Recent developments, such as those reported on HLN’s “Nancy Grace” Monday evening regarding the investigation into the disappearance of 10-year-old missing Zahra Clare Baker, have led some to believe that Hickory Police might know where the little girl’s body is located. Hampered by missing pieces to the puzzle in the missing person case, such as an accurate timeline pinpointing when she first went missing, North Carolina authorities faced a scattershot operation. It remained so even after Hickory Police shifted the investigation to that of a homicide three days after Zahra Baker was reported missing. But the arrest of Adam Baker, Zahra’s father, and an early morning search of a Caldwell County property could mean that new information is pointing investigators to a body.
Adam Baker was arrested early Monday morning at an international airport. He maintains that he was there to pick up someone he knows. Asked to come in for more questioning, he was arrested on nine charges unrelated to his daughter’s disappearance. Just a few short hours later, his wife, Elisa Baker, was taken by police vehicle to a property in Caldwell County where she once lived.
Could this mean that authorities finally have a general idea of where Zahra Baker’s body might be?
Zahra was reported missing on Oct. 9 by her father. He told police that his daughter was last seen (technically, heard) by his wife at 2:30 a.m. that morning. But strange circumstances surrounding the girl’s disappearance — a ransom note directed toward Adam Baker’s employer, cadaver dogs alerting to both the Bakers’ vehicles and a wood chipper on another property, possible blood evidence discovered in one of the vehicles, Elisa’s confession that she had written the ransom note, investigators’ inability to find anyone who had seen Zahra in a month — had authorities suspicious from the beginning. They quickly altered the focus of the investigation, called off the Amber Alert, and focused on the case as a homicide.
Nancy Grace, who has been covering the story from its inception, was quick to point out that the stepmother’s being taken from her jail cell (also arrested on unrelated charges, but kept in jail on a $92,700 bond due to fear that she is a flight risk) so soon after Adam’s early morning arrest seemed to indicate that he might have given investigators information that they may have not had previously.
Jean Casarez of “In Session” told Nancy Grace the search took place on a property where Elisa Baker lived three years ago. Hickory Police and other law enforcement have conducted numerous property searches over a three-county area in the past two weeks, many of which concerned former residences of the Bakers and of Elisa before she married Adam.
John Miller of the Hickory Daily Record corroborated Grace’s account that Elisa Baker was taken from her Catawba County jail cell and accompanied police to the scene of the search in Granite Falls in Caldwell County. Miller said that he was told that, although investigators searched throughout the day, they had discovered no body, nothing.
But Christopher Amolsch, a prominent Virginia defense attorney sitting in on Monday evening’s lawyer panel, quickly interjected that Adam Baker might simply be trading speculative information. Amolsch told Grace he didn’t think Adam actually knows where the body is located.
“What probably happened is he said, you know,” Amolsch told Nancy Grace, “‘How about go here, go there, look there,’ so the police dragged her down there. There`s nothing there, and he’s going to come up with something else. But he would trade in anybody to get out of trouble.”
It is unknown if Elisa Baker was cooperative or if she shared any information while at the search site. Except for admitting she wrote the fake ransom note, Elisa has been reportedly uncooperative with the investigation.
“Nancy Grace” transcript, CNN.com