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 Piper on Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:00 am

~Snipped~

"ZAHRA Baker's biological mother couldn't wipe the smile from her face when she was told the child's stepmother had been charged with her murder.

A grand jury in North Carolina has indicted Elisa Annette Baker for the second degree murder of Zahra Baker, the cancer-stricken Australian child who came to live in the United States with her father, Adam Baker, 33, reported The Daily Telegraph.

Speaking at her home in Wagga Wagga today, the girl's biological mother Emily Dietrich said it was news she had hoped for, but feared may never come.

"I was so excited … I was just so relieved that someone would finally pay for this," she said.

But the horrific details of Zahra's brutal death, listed in an autopsy report, made Ms Dietrich physically sick.

"I couldn’t believe what I was reading…cut marks to her neck, it's disgusting, it’s inhuman," she said.

Worse still, the forensic experts who performed the post mortem said there was no skull among her skeletal remains.

"It makes me sick … who could do this," she said.

Zahra’s father Adam Baker has not been charged in relation to her murder, but it was revealed today that police allege Zahra was murdered on September 24, yet Mr Baker did not report her missing until October 9.

"He is her father, where did he think she was for two weeks," Ms Dietrich said."



http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/stepmother-of-zahra-baker-indicted-on-second-degree-murder-charge/story-e6frf7l6-1226010349651
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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 Feb 22, 2011 3:42 pm

I still don't understand why the father hasn't been charged with SOMETHING! According to LE....she died at the end of September, yet it wasn't reported until October. TWO WEEKS this little girl was gone & her father didn't KNOW IT???? Are you kidding me???? I don't believe it one bit! Sad

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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 Feb 22, 2011 4:28 pm

Adam Baker is, by far, the dullest tool in the toolshed I've ever seen. I want to rap his head to hear if it is hollow. Nobody's home there! He is one of those absentee fathers while still making his presence known is not present for his child. Its amazing that there are pictures of him interacting with his daughter. All that Zahra suffered at the witch's hands she did because she loved her father and wanted him to be happy. He let her down in an unrepentable way.
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:55 pm

I completely agree, Zahra suffered in silence.......... Sad
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:58 pm

Neighbors Question 2nd-Degree Murder Charge For Elisa Baker

Updated: 10:11 am EST February 22, 2011

HICKORY, N.C. -- The home where Zahra lived with her father Adam and stepmother Elisa Baker is boarded up, but the wounds left behind by her death are still very open.

Four months into the investigation, Elisa Baker is being charged with murder but neighbors Channel 9 talked to are not satisfied.

Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said Monday, the second-degree murder charge against Elisa Baker in the death of Zahra is a milestone in the investigation.

Still, some in the community like Eddie Mitchell don't feel the charge is strong enough. Mitchell lives across the street from the Baker home in Hickory and attended Monday’s news conference to hear the charge firsthand.

“I feel I don’t know all exactly the details, but I think it should be first degree murder,” said Mitchell.

Residents had a similar reaction a few miles away at Jesse’s Diner.

Clara Mathe has followed the case since the beginning and said she believes Zahra's father Adam Baker should also be held responsible for her death.

“There are many details about the case we in Hickory are just assuming--things we don't know, all the details--but we're appalled at what happened,” Mathe said.

While neighbors in Hickory wait to see how this murder charge will play out in court, Mitchell said he's not sure any punishment that may be handed down will be enough to bring justice for Zahra.

Read more and watch video:
http://www.wsoctv.com/news/26943337/detail.html
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by sitemama on Tue Feb 22, 2011 6:06 pm

Dakota had a volleyball game @ Hudson Middle School last week, and I was talking with one of Zahra's teachers from Hudson Elem. school. She said Zahra was the most precious child she had ever taught in her 30 years of teaching. She said at first the kids made fun of Zahra because she had an artificial leg. Every time one of the kids said something ugly to her, she just smiled at them and said "but I still love you". The teacher said after a short time, they stopped making fun of her and everyone was her friend.

I wonder if every time bitch stepmom beat her, did she smile at her and say the same thing?

They have to charge her dad with something, if nothing but accessory after the fact or child neglect for never checking on his daughter for two weeks.

Zahra was seen in the furniture store on Sept. 24th when Elisa bought the new mattress. Now they are saying she killed her on Sept. 24th, and the original mattress from Zahra's bed was the one found in the dump covered in blood. She had to have been planning to do this, since he had already bought the new mattress. For that reason, I feel she should have been charged with First Degree murder.

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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 Feb 22, 2011 6:40 pm

I think first degree is what she should be charged with, as well. The father should be charged with something. I feel it is outragous that LE would even think, for one second, that he had nothing to do with it.

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

Post by Justice4all on Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:15 am

Elisa Baker's aunt says Adam Baker should face charges

by RAD BERKY / NewsChannel 36
Posted on February 22, 2011 at 5:17 PM



CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. -- Elisa Baker’s aunt says that if Elisa is going to be charged in the death of Zahra Baker then Zahra's father, Adam Baker should be charged too.

Concetta Winkler spoke one day after Elisa was indicted by a grand jury on a second-degree murder charge in connection with the death of 10-year-old Zahra Baker.

Adam was not charged and investigators say the only credible evidence led them to believe that Elisa acted alone.

Winkler, who has visited Elisa at the Catawba County Jail has said that Elisa told her Zahra died of natural causes and that Adam dismembered the body.

"I don't believe he should get out of this," Winkler said from the door of her Hickory apartment. "I feel like he is just as guilty as she is," she added.


Read more: http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/Elisa-Bakers-Aunt-Says-Adam-Baker-Should-Face-Chargest-Too-116684979.html

It's hard to believe a word out of Eliza's mouth, but it's also hard to believe that Zahra's disappearance and death could take place without Adam knowing anything about it.
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Justice4all on Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:26 am

Lack of clear evidence complicates Zahra Baker case

By Gary L. Wright and Franco Ordoñez - THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
Published Wed, Feb 23, 2011 07:46 AM

CHARLOTTE -- Catawba County prosecutors may face a daunting task in trying to prove that Elisa Baker killed her stepdaughter without clear evidence to show how the 10-year-old girl died.

In an autopsy revealed Monday, the N.C. Medical Examiner's Office concluded that Zahra died as a result of "undetermined homicidal violence."

"I've never heard that term before," Steve Ward, a Mecklenburg prosecutor for 25 years, told the Observer. "It means the medical examiner is saying the victim was killed, but they have no idea how it happened."


Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/02/23/1008460/lack-of-clear-evidence-complicates.html
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by FystyAngel on Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:39 pm

Autopsy doesn't show Zahra Baker's cause of death

N.C. chief medical examiner: Doctors are convinced she was killed.


Posted: Wednesday, Mar. 09, 2011

CHAPEL HILL An autopsy didn't show the N.C. medical examiner's office exactly how 10-year-old Zahra Baker died.

But evidence from the whole investigation convinced doctors that the child was killed and her death should be called a homicide, said N.C. chief medical examiner Deborah Radisch.

Last month, Radisch's office ruled that Zahra died as a result of "undetermined homicidal violence," a finding that's rarely called for in North Carolina and other states. She talked about the ruling for the first time in an interview this week, though Radisch would not discuss details of the Hickory girl's death or the investigation.

"Undetermined homicidal violence" is used in cases in which the physical autopsy can't determine a cause of death, Radisch said, "yet the circumstances surrounding the case and the finding of the body and the condition of the body would indicate the manner of death is a homicide."

The ruling can pose problems for prosecutors, because the exact cause of death isn't known. But last summer, the Wake County district attorney's office successfully prosecuted Sherita McNeil in the first-degree murder of her 19-month-old son, even though the state medical examiner's office found the same cause of death in that case.

"It's obviously very difficult, because we can't prove exactly what killed the child. I assume they're struggling with that in Hickory as well," said Wake County assistant district attorney Melanie Shekita. "One of the things the prosecutor has to show is that the defendant was the proximate cause of the death of the child. So that's the biggest obstacle to overcome."

Elisa Baker, 42, is charged with second-degree murder in connection with her stepdaughter Zahra's death, which investigators believe took place in September. Zahra's story - she was a cancer survivor from Australia with an engaging smile - has generated international attention.

There were multiple reports of child abuse at the Baker house, according to social services officials. Investigators say Zahra was dismembered after she was killed and her body parts were scattered. They didn't find and identify those remains until November. Elisa Baker has told investigators that the girl died of an illness and that the child's father dismembered and hid the body.

The dismemberment was among the evidence that pointed to homicide in Zahra's case, Radisch said. The autopsy, which was performed by Dr. Jonathan Privette and supervised by Radisch, talks about "cut/tool mark injuries" to areas that included vertebra, a collarbone and a thigh bone.

The doctors also considered medical records and investigative findings in settling on homicide as the manner of death, Radisch said.

Her office's doctors and investigators "never are limited to just our autopsy findings. You've got to know about the circumstances of the case."

She cited the example of a person who dies from a gunshot to the head. "If you know nothing about the scene, you wouldn't know if it was a homicide or suicide. We don't know who pulled the trigger. We look at the circumstances, the scene, if there's a note," she said.

A finding of "undetermined homicidal violence" can pose obstacles for prosecutors, but they're not insurmountable, said Wake County's Shekita, who prosecuted the McNeil case. She said her side relied on circumstantial evidence. In the death of McNeil's son, DeVarion Gross, the autopsy showed "healing broken bones. We could say there was abuse to the child."

Evidence also included statements from McNeil saying she "hated that child, she wished he would die," Shekita said. The toddler's body, like Zahra's, was hidden for several weeks. Wake prosecutors argued that cover-up pointed to homicide.

It's the same kind of evidence Radisch says her staff looks at in determining not just a person's cause of death, but also the manner. The cause of death is usually a specific injury or disease, unless it is undetermined. The manner is usually a natural death, accident, homicide, suicide or undetermined.

Because Radisch is charged with determining a manner of death, her office routinely talks to police investigators, county medical examiners, family and others to learn more beyond the autopsy. Occasionally, they visit a scene after the death: "You can't look at the body in a vacuum," she said.

The undetermined homicidal violence designation has been used in several cases across the country recently in deaths in which a body has been dismembered or badly damaged. It was the ruling in the death of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony in Florida. Her remains were discovered six months after she disappeared. Her mother, Casey Anthony, is charged with first-degree murder. N.C. medical examiners made the same ruling in a Greensboro case last year, after Retha Crook Simpson's dismembered body was found in bags, chopped and bound.

Staff writer Franco Ordoñez contributed.


http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/03/09/2122936/autopsy-doesnt-show-zahras-cause.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 Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:05 am

More felony indictments filed against woman accused of killing Zahra Baker

3/21/11


On Monday, two felony indictments were filed against Elisa Baker for obtaining property by false pretense.

The indictments alleged that Baker pawned two items she did not legally own, a television and a pressure washer, at Hickory Pawn and Gun shop.

Also on Monday, Elisa Baker's attorney, Scott Reilly, told WBTV he plans to plead 'not guilty' to all charges that have been filed against his client.

Read more:
http://www.wect.com/Global/story.asp?S=14291181
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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 Apr 02, 2011 3:27 pm

Ride for Zahra planned for April 16th. This ride is becoming a very big occasion for this area. This is not a poker run, just a ride in the memory of Zahra, and against Child Abuse.

See full details: http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2011/apr/01/riding-zahras-memory-ar-909614/

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

Post by Justice4all on Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:01 pm

Elisa Baker Nearly Collapses In Newton Courtroom

Updated: 4:26 pm EDT April 4, 2011
NEWTON, N.C. -- Elisa Baker, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of her stepdaughter, nearly collapsed in a courtroom during a hearing Monday.

RAW VIDEO: Elisa Baker Nearly Collapses In Court

Baker is charged in the death of 10-year-old Zahra Baker, whose remains were found in November of last year.


Read more: http://www.wsoctv.com/news/27423503/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 Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:05 pm

Elisa Baker appears frail as judge sets new court hearing date

Updated: Apr 04, 2011 12:58 PM EDT
By Jeff Rivenbark, Web Content Producer

~Snipped~

The state asked the judge to set a trial date in May for the obstruction of justice charge, but the prosecution's request was denied.

Meanwhile, the defense said they have not had enough time to prepare. The defense requested having both charges against Baker to be tried at the same time.

The judge did not make a decision on this request, but he did set the next administrative hearing date for June 27.


Read more: http://www.wbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=14378990
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Justice4all on Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:06 pm

Zahra Baker's stepmother nearly faints in court

By Franco Ordoñez
Posted: Monday, Apr. 04, 2011

~Snipped~

Elisa Baker’s attorney, Scott Reilly, told the judge he planned to seek a change of venue for the trial. He said he didn't think his client could get a fair trial in Catawba County because of intensive publicity surrounding the case.


Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/04/04/2197307/zahra-bakers-stepmother-nearly.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 Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:12 pm



The Face of Pure Evil.....
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Julie on Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:21 am

affraid

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

Post by sitemama on Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:41 am

Elisa Baker appears frail as judge sets new court hearing date

She is not eating the jail food. She thinks if she gets sick enough they will transfer her to the hospital where she thinks the food will be better. She probably thinks she can escape from the hospital.

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

Post by Justice4all on Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:10 pm

Zahra Baker’s father hopes to leave country

by RICHARD DEVAYNE
Posted on April 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM



CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. – Zahra Baker’s father says he wants to clear up his legal matters and leave the country.

"As soon as all these matter are resolved and he has permission he heading back home to Australia," Adam Baker's lawyer, Shell Pearce said on Monday.

Baker also acknowledged to NewsChannel 36 that he was ready to leave the United States.


Read more: http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/Zahra-Bakers-father-hopes-to-clear-legal-troubles-leave-country--119625079.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 Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:17 pm

He can hope all he wants! Looks like he's not going anywhere!

Zahra Baker's father goes to jail and will stay there

Posted: Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2011
Adam Baker, father of slain 10-year-old Zahra Baker.




The father of 10-year-old Zahra Baker, whose disappearance and death captured hearts worldwide, made his first court appearance this morning on felony charges of identity theft and obtaining property by false pretences. He faces up to 30 months in prison if found guilty.

Immigration officials have also placed a detainer on Baker, meaning even if he posts the $10,000 bond, he will remain in custody. Baker has been living in the United States illegally, according to Catawba County jail officials.

Read more:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/04/13/2220439/adam-baker-goes-to-jail-and-will.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 Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:16 pm

Adam Baker out of jail, wearing ankle monitor

Immigration officials are keeping tabs on him.

By Sarah Newell williamson
Published: April 19, 2011

NEWTON --

In the span of a few days, Adam Baker has bonded out of jail, been indicted by a grand jury and was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Bail bondsman Bradley Rowe posted Baker’s bond on Saturday, said Catawba County Clerk Al Jean Bogle. Baker’s bond was set at $10,000 secured.

Baker was jailed April 12 for felony identity theft and felony obtaining property by false pretense. Later that day, ICE also placed an immigration detainer on him.

It is because of this immigration detainer that Baker was picked up by ICE at 7:22 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office.


Read more: http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2011/apr/19/adam-baker-out-jail-wearing-ankle-monitor-ar-962161/
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Piper on Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:56 am

I still find it hard to believe he knew nothing about how Zahra was being treated. And where did he think she was for weeks? In her room?
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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 May 19, 2011 9:10 pm

Drug charges added against Elisa Baker

She distributed drugs from homes shared with Zahra, indictment says.

By Franco Ordoñez
Posted: Thursday, May. 19, 2011

A federal grand jury indicted Elisa Baker on drug trafficking charges Wednesday, painting an even grimmer picture of the conditions in which her 10-year-old stepdaughter, Zahra, lived and died.

The new charges include possession and distribution of prescription drugs over more than four years, from at least May 2006 to October 2010. The indictment says Baker distributed a mixture that contained painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone, and the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam.


Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/05/19/2307251/drug-charges-added-against-elisa.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 May 19, 2011 9:13 pm

Elisa Baker's Hudson neighbors suspected drug activity

Baker given court date, may get a different attorney for new charges.

By Sarah Newell williamson
Published: May 19, 2011

Elisa Baker's Hudson neighbors suspected drug activity
Baker given court date, may get a different attorney for new charges.

A day after Elisa Baker was indicted by a federal grand jury on drug charges, her former neighbors are saying they aren’t surprised by the news.

“I figured they’d get her some time,” said Peggy Johnson, who lives in the Country Manor Estates mobile home park in Hudson where Elisa and Adam Baker used to live.

The Bakers lived there with daughter Zahra from November 2009 through July 2010. Johnson’s trailer is at the top of the hill with a clear view of the street, and only three lots away from where the Bakers lived.

Johnson said she saw frequent traffic through their street when the Bakers lived there.

“I saw people pull up, and she would go to the underpinning,” Johnson said of Elisa Baker. “They would hand something to her.”


Read more: http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2011/may/19/elisa-bakers-hudson-neighbors-suspected-drug-activ-ar-1048436/
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Sherry on Thu May 19, 2011 9:40 pm

I wonder if these neighbors bothered to report this activity to the police?
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by rebel_lady42 on Fri May 20, 2011 12:16 am

Thank you Piper for putting this video together and sharing it with us.Zahra was living in my home town Hickory.It hits all of us hard.When they first alert out my heart knew then that she was dead.I prayed for that to be wrong.I cry everytime I see That angels face.Wondering why did this happen.She was so full of life.The cancer didn't stop her.She was strong and a fighter.I think that everybody that knew that she was being abused should have to play for not stooping it.He body was found about 2 miles from my daughter house.She would have made a differents in this world if she had got the chance.She would have showed people that no matter what the problem is you can beat it.But now I know that she is in heaven and no more. pain.Zahra will aways be my angel and I care her in my heart.Zahra will help us find away to stop the killing of children.Thank you so much.

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

Post by sitemama on Fri May 20, 2011 7:44 pm

HICKORY - The 10-year-old disabled girl from Hickory, whose body was found dismembered last year, will be honored by one of NASCAR's biggest names during Friday night's truck series race.

Mooresville-based Kyle Busch Motorsports is teaming up with Speedway Children’s Charities to pay remembrance to Zahra Baker during the N.C. Education Lottery 200.

Zahra’s name and picture will be placed above the passenger side window of Kyle Busch’s No. 18 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series vehicle. The Charlotte Motor Speedway will also observe a moment of silence in her honor before the start of the race.

One of the last times that Zahra was seen in public was at the Starkey Hearing Foundation “Get in Gear to Help Children Hear” event hosted by Speedway Children’s Charities at Charlotte Motor Speedway last May. She was one of 75 underprivileged children and adults throughout the Carolinas that were given the gift of hearing at the event.

Read the rest @: http://hickory.wbtv.com/news/community-spirit/zahra-baker-be-honored-during-friday-nights-truck-series-race/62744

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

Post by Sherry on Fri May 20, 2011 8:03 pm

What a wonderful way to honor the precious child, 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 Fri May 20, 2011 8:20 pm

I agree, this is a great idea!

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

Post by Justice4all on Sat May 21, 2011 3:43 pm

What happened to Zahra Baker?

Bernard Lagan
May 21, 2011

She survived childhood cancer, but the fate awaiting Zahra Baker when she moved with her father to a new life in the US was far worse.

Hickory is a tight little city of trim bungalows, old elms, plentiful churches and dawdling pick-up trucks in the wooded foothills of North Carolina's west where the Appalachians begin their ascent. Once slave territory and later the core of American furniture making, Hickory has, like much of America's south, bled jobs; unemployment hit 15 per cent a year ago, and glum trailer parks spread into pasture on the city's edges.

Its finest hours came during a few summer days in the June of 1944 when a polio epidemic hit North Carolina, crippling hundreds of small children and terrifying parents. Overwhelmed, the hospital in Charlotte, the state's largest city, barred its doors and anguished parents trudged onward with sick children. They were halted at Hickory, where the people had, within three days, created a hospital in old stone buildings on the town's edge. Doctors from across the United States flooded into Hickory to treat the polio victims. The saving of the children is still celebrated here as "The Miracle of Hickory".


Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/what-happened-to-zahra-baker-20110516-1eoxc.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 Sat May 21, 2011 8:39 pm

Kyle Busch wins truck race with Zahra "riding shotgun"

by BETH SHAYNE / NewsChannel 36
Posted on May 20, 2011 at 11:23 PM

CONCORD, N.C.-- In Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday night, Kyle Busch said he had an angel riding with him as he took the checkered flag in a truck that featured Zahra Baker's name and picture.

The Busch team chooses a child's name each week for a program they call "Riding Shotgun with Kyle." The child's name and picture are featured just above Busch's head on the No. 18 truck.


Read more: http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/Beth-story-122363024.html
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Sherry on Sat May 21, 2011 9:12 pm

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

Post by Julie on Sun May 22, 2011 9:47 am


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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 Jun 23, 2011 11:28 pm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/23/zahra-baker-eric-bellas_n_883302.html#s297230&title=Zahra_Clare_Baker

Zahra Baker Prosecutor, Eric Bellas, Charged With DWI After Bicycle Crash

Eric Bellas, the prosecutor in charge of the Zahra Clare Baker murder case, has been arrested for driving while intoxicated following a bicycle accident, police said.

Bellas, 45, was taken into custody early Tuesday, near the Sea Trail Golf Resort and Convention Center in Sunset Beach, N.C. According to police, Bellas, who is a chief assistant district attorney in Catawba County, was involved in a bicycle accident on Clubhouse Road.

"He refused treatment," Sunset Beach Police Chief Lisa Massey told The Huffington Post. "An officer came to the opinion that he was impaired [and] placed him under arrest."

Bellas was initially transported to the county jail, but officials there refused to admit him because of his injuries. The officer then transported the prosecutor to a local hospital, where doctors "deemed he was OK [for] transport back to the jail," Massey said.

Bellas allegedly refused to submit to alcohol tests and declined to comment on the bicycle accident. He was subsequently charged with operation of a bicycle while impaired.

Bellas is the lead prosecutor in the Zahra Baker murder case.









Zahra, a 10-year-old girl who survived cancer, was murdered and dismembered in October 2010. In November, AOL News obtained exclusive letters, believed to be written by Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker. In them, she discussed the disabled girl's disappearance and said something "kinda horrifying" was done with the young girl's remains.

Baker is currently in custody and awaiting trial for the second-degree murder of Zahra. The young girl's father, Adam Baker, has not been charged in connection with his daughter's death.

It is not yet clear how Bellas's arrest will impact the Baker case.

According to Donald Farr, chief legal assistant for the Catawba County District Attorney's Office, Bellas has been placed on administrative leave and "relieved of his prosecutorial duties."

Bellas is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 18.

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

Post by sitemama on Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:29 am

Boy, we sure have a great DA's office. That makes 2 ADA's arrested for DWI in less than a year. When Jay Gaither was running for the office of District Atty, he said he was going to crack down on drunk drivers. He is going to run out of assistants before Eliza's trial begins.

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

Post by KariBear on Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:54 pm

What a dumbass! Could've been worse though, he could have been driving a car.

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

Post by FystyAngel on Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:09 pm

Zahra’s Father Says He Wants Justice For Her
Posted: 12:24 pm EDT July 11, 2011
Updated: 3:54 pm EDT July 11, 2011

HICKORY, N.C. -- Adam Baker, the father of 10-year-old Zahra Baker, said he wants justice for his daughter, whose remains were found in November 2010, more than a month after she was reported missing.

Elisa Baker is charged with second-degree murder in her stepdaughter’s death.

Adam Baker, who was in court Monday morning on charges unrelated to the investigation into Zahra’s death, said he wants to make sure Elisa Baker “gets what she deserves.”

He said it was difficult to describe what he’s been through over the past 10 months.
"There's no way to describe it,” Baker said. “Unless someone goes through it themselves, there is no way to understand.”

Baker said he visits the memorial set up for Zahra at the site where some of her remains were found and thinks about her every day. He would like to take her remains to his native Australia, he said, but also wants to be in the area when Elisa Baker stands trial.

“(I want to) get this all behind me,” he said. “Take Zahra back to Australia and finally lay her to rest.”
Baker is currently wearing an ankle bracelet and can’t leave the state because of problems with immigration officials.

He faces charges of identity theft and obtaining property by false pretenses. Police said the Bakers used someone else’s identity to set up phone and utility services.

http://www.wsoctv.com/news/28510274/detail.html

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

Post by FystyAngel on Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:10 pm

Zahra Baker's Father In Court On ID Theft Charge
Prosecutors: Charges Unrelated To Daughter's Death


POSTED: 1:21 pm EDT July 11, 2011

Read more: http://www.wxii12.com/news/28511160/detail.html#ixzz1RpU6XmrH

NEWTON, N.C. -- The father of a disabled girl whose remains were found last year in western North Carolina is in court to face unrelated charges.

The Catawba County Clerk's office said Adam Baker was making a court appearance Monday on charges of identity theft and obtaining property by false pretenses. Prosecutors said Baker and his wife, Elisa, used someone else's identity to set up phone and utility services at their home.

Elisa Baker is in jail on charges including second-degree murder in the death of 10-year-old Zahra Baker. Adam Baker has not been charged in his daughter's death.

A native of Australia, Adam Baker has been barred from leaving the United States while the felony case continues. A call to his lawyer was not immediately returned Monday.

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

Post by FystyAngel on Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:40 pm

Adam Baker: 'I want to make sure she gets what she deserves'
He wants to see justic done, take Zahra back to Australia for burial

Monday, July 11, 2011

NEWTON --
Zahra Baker’s father, Adam, made an appearance in Newton’s Superior Court on Monday. He was there to answer to charges unrelated to his 10-year-old daughter’s murder and dismemberment.

As he left the courtroom, Baker spoke briefly to the media about his hopes and plans.

Baker has been charged with two felonies: identity theft and obtaining property by false pretenses. The charges are related to Baker getting electricity from Duke Energy at his home on 21st Ave., NW in Hickory in the name of James Starbuck, said Maj. Clyde Deal of the Hickory Police Department.

Baker arrived about an hour before the courtroom doors were unlocked. He was alone. He said his mother had flown back to his native Australia.

Just before the Superior Court session was to begin, a member of the District Attorney’s office told Baker his hearing had been rescheduled for today [Tuesday].

Baker didn’t address his daughter’s murder directly, but he did discuss the woman accused of the killing: his wife and Zahra’s stepmother Elisa Baker.

“I want to make sure she gets what she deserves,” he said.

Elisa Baker has been charged with second-degree murder and obstruction of justice in Zahra’s death.

Baker said he thinks about Zahra all the time, but had trouble articulating his state of mind.

“There’s no way to describe it,” he said. “Unless somebody goes through it themselves, they will never understand it.”

Financial matters are weighing on Baker’s mind as well.

“The overall goal is to get over there (to Australia) earn some money and then come back to make sure justice is done for Zahra,” he said. “I just want to get this behind me and take Zahra back to Australia and finally lay her to rest.”

Elisa Baker’s next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.

http://www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2011/jul/11/2/zahras-dad-speaks-out-ar-1198451/

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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 Sep 11, 2011 7:25 pm

Judge to decide where to hold stepmom's trial

by Associated Press
Posted on September 11, 2011 at 2:11 PM

NEWTON, N.C. (AP) -- A woman accused of killing her 10-year-old disabled stepdaughter is being arraigned this week and should learn where her murder trial will be held.


Read more: http://www.wcnc.com/news/Judge-to-decide-where-to-hold-stepmoms-trial-129617153.html
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by sitemama on Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:31 am

A plea deal may be in the works according to defense atty.

Baker looked more tired than in previous court appearances, with circles under her eyes. When she came in and took her seat, she looked back in the gallery at her daughters. Baker gave a tight smile toward them, before Reilly told her to look forward, and she sat back in her seat.

Reilly said he has been in talks with the district attorney’s office since Friday. When asked if those discussions involved a plea deal, he said, “We’re trying to resolve it.”

Reilly said all of the discussions with the district attorney’s office have been productive.

Read the entire article here: /www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2011/sep/12/12/baker-trial-location-decision-delayed-ar-1382468/

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

Post by sitemama on Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:44 am

www2.hickoryrecord.com/news/2011/sep/12/zahra-bakers-sister-thanks-community-ar-1382924/

the above is a letter written by Zahra's 'step' sister, Elisa Baker's bio daughter. This is the most heart warming thing I have ever read about this case. It was written by Brittany Starbuck. Somehow, I have the same telephone number at home that she used to have when she lived in Lenoir. I have received many phone calls for Brittany, even newsmen wanting to do an interview with her. I have also rec'd phone calls from Rent A Center and Duke Energy about past due bills. These bills were made by Elisa Baker, using her daughter's name to rent furniture and to have electricity turned on in her home in Caldwell County.

I talked with Brittany at Zahra's memorial service and told her about the phone calls. She went to Rent A Center and Duke Energy to check out the charges. When she found out what her mom had done, she pressed charges against her too. That is some of the other charges Elisa is facing in Caldwell County and also Catawba County.

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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 Sep 13, 2011 10:46 am

mama, I can't get the link for the letter to work~
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by sitemama on Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:21 pm

Zahra Baker's sister thanks the community


By: Brittany Starbuck, guest columnist | sister to Zahra
Published: September 12, 2011

HICKORY --

I was blessed to meet Zahra Baker. I was more blessed than most because I got the privilege of calling her my sister.

I am writing this letter on behalf of myself and my other stepsister, Amber Fairchild. For some time now, I had been feeling like I wanted to speak out but could never really get the nerve to do it. But now I finally feel OK enough to do it. More time has passed and I feel like reality has set in. I’m trying to actually deal with the loss, rather than believe it couldn’t have really happened.

My family and I are still dealing with the loss of our Zahra. Even though we only had her here in the United States for a short amount of time we all loved her instantly. I knew after the first time I met her that she was the most special person I had ever met.

So many things she has done and said really changed my outlook on life. She never looked at the world like I did. She always had a bright, positive outlook on life, no matter what. I have never really been around anyone who has been through so much and not had a negative outlook.

Dealing with the loss of Zahra has been just as hard, if not harder, as it would be to lose my real blood sister. And to me and Zahra that’s what we were — the word “step” was never paired with sister. The same always has gone for me and Amber.

My reason for writing this letter is to say thank you to everyone who has been touched by my sister and who came to any of the candlelight ceremonies or charity rides, donated to the park in her honor, sat up for hours watching news about the situation, etc. I can say the only thing that has helped my family is seeing all these good things taking place for Zahra and because of Zahra.

I cannot explain how horrible it is to lose a sister, especially the way we lost our sweet Zahra. The only thing that helps me get by is seeing that she has not been forgotten and that changes have been made, and are still being petitioned to ensure no child ever has to suffer like she did.

Amber and I both agree we have been pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support by the community. As children we moved from county to county and town to town. We never really had the chance to establish a home and have community activities or even be a part of a community, so to see people come together for Zahra has been eye-opening. I have never seen people be so supportive to people they never even met, but it has been a complete blessing.

I want to thank everyone for putting together charity rides, candlelight vigils and charity concerts. It means so much to know that people have worked so hard to do everything they can for Zahra. I wish that you all could have had the chance to meet Zahra. I’m sure she would have loved to meet each and every one of you, too, as she was the biggest people person I know.

She always had the power to light up every room she entered. I have never met anyone who was completely selfless in this world until I met her. All she wanted to do was please others, and she was amazing at it. Everyone loved her, and I will always carry the memory of her smile and her truly amazing presence with me forever.

So once again, thank you to this community for everything you have done for Zahra, and for your support for my family while we have endured the absolute worst time in our lives. I would also like to make clear that I do not support Elisa Baker (Zahra’s stepmother and my biological mother), or her attorney in any way. I have not cooperated with her attorney and have no plans of doing anything in this case other than being honest and getting justice for Zahra.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, but most of all, thank you for keeping the memory of Zahra alive in this community as we approach the hardest one year mark we ever imagined we would have to deal with.

This is what Britanny wrote in its entirety.

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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 Sep 13, 2011 1:04 pm

Thank you, mama. That is a touching letter. I'm praying Zahra gets her due justice.
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Re: Zahra Baker -- Found Deceased 11/10/10 -- Elisa Baker Pleads Guilty To Second-Degree Murder

Post by Justice4all on Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:23 pm

Plea deal possible in Zahra Baker case

Negotiations could lead to a resolution of murder case against girl's stepmother.

By Franco Ordoñez
Posted: Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2011

Prosecutors and defense attorneys are in negotiations that could put an end to the nearly yearlong murder case of 10-year-old Zahra Baker of Hickory.

Defense Attorney Scott Reilly told the Observer on Monday night that he is in discussions with District Attorney Jay Gaither on resolving the second-degree murder charges against Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, possibly as early as Wednesday.

"We're having productive discussions and we're working toward the goal of resolving the cases," he said.


Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/09/13/2603276/plea-deal-possible-zahra-baker.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 Sep 15, 2011 4:11 pm

UPDATED: Elisa Baker to serve 14-18 years; police say Adam not involved

By: Sarah Newell williamson
Updated: September 15, 2011 - 12:32 PM

Elisa Baker pleaded guilty today to second-degree murder in the death of her 10-year-old stepdaughter, Zahra Baker, and will serve 14 years and seven months to 18 years in prison.

It is the "collective opinion" of investigators that Adam Baker was not involved in his daughter's death or dismemberment.

In testimony today, police said Elisa implicated Adam Baker in the dismemberment and disposal of Zahra's body, but cell phone records indicated that Adam was not involved.

Baker told investigators that she discovered Zahra not breathing and unresponsive at 4 p.m. on September 24 and tried to revive the girl with CPR, according to police testimony given Thursday.


Read more: http://www2.mcdowellnews.com/news/2011/sep/15/19/elisa-baker-pleads-guilty-serve-14-18-years-ar-1394327/
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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 Sep 15, 2011 4:59 pm

Oh my Lord. Tragic! 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 Sep 15, 2011 5:48 pm

The local news on TV tonight said the Federal drug charges she is facing could carry as much as 127 years in prison and $4.5 million fine. I have never understood why drug charges will get you more time than murder does.

There were many news media and cameras at the courthouse today, and they did interviews with some of the people who packed the courtroom, and waited outside. Most of those interviewed were very upset with the sentence, saying 14-18 years was not near long enough for what she put Zahra through. Even Elisa's daughter said it should have been much longer. If she had been tried and found guilty of 2nd degree murder, she could have gotten 30 years, so if she admitted it, and plead guilty to that same charge, she should have gotten at least 30 years. They dropped all the other charges against her, and there were lots of them.

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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 Sep 15, 2011 6:32 pm

Right about now, I'd be pretty happy if they turned around and gave Casey 14-18 years.
But I do agree that 14-18 years isn't enough in Zahra's case.

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

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