      November 5, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. Brad

    I wanted to comment on the Elisa Baker letters. I think that she is lying to this Damien person that she is writing to, because he is her only friend as she states and she is obviously hoping to get out of jail and be with this guy. Do you think that she is going to admit doing horrible crimes to some guy she is writing to and has never met or seen, if she is hoping to hook up with this guy. What else would you expect her to say, but to deny that she did anything wrong. She is conning him, just like she has conned everyone else in her life. The letters are not truthful. She is blaming Adam Baker because she wants this guy to let her move in with him, if she gets out.

    November 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      I tried to reply to you talking about what was wrong with the things she said and which definitely incriminates both of them – but CNN didn't seem to like it, go figure! You're probably on the money there, she's in denial and just thinking of the next guy she can con if she somehow gets out of jail – and she is obviously so deluded she thinks she will!

      November 4, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Laura

    Those of you who want to ban abortion, you realize that doing so would sentence many more children to this sort of fate, right? As one of the lucky ones that got adopted myself, I would much much MUCH rather have been aborted than to have had this happen to me. Just like with cats and dogs, there are millions more children who need homes than there are homes for them. Think about that when you insist that more unwanted children be brought into the world.

    There is no punishment severe enough for whoever did this to Zahra (yeah, probably the stepmom, maybe also the father, maybe others were also involved). This story absolutely breaks my heart.

    November 4, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Yep, you're right. Altho I'd rather keep abortion out of it, we can't take of the children that bad parents do have the way our system is. And I've heard of a few people who get a chip on their shoulder / inferiority complex because they're adopted, despite having loving adoptive parents – well they should just be happy they didn't end up like Zahra or so many others!

      November 4, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anone

      Just keep abortion out of it - really... do you know for sure her mother wanted to have one?

      November 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
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