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. Carla

    Why would people advocate the death penalty for the killer/killers of this child? Wouldn't it be better to let them live the rest of their lives in a cramped cell surrounded by other convicted criminals? I think that would be a fate worse than death.

    November 4, 2010 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Mom of a Daughter who knew Zahra Baker

      NO!!! Our taxes will pay for her to get a college degree and anything else!

      November 4, 2010 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • ToniToneTone

      I agree with all of those who demand justice for what this young "once-survivor" endured. I would not hesitate to inject these parents with the cancer cells this girl also had to endure, let the cells fester and grow, then put them through chemotherapy so they can vomit their brains out, for days..then, give them some more. Then put them through rounds and rounds of radiation until them burn from the inside out..no pain killer, no mercy. They don't deserve it. Then, when they cry for mercy, while worshiping the porcelain god, bury them alive. They deserve none of God's mercy.

      November 4, 2010 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Art Vandalay

      Contrary to popular belief, it is far more expensive to jail someone for life than to sentence one to death. When one is sentenced to death one has the right to numerous appeals. This is because death is so...final and there is no removing the penalty once carried out. It costs far more for all of the appeals process for the death sentence. Additionally, there have been numerous death penalties overturned and people have been released when found to be innocent after being sentenced and waiting for the sentence to be carried out. If you carry out a death sentence, how does that make you better than the one that the sentence has been passed on?

      November 4, 2010 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Art Vandalay

      Sorry – Correction: meant that it is more expensive to sentence one to death than to sentence one to a life sentence.

      November 4, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Seedenbetter

      Making her spend the rest of her life in prison might be the right thing to do if she had any remorse. Her letters from jail indicate that she is only concerned about herself and is most upset at the picture of her that they are using on TV. She's concerned that it makes her look older than she really is. Not once has she asked about the welfare of Zahra.

      November 4, 2010 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. steve

    then be quick about it. go to the wood chipper head first so that your face is looks better in the end!

    November 4, 2010 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mom of a Daughter who knew Zahra Baker

    My Daughter attended the same school as Zahra did last year. My daughter told me that she (Zahra) was a very sweet and happy little girl at school. This same school has brought in counselors for the fourth and fifth grades due to all of this.
    In response to if anyone reported it, they did and the workers in informed believed the mom and dad, which is sad.

    November 4, 2010 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. Britney L

    I had a feeling she was dead.

    November 4, 2010 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dee

    A missing/murdered child......a father jailed for writing rubber checks.....I think we have a clear case of murder for insurance money. I'm sure they were somehow able to convince themesleves that the little girl was worth more to them dead than alive.........

    Sounds like the step-mother is going to get life.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  6. BG

    All I can say is this: as a father of 3, I can't imagine what the parents were thinking. Hearing impaired, cancer survivor with a prosthetic leg and she was still going strong. Then the father and stepmother take her away. This little girl had a story to tell and could have become one heck of an adult, showing compassion and caring for others that have gone through what she has dealt with. Her story is inspiring with a terrible ending. They should have been proud of their daughter and given her the world. This couple will burn in hell for what they have done. I hope they get the death penalty and if needed I'll be happy to be the one to do it.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  7. susan

    Why does it always become an issue of a belief in a God or no God? The story is about a little girl who is missing and most probably dead by the hands of Her parents, and let down by the systems that are supposed to protect Her. I am so sick of posts that always end up in a word match of a belief in a God or none. Who cares what your personal beliefs are! Stick to the facts of the case and comment on them and shut up about your religious beliefs!

    November 4, 2010 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. ToniToneTone

    I agree with all of those who demand justice for what this young "once-survivor" endured. I would not hesitate to inject these parents with the cancer cells this girl also had to endure, let the cells fester and grow, then put them through chemotherapy so they can vomit their brains out, for days..then, give them some more. Then put them through rounds and rounds of radiation until them burn from the inside out..no pain killer, no mercy. They don't deserve it. Then, when they cry for mercy, while worshiping the porcelain god, bury them alive. They deserve none of God's mercy.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. Doc

    I feel for the family – I really do. But the father is an idiot. He found a mate online and thought that would turn out well? Stupid is as stupid does. Single parents, here's a newsflash: STAY SINGLE AND FOCUS ON YOUR KIDS. Yes, it's hard and life's not fair. But your kids don't deserve to be punished with the drama of your love life. In the case of this kid, it COST HER her life.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Doc, I agree with you on the "stay single" thing. So many kids are sacrificed because of their parents selfishness.

      November 4, 2010 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. Elly age 18

    This poor sweet child didnt ask for this. Going through so much in her young life and then having this happen. I only pray she didnt suffer a horrible painful death if she is dead. Sadly i dont see evidence to prove otherwise. God bless this poor child. May there be Justice.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. CC Croft

    I feel really sorry for Zahra's mother who is still in Australia.

    I hope they find the answers and are able to punish the people who've done this (I've no doubt it's the step-mother and the father) to the fullest extent.

    How horrible for the poor girl to have gone through everything that she has only to be betrayed so completely by the people who are supposed to take care of her and she's supposed to be able to trust and rely on.

    Blessed be, little one. I hope that you are no longer suffering.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Seedenbetter

      From what I understand her birth mother abandoned her when she was not yet a year old. This poor, precious girl has been let down her entire short life.

      November 4, 2010 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Elly age 18

    In the old days the step mother would recieve death for what she did. I dont like it but i also dont like paying taxes to keep her in jail. I just pray the lil angel is safe with god.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. denese

    Some of these posts are disturbing. god didnt abuse this child, her 'parents' did. we all know what happens to child killers in prison and hopefully this 2 will have a long life of it.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. Donna

    What is wrong with you????

    November 4, 2010 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. Stan

    what a sad story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this little girl who was fighting for a life was born into a family of disfunctional members.

    November 4, 2010 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • writingmomma

      After reading the letters of this childs stepmother on the web, she was the victim of a vampire cult killing. It is so sad that children has to be subject to such violence. All because of these peoples ignorant mental states. I pray that this childs spirit is at peace with God. She don't have to worry, because vengence belongs to God. They will suffer a fate worse than death.

      November 4, 2010 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
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