Hickory Police continued their search for Zahra Baker in Caldwell County Monday, according to WBTV in Charlotte, after making an early morning arrest of Adam Baker, the 10-year-old missing girl’s father. Authorities had asked Baker, 33, to come to the police station for questioning. While there Adam Baker was arrested on nine separate charges, all unrelated to the disappearance of his daughter.
Zahra Baker was reported missing on October 9 by her father.
Adam Baker was arrested at 3:12 a.m. and charged with five counts of worthless checks, two counts of communicating threats, one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of failure to return rental property.
Adam Baker’s arrest was the second arrest made during the Zahra Baker investigation regarding unrelated charges. Elisa Baker, her stepmother, was arrested the day after Zahra was reported missing. She was charged with many of the same counts as her husband.
Unlike Elisa Baker, however, Adam has not been named a person of interest in his daughter’s disappearance. He has even publicly stated that he thought his wife could have been involved.
Still, Adam Baker has not escaped police scrutiny in the case. Although by all accounts mostly cooperative, some have not found him to be completely believable or trustworthy. Burke County Sheriff John McDevitt said a few days after Zahra Baker’s disappearance, “He seems concerned. I don’t know how sincere his concern is.”
When asked if he believed Adam Baker, McDevitt said he did not.
After cadaver dogs alerted to the scent of human remains on a wood chipper and a mulch pile on property in Burke County owned by a co-worker of Baker’s, McDevitt said that Adam Baker was “not exactly cooperative.” But he had been present throughout the searches conducted on the wooded property and elsewhere.
Hickory Police have found the Bakers’ story about their missing daughter problematic. Until workers at a Hickory furniture store came forward, they couldn’t find anyone that had seen the 10-year-old girl, a bone cancer survivor with hearing aids and a prosthetic leg, in a month. The timeline of Zahra’s possible disappearance narrowed to two weeks after the employees told police they had seen Zahra on September 25 in the store with her stepmother.
But Adam Baker said he last saw his daughter at 2:30 a.m. on the morning she went missing. He later said he actually saw her last on the previous Thursday because his work schedule precluded him from seeing her on a regular basis. He said that his wife, Elisa, had said she heard the child cough at 2:30 a.m.
Eight hours later he called Hickory Police to report Zahra Baker missing. He said that he believed she had been kidnapped by the people who had left the note on his Chevy Tahoe that police had found at 5:00 a.m. when they responded to a house fire at his home. Instead of kidnapping his boss’ daughter, they had abducted his.
The note asked for one million dollars and threatened to kidnap Mark Coffey’s son if demands weren’t met. Police found the Coffey family safe and unharmed and had left the Baker residence — only to be called back later.
Elisa Baker confessed to Hickory Police the day after her arrest that she had written the note. Police believe it was to throw off the investigation. Elisa Baker has refused to say anything else regarding the case.
Based on the confession and evidence recovered on the Bakers’ property through search warrants, Hickory Police announced on October 12 that they believed that Zahra Baker was dead and were shifting the case from that of a missing person to a homicide investigation.
Her daughter, 25-year-old Amber Fairchild, testified on behalf of the prosecution last week in their effort to convince a judge that Elisa Baker was a flight risk. The judge agreed and raised Baker’s total bond to $92,700.
“Zahra Baker’s dad charged as search for girl moves to new location,” WBTV.com