October 20th, 2010
01:56 PM ET

Authorities searching landfill in case of missing N.C. girl

Police were searching a North Carolina landfill Wednesday for "a piece of evidence" in the case of a missing 10-year-old girl, Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said.

A team from Hickory police and agents from the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation and the FBI were participating in the search at the Foothills Environmental Landfill in Lenoir, North Carolina, Hickory police said in an earlier statement.

Zahra Clare Baker was reported missing October 9. However, no one other than a family member has reported seeing her since September 25, when a woman reported seeing her at a furniture store, police said. Authorities have said her disappearance is being investigated as a homicide.

The landfill search could take up to five days, Adkins told reporters at a news conference Wednesday. He was tight-lipped about what investigators are searching for, saying only that interviews had led authorities to "this piece of evidence that we believe is in the landfill ... we hope that if we find this evidence, that it will provide a good, solid timeline that will assist us in working this case."

"We are not looking for [Zahra's] body in the landfill at this time, no," he said.

Adkins asked that anyone outside Zahra's family who had seen her in the past month contact authorities.


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Filed under: Crime • Missing Children