In the ongoing homicide case of missing Zahra Baker, the 10-year-old North Carolina girl whose disappearance was reported by her parents on Oct. 9 and whose case has been an amalgam of strange circumstances, her father, Adam Baker, was arrested early Monday morning. Although charged with nine counts unrelated to the disappearance of his daughter, his arrest also seems to have occurred under somewhat strange circumstances. Hickory Police told Australian newspaper The Age that Adam Baker was arrested at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. But what was he doing at an airport at 3:00 a.m.?
”We believe he was at the airport picking up relatives who were flying in from Australia,” a Hickory police spokesperson told The Age.
But at such an early hour of the day? In Sessions‘s Jean Casarez, appearing on HLN’s Nancy Grace Monday evening, pointed out that there was really no good reason fro Adam to be at an international airport at such an early hour because of federal blackout regulations. Grance further explained that, due to federal blackout rules, planes are not permitted to take off or land after midnight (with rare exceptions) and are scheduled to land at or around 6:00 a.m. on a daily basis.
So what was Adam Baker doing at an international airport at 3:00 a.m.?
Nancy Grace was quick to point out that Adam was probably at the airport to buy a ticket, not pick up relatives or friends. She noted that it would make sense that he would tell the police that. Adam is originally from Australia.
Famed criminal profiler Pat Brown, also appearing on the investigative talk show, told Grace that she believed Adam Baker has been hinting around since the investigation started that he knows more than he is telling. She pointed out that the strange 911 call to report Zahra Baker missing appeared to be a ruse to make it look as if he didn’t know what was going on. As for the airport arrest, Brown said:
“Well, he`s stupid, for one thing, because they`re watching him. They’re going to make sure he`s not going to run out of the country. Did he have his passport with him? That`s what I’m real curious about. They found that passport with him, straight on down to the jail cell.”
Which seems to be exactly what happened — even though he was charged with unrelated offenses.
Was Adam Baker actually at the airport to pick up family or friends? If so, why so early in the morning? Did authorities stop him with his passport in hand? Had he already bought a ticket for Australia, his native country? Or was Adam at an international airport simply attempting to flee the country?
Up until his arrest, authorities told the media that Adam Baker was cooperative with their investigation. Just a couple hours after being arrested, his wife, Elisa Baker, was taken from her Catawba County jail cell to a property in Caldwell County where she lived three years ago. It has been speculated that Adam Baker revealed something to Hickory investigators following his arrest that led them to search Elisa’s former residence.
Zahra Baker was reported missing on Oct. 9. Three days later, Hickory Police canceled the Amber Alert issued for the 10-year-old. Developments led investigators to conclude that, instead of being abducted, Zahra had somehow died or possibly had been killed. One of those developments was the confession of Elisa that she had written a ransom note that had been found at the Baker residence. From that point on, the case would be conducted as a homicide investigation.
Both Elisa and Adam Baker are in police custody. She, too, had been arrested on unrelated charges (the day after Zahra was reported missing), but remains in jail on a $92,700 bond (raised last week due to the perception that she was a flight risk). Elisa Baker was charged with obstruction of justice for writing the ransom note.
Adam Baker has yet to be charged in connection to his missing daughter.
His wife remains a person of interest.
“Nancy Grace” transcript, CNN.com
“Zahra’s father: airport arrest,” TheAge.com.au