Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Ann - Tx on Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:25 pm

Thanks for the Links and videos Piper and J4A!
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Justice4all Today at 2:31 pm: I agree with you!

Elisa is one mean, wicked, evil, hateful stepmother! She needs to tell LE where Zahra is. I bet Elisa burned Zahra up after killing her.



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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Estee on Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:39 pm

I flipped thru the channels and glimpsed at NG as someone was saying that the cadaver dogs hit on the wood chipper...I hope that was wrong...That is just so unimaginable, to think that someone could do that...It is so hideous...I know the stepmom said she wrote the ransom note...and the dogs hit on both the cars...
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by FystyAngel on Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:41 am

Police search wooded lot for NC girl presumed dead

Posted: Oct 13, 2010 9:32 AM EDT
Updated: Oct 14, 2010 1:13 AM EDT

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) - Investigators used a police dog to search among tree-trimming equipment and piles of mulch for a missing 10-year-old North Carolina girl on Wednesday, a day after authorities said they believed the girl had been killed.

Hours earlier, Zahra Clare Baker's stepmother showed no emotion in court as a judge explained she could be sentenced to up to 30 months in prison if convicted of obstruction of justice. Elisa Baker is accused of trying to throw off investigators with a fake ransom note.

The girl, who used hearing aids and a prosthetic leg because of bone cancer, was reported missing over the weekend, but police have indicated they don't believe her father and stepmother's story.

Baker's court-appointed attorney, Scott Reilly, said she was "scared to death" and very emotional about everything.

"She's upset about being held in jail. She's upset about being away from her family," he said.

In nearby Morganton, seven officers and a police dog searched for Zahra on a wooded lot among piles of mulch and a wood chipper on Wednesday. The property has equipment belonging to the tree services company that employs her father. Hours later, about 150 people gathered for a vigil in honor of the girl.

An officer who asked for anonymity because he's not authorized to discuss the case confirmed the site was among several where officers are searching for the girl. The officer said a different dog got a "hit" at the scene a day earlier, but nothing was found then.

Investigators also were draining a pond near a Burke County tree-trimming company where Zahra's father worked, though Hickory Police Deputy Chief Clyde Deal said there was nothing specific they were looking for.

"We always want to err on the side of doing more than you need to than not doing as much as you should have done," he said.

District Attorney James Gaither Jr. said he couldn't discuss details about the case.

"I'm upset. The facts are disturbing. You saw the images; she is such a darling child," Gaither said.

Friends have described Zahra as shy but upbeat despite her health problems.

Elisa Baker is the only person accused in the case so far. Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said she was charged with felony obstruction of justice after admitting she wrote the ransom note, which asked for $1 million. She had already been in jail since the weekend on unrelated charges.

Adkins has said police can't find anyone outside Zahra's household who has seen her alive in the last month. The uncertain timeframe has made it difficult for investigators to narrow down places to search for her.

Zahra's father, Adam Baker, has said it was possible his wife could be involved in the disappearance, and other relatives echoed those remarks. The father has not been charged in the case, though the chief said previously he hasn't been ruled out as a suspect.

The ransom note found Saturday was the first sign that the case would turn sinister. Officers discovered it on the windshield of Adam Baker's car when they came to investigate a yard fire at their home. It was addressed to a man Adam Baker had worked for, though police quickly determined that man's family was safe.

Zahra was reported missing that afternoon. The stepmother said she last saw Zahra sleeping in her room about 12 hours earlier, though Adkins has indicated he doesn't believe the timeline the couple gave him.

Relatives and former neighbors, meanwhile, described Elisa Baker as nasty-tempered and violent in interviews and court documents. Zahra usually took the brunt of her wrath, they say.

"She was always beating her," former neighbor Karen Yount said Tuesday. "I told her to stop but she wouldn't listen to anyone. That poor girl."

Caldwell County Court records show that Yount and the woman's relative Brittany Bentley each filed a complaint in May accusing Elisa Baker of making violent threats against them on separate occasions.

Other neighbors say they feared for the girl's safety. One said he spoke to an investigator from the Department of Social Services who visited the Bakers' house a few months ago to investigate claims Zahra was being beaten.

Those at the vigil sang religious songs, held hands and implored each other to love their children and report signs of child abuse to authorities.

David King, a deacon at East Hickory Baptist Church, said everyone is praying for her.

"Kids should be having fun. No one should have to go through what she did," he said. "This is just a tragedy."

Douglas Proctor, son of Elisa Baker, said some family members attended the service and he was acting as a spokesman for the family. He asked to be left alone.

"We just want our privacy observed and respected," he said.

Adam Baker was from Australia, and met his current wife over the Internet, a family friend said. Zahra's mother lives outside the U.S.

http://www.kcautv.com/Global/story.asp?S=13315071

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by FystyAngel on Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:45 am

Pond drained in search for Aussie girl

October 14, 2010, 11:27 am

Authorities searching for the body of Australian girl Zahra Baker began draining a pond near her father's workplace on Wednesday, while her stepmother remained in custody after appearing in court.

Authorities worked late into Wednesday night to drain the pond near a property owned by Real Tree Services, the tree trimming company where Adam Baker, Zahra's Australia father, is employed, The Charlotte Observer reported on its website.

Adam Baker and his wife Elisa, who is Zahra's American stepmother, remain suspects in the disappearance of the 10-year-old girl, who authorities believe has been murdered.

She was reported missing from her home in Hickory, North Carolina, on Saturday.

Elisa Baker appeared in court on Wednesday charged over a fake ransom note, while Adam Baker was reportedly on the scene as authorities searched for his daughter's body on Tuesday.

About 15-25 investigators were working past nightfall on Wednesday in cool, damp weather to drain the pond, CNN reported.

The pond is next to the bushland owned by Real Tree Services that police and cadaver sniffing dogs searched on Tuesday night.

The search included inspections of mulching machinery and large piles of wood chips.

Zahra's father frequently worked there hauling loads of wood and brush to be fed into a wood chipper and turned into mulch, witnesses told CNN.

Adam Baker was on the scene during the Tuesday night search aimed at finding his daughter's body, Burke County Sheriff John T McDevitt told CNN on Tuesday night.

"He seems concerned," Mr McDevitt said.

"But I don't know how sincere his concern is."

Meanwhile, Elisa Baker, appeared in a US court on Wednesday, facing an obstruction of justice charge for writing a fake ransom note demanding $US1 million.

The note was found on a car windshield at the family's home in Hickory, North Carolina, at the weekend, before Zahra was reported missing.

Elisa Baker remains in custody on $US40,000 bail and her lawyer, D Scott Reilly, told the court he planned to file a motion to have the bond amount reduced in an attempt to win her release.

When judge Gregory Hayes asked Elisa Baker if she understood the charge against her and if she had any questions for him, she replied in quiet "yes" and "no" answers.

Mystery continues to surround the disappearance of Zahra, who had her lower left leg amputated five years ago after a battle with bone cancer. The cancer also resulted in Zahra needing hearing aids.

Lieutenant Becky Weatherman of the Burke County Sheriff's Office said the lack of specifics on where to look was making the search more difficult, the Observer reported.

"It's very hard," she said. "Especially if (someone) buried underground or you don't know where exactly to look."

The FBI has been called in to assist local police with the search and conduct any needed laboratory work.
Hickory locals held a candlelight vigil for Zahra outside East Hickory Baptist Church on Wednesday night.

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/world/8130959/pond-drained-in-search-for-aussie-girl/



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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by FystyAngel on Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:48 am

Elisa Baker's son speaks out at vigil for missing Zahra

By Beth Shayne/NewsChannel 36
WCNC WCNC
updated 1 hour 22 minutes ago

HICKORY, N.C. -- Zahra Baker's stepbrother made his first public statements Tuesday to a crowd of reporters at a candlelight vigil for his missing stepsister.

Douglas Proctor, the 22-year-old son of Elisa Baker, would not answer questions about charges against his mother, the ongoing homicide investigation, or allegations that Elisa Baker abused Zahra. "I can't really comment right now what's going on because I am still learning everything and it's a private matter right now between myself and my family," he said. "To all the people who helped us come out and look the other day, to all the messages that we've received, all the phone calls--it's not gone unnoticed."

He also thanked law enforcement officers investigating the case. "I just want everyone to know that we really appreciate everything and that we're not going to stop looking for Zahra. We'll go as long as it takes."

On Zahra, he said, "I think it would make her happy to see all this, but with that in mind, until anything changes, or we get any more facts, I am not really going to make any more statements."

Proctor personally thanked the pastor of East Hickory Baptist Church where about 300 people gathered on the lawn to pray for Zahra Baker.

Most people who attended--many with children--said they were strangers who'd been touched by the news of her disappearance.

"She lost a leg to cancer, she survived cancer twice," explained a tearful Teresa Brittain, who said she is currently having chemotherapy for cancer. "She was 10 years old, she had her life ahead of her, and we don't even know if it's taken away from her."

Debbie Fogle, whose son was murdered, urged the community to stand-in for Zahra's parents as this investigation unfolds. "This case is different. So I think as a community we need to rally around the child."

Lindsey Parker, a friend of Elisa Baker's biological daughter Brittany, took the microphone to tell the crowd that Brittany had often fought with her mother over Zahra. She and other friends said the Department of Social Services was contacted.

"She was--she is--an absolutely beautiful child. And we don't know anything until she's found or she's found safe, and I pray that she's found safe," said another friend, Milly Humphrey.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39662629/ns/local_news-local_news/

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Ann - Tx on Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:31 am

Wow, this thread has some very informative articles and videos posted!

Thanks Fysty, for the most recent updates. Also, thanks to all who have posted articles, videos, etc. It saves me time in searching each site. I am sure others appreciate your hard work. I sure do!

I noticed Ch 9 in Charlotte has a tab set up for Zahra Baker. Great to use when updating. Here is the Link:

http://www.wsoctv.com/index.html
WSOC Charlotte, NC Home Page
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:20 am

Thanks for posting that link, Ann. I like how they set up the tab for Zahra. The more I read, the more infuriated I become. This child battled cancer and won, she lost her hearing and her leg, but kept on smiling. I can't imagine anyone abusing this child, and her own father standing by and watching. I am just horrified and sickened. Let's hope Zahra is found today.......
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Thu Oct 14, 2010 4:37 pm

I've been trying to figure out Baker's reasoning behind the ransom note. The note was intended for Mark Coffey, involving his daughter. Mark Coffey is Adam Baker's boss. Mr. Coffey owns the house where Zahra lived, the family was renting it from him.

Elisa Baker wanted LE to think the kidnapper took Zahra by mistake, instead of Mr. Coffey's daughter. Since he owned the house and the note was left at the rental property, where Zahra goes "missing".
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Guest on Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:31 pm

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Last edited by tish on Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:02 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by khintx on Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:43 pm

It makes me sick. kh
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by sitemama on Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:35 pm

Personally, I don't think Zahra ever made it to Catawba County, or Hickory. The family moved there 6 weeks ago, but none of the neighbors ever saw a little girl there.

LE, SBI & FBI are searching around the home, and in Burke County, where the dad worked, even draining a pond adjacent to where his wood chipper is set up. But, I think they should go back to Caldwell County where the family moved from. I know they have spoken to former teachers of Zahra @ Hudson Elementary school and to neighbors, but maybe they should do some more intense searching in that area as well.


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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Julie on Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:48 pm

Latest news: Zahra Clare Baker lived in Australia, dad met Elisa Baker online (photos, videos)

Oct 14, 2010 Author Melissa Finlay

Authorities in Hickory, North Carolina are still searching for missing 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker, but they aren’t looking for a living child. The stories surfacing from friends and family members who knew Zahra and the Bakers are revealing a tale of abuse at the hands of a pathological liar who was fascinated with the macabre and Goth culture.

Read more:
http://primewriter.com/news-1246-headlines/?tag=zahra-clare-baker-latest-news

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Julie on Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:50 pm

Friends: Missing girl had happy life in Australia
Her stepmom is jailed, accused of trying to throw off investigators with a fake ransom note

By MITCH WEISS
The Associated Press
updated 1 hour 51 minutes ago 2010-10-14T22:37:12

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Though Zahra Clare Baker was battling cancer that forced her to wear hearing aids and a prosthetic leg, friends who knew her in Australia say she was an outgoing, caring, happy girl.

Then her lonely single father moved her halfway around the world to North Carolina so he could live with a woman he met on the Internet. Now the 10-year-old with the freckles and wide smile is missing and presumed dead, and friends and family thousands of miles away are waiting anxiously for word about her fate.

Read more:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39673288/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:18 pm

Zahra enrolled in Caldwell schools for 3rd, 4th grades
CCS offers counselors, clergy for students to talk to as news of Zahra unfolds.

By Sarah Newell williamson
Published: October 14, 2010

GRANITE FALLS -- When Hickory police announced that 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker was missing, school officials in Caldwell County acted quickly to ensure their students would have the support they needed.

Zahra was a student in Caldwell County Schools for nearly two years. She was enrolled in Hudson Elementary midway through the 2008-09 school year, when she was in third grade, said Libby Brown, the community relations director.

At the start of the 2009-10 school year, Zahra attended Granite Falls Elementary, but transferred back to Hudson Elementary when her family moved, Brown said. Zahra finished her fourth-grade year at Hudson Elementary.

Zahra was first reported missing by Adam and Elisa Baker, her father and stepmother, on Saturday. Her prosthetic leg was missing, but the two hearing aids she uses were found at home. Zahra was hearing impaired and had to have part of her leg amputated because of bone cancer.

Read more: http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2010/oct/14/zahra-enrolled-caldwell-schools-3rd-4th-grades-ar-458572/
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:23 pm

sitemama wrote:Personally, I don't think Zahra ever made it to Catawba County, or Hickory. The family moved there 6 weeks ago, but none of the neighbors ever saw a little girl there.

LE, SBI & FBI are searching around the home, and in Burke County, where the dad worked, even draining a pond adjacent to where his wood chipper is set up. But, I think they should go back to Caldwell County where the family moved from. I know they have spoken to former teachers of Zahra @ Hudson Elementary school and to neighbors, but maybe they should do some more intense searching in that area as well.


I agree, Mama. This is just so terribly heartbreaking. Zahra may have died in Caldwell County, and then they took her body back there after moving to Catawba County. Since the dogs have been hitting on their vehicles and in the woodchips in Burke County, where dad worked. Thinking they were smart, trying one area, then moving her back to where they came from, Caldwell County. They could have murdered Zahra anywhere, then backtracked to dump her precious little body. I am just sick over this.

(I hope I don't have these counties mixed up)
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:42 pm

A remote place known and familiar to Elisa Baker would be my first thought........
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Justice4all on Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:58 pm

Should Schools Have Raised Red Flag In Zahra Baker Case

Updated: 6:21 pm EDT October 14, 2010

~Snipped~

Channel 9 learned that Baker finished last school year in Caldwell County, but then she didn't show up for the first few days of school this year.

Channel 9 spoke with a school spokesperson, Libby Brown, on Thursday. She said a school counselor called Baker's parents and that Baker's parents said they moved to Hickory and were probably going to home-school Baker.

VIDEO: Should Schools Have Raised Red Flag In Missing Girl Case

Brown said, "There was no more contact with the family. They refused to speak to the school."

If the Bakers were home-schooling, they would have had to file papers with the state. Channel 9 talked to a state school official, Jill Lucas, Thursday. She handles home-schooling and private schools. She said the state doesn't have any records of either parent setting up a home school or any home school at Baker's address.


Read more: http://www.wsoctv.com/news/25394665/detail.html
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Justice4all on Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:00 pm

Zahra Baker Case: Frustration at Alleged Abuse Boils Over

Some Investigators Doubt Father's Story, Friend Claims Extended Family Called Social Services About Alleged Abuse

By YUNJI DE NIES and LEE FERRAN
HICKORY, N.C., Oct. 14, 2010



Vigils for missing children are generally sources of collective strength and hope, but in the case of missing disabled 10-year-old Zahra Baker, countless allegations of repeated domestic abuse spawned another feeling entirely Wednesday night: anger.

"I hope this will be the beginning of no one not speaking out when they see a child being hurt," one woman said in a passionate plea as onlookers held back tears around her during a candlelit vigil for Zahra in Hickory, N.C.

Zahra, who lost her left leg and hearing in a childhood battle with cancer, was reported missing Saturday but police have been unable to find anyone other than her parents who have seen the girl in weeks.

Police searching for any sign of the girl have focused on a woodchipper, mulch piles and the woods few miles from the Baker home and have drained a nearby pond; all to no avail. Today they're also combing through computer and phone records for any hints.

Several former neighbors, along with one relative, have come forward to claim the girl was repeatedly abused by her stepmother, Elisa Baker.

Baker, who was already in custody on unrelated charges, admitted Tuesday to writing a ransom note demanding $1 million in connection with the case, police said. But she has since denied any involvement in the girl's disappearance.


Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/zahra-baker-case-frustration-alleged-abuse-boils/story?id=11877535
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:20 am

Drug use kept relatives from contacting DSS about Zahra

Posted: Oct 14, 2010 1:43 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 14, 2010 8:55 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Two women who have spoken about the family stability involving a missing girl from Hickory now claim one of them was addicted to drugs – and that contributed to why they never directly called authorities about possible problems at the missing girl's home.

Brittany Bentley, who is married to the nephew of Elisa Baker, told WBT Radio on Wednesday that she was a drug addict and that she was sorry for not contacting the NC Department of Social Services after allegedly observing problems pertaining to Zahra Claire Baker's home life.


Brittany Bentley, who says she is recovering from drug addiction, talks to WBTV earlier this week

Elisa Baker, the stepmother of Zahra, is considered a "person of interest" by police in the disappearance the 10-year-old child. Baker, also charged with felony obstruction of justice in the case, is being held in the Catawba County Jail on a $72,200 bond as crews search for her missing stepdaughter, Zahra.

Bentley claimed on WBT's Tara Servatius Show that she told her mother, Kim Drum, about issues that Zahra was subjected to, but Drum says she never contacted DSS either.

"No… I never called DSS," Drum said, adding that she regrets "…it very, very much" as authorities now fear Zahra is dead. Police called off an AMBER Alert Tuesday and now are investigating the case as a homicide.

Drum and Bentley surfaced in news accounts earlier this week as the first family members to talk about Zahra's family experiences. Bentley, who says she has been in drug recovery for 3 months, says she is legally separated from Elisa Baker's nephew, Zachary Baird.

Bentley, who was addicted to prescription painkillers, claims she told her mother, Drum, who was supposed to tell DSS about any problems with Zahra's home. But, Drum, who said she knew her daughter was hooked on the drugs, did not believe her daughter's claims of Zahra's home problems.

The two women claim that, although they never called DSS themselves, they did "make sure" DSS investigated the case. Although they did not actually explain on WBT Radio how they made sure that happened, they claim to have seen DSS agents at the Baker's house.


Brittany Bentley and her mother, Kim Drum

Read more, view videos.....
http://www.wbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=13324177
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:27 am

Video link ~ Brittany Bentley

http://www.wbtv.com/global/category.asp?c=195957&autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=5190376&flvUri=&partnerclipid=
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:56 am

Caldwell school officials tried to help Zahra Baker

By NewsChannel 36 Staff
WCNC
updated 10/14/2010 6:45:14 PM ET

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. -- New details are emerging into 10-year-old Zahra Baker’s life before she was reported missing last Saturday.

The Baker family lived in Caldwell County before moving to Hickory about six weeks ago.

According to Caldwell County school officials, Zahra attended Hudson Elementary School at the end of her 3rd grade year, in 2009.

She began 4th grade in August 2009 at Granite Falls Elementary School and stayed there until March 9, 2010. At that point, she was pulled from Granite Falls and placed back at Hudson Elementary School. Authorities believe Hudson Elementary is the last school that Zahra attended.

A source told NewsChannel 36 that the staff at Hudson did see signs of trouble in Zahra’s life and even visited her home.

"They utilized every resource within the school and any referral process that was available in the school for the well-being and welfare of Zahra," says Libby Brown, with Caldwell County schools.

Those staff members reported their concerns to the Department of Social Services, who then visited the Baker home.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39677846/ns/local_news-local_news/
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:01 am

Former classmates, teachers pray for Zahra

by BETH SHAYNE / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Beth: BShayne@WCNC.com
WCNC.com
Posted on October 15, 2010 at 7:30 AM



http://www.wcnc.com/news/Forme-105003004.html
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:49 pm

Investigators Back Searching Home Where Zahra Went Missing

Posted: 12:18 pm EDT October 15, 2010
Updated: 1:21 pm EDT October 15, 2010

HICKORY, N.C. -- On Friday afternoon, Zahra Baker’s father, Adam Baker, was with investigators at the home where the 10-year-old girl disappeared from and for the first time in four days, Channel 9’s Dave Faherty was able to speak with him.

Faherty learned that Baker is at the home because he gave police consent to search the home and the property around the home again on Friday.

Faherty said two K-9 units were seen at the home searching behind the house in wood piles.

Read more:
http://www.wsoctv.com/news/25402667/detail.html
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:51 pm

~Snipped~
Faherty was able to confirm with one of the handlers that the dogs did not hit on anything outside the house but when asked if they hit on anything inside the house the handler said “I can’t answer that question. You are going to have to talk to police.”

Faherty said that he saw one of the investigators carrying a bag with something in it from inside the home and put it in his car.

Faherty also noticed investigators carry a mattress and box spring that were bagged from inside the home and placed in a truck that was pulled around the back of the house. That truck has since left the property.
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:53 pm

Link to video in article:

http://www.wsoctv.com/video/25403061/
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Justice4all on Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:06 pm

What does it take for DSS or CPS to remove a child from an unsafe environment? I'm sick of kids being murdered because these agencies failed to act.
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Julie on Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:44 pm

Justice4all wrote:What does it take for DSS or CPS to remove a child from an unsafe environment? I'm sick of kids being murdered because these agencies failed to act.

Great question! I wish somebody would answer that one!

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Justice4all on Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:35 pm

Search for Zahra Baker: Where to Look Next?

Authorities Expand Search After Home, Woods, Pond Turn Up Little



Authorities charged with the gruesome task of searching for the body of missing North Carolina girl Zahra Baker have had to continually expand their search after previous efforts turned up little.

"It's a science," said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"They've searched kind of the obvious places nearby," he said. "The approach in cases like this would be to expand the radius."

Hickory. N.C., police, aided by teams from area sheriff's offices and NCMEC's Adam Team, which deploys specialized search units, have already combed through the family's home, the wooded areas nearby and the property where the 10-year-old's father worked.


Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/search-zahra-baker/story?id=11891811
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by sitemama on Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:08 am

Hear My Cry
"For Zahra"

See the smile upon my face?
My little arms I used to embrace
My life that was filed with hopes and dreams.
Now I am lost; can you find me please?

Please don't give up- I'm still out there
I wish I could help you and tell you where.
But, I'm just a child and don't understand why
Someone would hurt me,
Do you hear my cry?

I beat the cancer that took my hearing
and my leg.
And tried to stop my breathing.
I fought it hard so I could grow
And through my smiles... I told you so!

I'm just a child with regular dreams
Of being a princess.. and now it seems
My dreams are over, I don't understand why
Please come and find me, please hear my cry.

Don't give up on me, I never did
Please whoever hurt me; tell them where I'm hid.
So I can rest in peace and my body be laid to rest
I fought the fight of life and I think I passed the test.

Help Chief Adkins and the other officers too
Who really want to help me come home to you.
When you see my face, please say a prayer
There's hope with Jesus, cause I'm out there .....somewhere.

For Zahra
October 14, 2010
Clara Painter

This was written by a local lady from Hickory for little Zahra.

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Julie on Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:08 am

Waiting for news hard on grandmother, family in Australia

By Larry Clark
Published: October 16, 2010

HICKORY --
The investigation into the disappearance of Zahra Clare Baker is taking its toll on her family in Australia.

Zahra’s grandmother, Karen Baker, who lives in Newcastle, New South Wales, said the media circus outside her home was pushing the family to the breaking point, according to the Townsville Bulletin, published near Giru, Queensland, the town where Zahra spent much of her life.

The dreaded details of the search for Zahra have spread across Australia where the 10-year-old is seen as a celebrity because of her gallant fight against cancer.

Zahra was raised by her grandmother.

Karen Baker told the media that the family has little or no sleep as they await news of Zahra.

Read more:
http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2010/oct/16/waiting-news-hard-grandmother-family-australia-ar-460842/

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Calypso on Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:17 am

http://www.wsoctv.com/video/25360091/

Has anyone seen this interview?

Adam Baker says he last saw Zahra on "Tuesday". The reporter then asks him if he meant "Tuesday or Thursday", as was first reported. Baker then corrects himself and says "Thursday" and attributes the error to "not much sleep".

That is kind of a BIG mistake lack of sleep or not!
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by sitemama on Sat Oct 16, 2010 6:22 pm

Whether he was involved with what happened to Zahra or not, I'm sure all the days are running together and it would be very easy to get mixed up with the days. Hell, since I no longer work, I can't keep track of the days myself.

And, I'm sure he's not sleeping much. Either he is concerned about what happened to his daughter, or he is concerned about when LE is going to arrest him, he can't be sleeping well. I wonder where he is staying or is he being allowed to stay in his home? I don't think so, as they said he was brought to the house Friday when LE was going to do another search at the home.

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Julie on Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:06 pm

NC police: Missing girl seen alive in September

AP) – 8 hours ago

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — A missing 10-year-old North Carolina girl was seen in public as recently as two weeks before she was reported missing, police said Saturday, narrowing an uncertain timeline that has hindered their investigation.

Investigators said previously they couldn't find anyone outside Zahra Clare Baker's household who had seen her alive in more than a month. That uncertainty has made it difficult for police to narrow places to search for the girl whose bone cancer left her with hearing aids and a prosthetic leg.

Zahra was reported missing Oct. 9, but investigators have said they don't believe the story given by her father and stepmother. Police believe the girl is dead.

A police news release said only that Zahra was seen in public on Sept. 25, and they declined to comment further.

Read more:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iufaVI4D6Q5vfiuO1lT8iwRGa4sA?docId=39e945e034634b90865e3cfef88699c5

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Julie on Sat Oct 16, 2010 10:17 pm

Next-door neighbors wonder if Zahra kept in attic
Apartment manager saw her once, never again while living next to the Bakers

By Sarah Newell williamson
Published: October 14, 2010
Updated: October 15, 2010 - 2:33 PM

GRANITE FALLS -- When the Baker family first moved into the apartments on Congress Street in July 2009, Shirley Mims had been the manager for only a short time.

It didn’t take her long to become better acquainted with Elisa and Adam Baker, who were in the apartment next door to Shirley and her husband, Darrell.

“They fought verbally and physically with each other. You could hear it through the walls,” Shirley said. “They’d even take it out into the parking lot.”

It was so bad one time that it knocked the pictures off the wall the Mims shared with the Bakers, Shirley said.

She said the couple began fighting about three weeks after they moved into the apartment.

As for the now-missing Zahra Clare Baker, Shirley didn’t even know the couple had a daughter.

“We saw the little girl when they moved in, but we didn’t see her no more after that,” she said. “When I saw the little girl, I assumed it was a grandchild or a visitor, because I never saw her again.”

snipped:
They’re now wondering if maybe Zahra was in the attic.

“We don’t know for sure, but we think they kept her in the attic,” Darrell said. “There were black shoe sole prints all around the inside (of the door frame). The door to the cubby hole was taken off.”

The Mims still haven’t found the door to the closet, and aren’t sure what the Bakers did with it.

Darrell said for several months — during the time the Bakers lived next door — it sounded as if squirrels were in the attic.

“All the noises I heard in the attic must have been her, but I never heard them again after they left,” Shirley said. “I can’t prove that’s what it was, but in my heart, that’s what I believe.”

When Darrell went up to the attic to look, he saw a section of the firewall that divides the two apartments was pulled down and was on top some of the boards and insulation. It was cracked in a few places.

“It looked as though a child had gone to sleep on it,” Darrell said.

To get into the attic, you would have to go into the closet, pop out the part of the ceiling covering the hole to the attic, lift yourself up to the 8-foot ceiling and crawl inside. Once inside the ceiling, which is covered with insulation, the area above each apartment is about 20 feet-by-20 feet, and about 4-and-a-half feet tall at its highest point.

Read more:
http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2010/oct/14/19/neighbors-wonder-if-zahra-kept-attic-ar-458767/

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:59 am

I hope that isn't true.............my God, that poor child Sad
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by sitemama on Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:32 pm

A criminal records check in Catawba and Caldwell counties revealed that the couple is facing a combined total of 18 charges of writing bad checks worth a combined $2,054.58. All but one of the checks were written at area grocery stores. The remaining check, written for $595, was for back rent, said the Bakers’ former landlord Mark Sims.

http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2010/oct/16/money-and-legal-trouble-follow-zahras-parents-ar-462500/

The more I read, the more I am certain 'dad' knows everything!

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:08 pm

Mama, in my opinion, I have to agree with you. One article quoted Adam's boss as saying "His elevator doesn't go all the way up".......
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by sitemama on Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:11 pm

I don't think all the checks written to the grocery stores were for groceries only. They probably only bought an item or two, and made the check out for extra so they could get cash. They were hitting 3 different stores in the same day.

That's not grocery shopping, that is their way of banking.

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Justice4all on Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:25 pm

Timeline in the disappearance of Zahra Baker

By Larry Clark
Published: October 17, 2010

HICKORY --

Oct. 7, Thursday p.m.: Adam Baker says he last saw his daughter in bed after he returned home from work that night.

Oct. 9, Saturday, 2:30 a.m.: Zahra was reportedly last seen sleeping in her bed in her Hickory home by her stepmother, Elisa Baker.

Saturday, 5:20 a.m.: Hickory firefighters respond to small grass fire at Baker home, 21 21st Ave. NW.

Saturday, 5:30 a.m.: At the home, a Hickory police officer finds the passenger door of a 1996 Chevy Tahoe open, the smell of gasoline coming from inside and a handwritten ransom note on the front windshield. Ransom note says the daughter of Mark Coffey, the home’s owner, has been taken, and his son would be, too. But police see Coffey and his daughter at the home and they are OK.

Saturday, 6:41 a.m.: Hickory police and fire department leave the home, after investigating fire and refer to it as arson.

Saturday 2 p.m.: Elisa Baker reports Zahra missing to police. Adam Baker tells police someone poured gas in his vehicle and left a note saying they had his boss’s daughter,.

Oct. 10, Sunday, 10:45 a.m.: Elisa Baker, Zahra stepmother, is arrested on several charges unrelated to the case. The charges include writing bad checks and failing to return property.

Sunday: Police gather surveillance video from businesses near the home in an attempt to trace events leading to Zahra’s disappearance.

Sunday 1 p.m.: Search and rescue dog gives a positive alert for the presence of human remains in or on two vehicles, the Chevy Tahoe and a 1999 Toyota Camry. Police impound both vehicles.


Read more: http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2010/oct/17/timeline-disappearance-zahra-baker-ar-463261/
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:51 am

Australian article:

Police get important clue as last public sighting of missing Australian girl is revealed

October 18, 2010 12:00AM

POLICE probing the disappearance of a 10-year-old Australian girl in North Carolina have received a clue about her last public sighting.

Workers at a furniture store in the mid-west town of Hickory confirmed yesterday they saw Zahra Baker with her stepmother, Elisa Baker, three weeks ago.

The sighting of Zahra, whose prosthetic leg was also noticed by staff, is important new information in helping police piece together the girl's last known movements before she vanished.

Zahra's disappearance, reported on October 9, has turned into a murder investigation, with the girl's American stepmother and Australian father, Adam Baker, treated by police as the chief suspects.

Read more:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/police-get-important-clue-as-last-public-sighting-of-missing-australian-girl-is-revealed/story-e6frg6nf-1225939900365
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:52 am

~Snipped~
Employees at In Your Home Furnishing yesterday recalled Ms Baker referred to Zahra by name when the pair visited the store on September 25.

Floor manager Pat Adams told a local news channel he saw Zahra in an area of the store where TVs aired cartoons for children. "As I walked past, I touched her on the shoulder and . . . she just looked up at me and smiled," Mr Adams said.
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Julie on Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:43 am

Cadaver Dogs Playing an Important Role in the Zahra Clare Baker Missing Person/ Homicide Investigation

Published October 17, 2010 by:
Saul Relative

Just as the investigation into 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker's disappearance was nearing its second week, investigators returned to her Hickory, North Carolina, home for a more intensive search. According to the Charlotte Observer, the child's father, Adam Baker, was present during the search, which included a team of cadaver dogs. Zahra Baker, who is a bone cancer survivor, was reported missing by her father last Saturday and cadaver dogs have since been alerted to the scent of human remains on the property.

Authorities noted that the set of dogs used Friday were different than the dogs used in the previous search. The search included the house and the surrounding yard.

Investigators were also seen removing a plastic bag, a mattress and box spring from the house.

Read more:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/5903492/cadaver_dogs_search_missing_zahra_bakers.html?cat=8

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:54 am

From the article Mama posted above. This is when the Bakers rented a singlewide mobile home in Country Manor Estates in Hudson:

~Snipped~

Her teenage neighbors remember her differently.

Corrine Yount, 15, and her friend Brandy Hefner, 16, took out an arrest warrant on Baker for communicating threats on May 23, 2010.

Yount said the incident began when she and her friend noticed Zahra crying as she walked up a steep hill behind her house.

“She was making Zahra walk up the hill by herself because that’s how she would punish her because she (Elisa) knew it would hurt Zahra’s leg,” Yount said.


Baker came out of her trailer and started screaming and threatening the girls.

“She said, ‘I’m going to teach these two teenagers a lesson and whip their butts,’” Yount said.

Baker continued to shout threats until Hefner’s mother came out of the house and asked what was going on and Baker left, according to the arrest warrant.
Yount said she spoke to Zahra a few times and saw that she was a very sweet girl. She also said people in the neighborhood knew Baker was abusive to Zahra and they tried to get law enforcement involved.

“You could hear Zahra screaming and Elisa yelling at her, so we would call the police,” Yount said. “We called DSS (the Caldwell County Department of Social Services) on her too, but they never did anything.”


http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2010/oct/16/money-and-legal-trouble-follow-zahras-parents-ar-462500/
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:03 am

The more I read about this evil monster of a woman, the more infuriated I become. NOTHING was ever done to protect this child, people did call DSS. It seems like everyone in every town they lived in knew that Zahra was being beaten and abused. I think they are stringing "Dad" along to assist in the investigation, waiting for him to give up some info. I can't wait to see what charges they are going to slap him with. He is just as responsible for the abuse, there is no way he was not aware of all of this. Utterly disgusting and heartbreaking.
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Julie on Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:36 am

I agree, Piper. He had to have known something.

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:49 am

Sure he was aware of it, and did nothing to protect his child!

Here's the happy couple on their wedding day in 2008:



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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Sherry on Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:57 pm

Attorney denies abuse claims against missing girl's stepmother

By the CNN Wire Staff
October 18, 2010 9:42 p.m. EDT


No one has seen 10-year-old Zahra Baker since September 25, and the local sheriff believes she is dead.

(CNN) -- The stepmother of a 10-year-old North Carolina girl reported missing more than a week ago never abused the girl despite allegations from relatives and friends of the family, the woman's attorney said Monday.

Attorney Scott Reilly said that "whatever investigation was done there was never anything substantiated regarding child abuse by Elisa Baker."

"The lady saying they were keeping Zahra in the attic, and they thought it was squirrels, that lady has squirrels in her head," Reilly said. "She had no business saying things that were untrue. Someone else says she was kept in a locked room and only allowed to come out five minutes a day to eat. Those people [reporting that information] should have their media credentials revoked."


Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/10/18/north.carolina.missing.girl/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Julie on Mon Oct 18, 2010 11:48 pm

Thanks Sherry. I sure hope what he's saying is the truth.

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Sherry on Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:16 am

Julie, if the "he" you mean is Elisa's defense attorney, well, he's gonna say what he's gotta say...

Too many have said there was abuse for me to believe there wasn't. As far as Zahra living in the attic, I think she probably went up there to get away from it all, imo.

Many thanks to whomever "fixed" my post! bounce
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by FystyAngel on Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:45 am

I'm hoping that he's telling the truth. He sort of reminds me of KC's lawyer (Bozo)

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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

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