As the case of missing 10-year-old Zahra Baker ground further into its third week, Elisa Baker was indicted by a Catawba County Grand Jury Monday on a felony obstruction of justice charge in North Carolina. The same day, authorities were able to identify the prosthetic leg found at an illegal trash dump near a residence where Elisa once lived in nearby Caldwell County. According to the Hickory Daily Record, the prosthesis was confirmed to belong to Zahra Baker.
Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins announced, “The medical records matched the serial numbers on this prosthesis.”
Authorities found the prosthesis in the brush along Christie Road in Caldwell County on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Medical records were requested from Zahra’s family in Australia, where the little girl and her father lived until 2008 when they moved to the U. S. after Adam Baker, Zahra’s father, met Elisa online.
Zahra Baker acquired the prosthetic after losing her leg to bone cancer at an early age. She also wore hearing aids as a result of the disease.
Investigators still haven’t found the 10-year-old or her remains. Hickory Police announced on Oct. 12, three days after she was reported missing, that they were operating on the presumption that Zahra was dead and that the case would be conducted as a homicide investigation. The day before, Elisa Baker, who had been arrested on unrelated charges the day after her stepdaughter was reported missing by her father, confessed to authorities that she had written the ransom note found on one of the Bakers’ vehicles. That ransom note had demanded $1 million from Adam Baker’s employer, Mark Coffey, for the return of his daughter. Police found the family unharmed, but returned later to the Baker residence when Adam called 911 to report Zahra missing.
Police at first operated under the supposition that Zahra Baker might have been kidnapped (because of the ransom note). They issued an Amber Alert, which was canceled when they shifted the case to a homicide investigation.
In the Grand Jury indictment, the document read (in part) that Elisa Baker “unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did with deceit and intent to defraud a police investigation, obstruct justice by constructing and placing a false ransom letter and reporting an abduction of her stepdaughter, Zahra Baker.”
Elisa is currently being held on a $92,200 bond. An attempt to get the bond reduced resulted in the judge deeming her a flight risk and the amount of her bond raised an extra $20,000.
Adam Baker, who was also arrested on charges unrelated to the case the day before the prosthetic was found, made bail. Unlike Elisa Baker, Adam was reportedly cooperating with police throughout the investigation.
No one has been charged in the disappearance of the 10-year-old.
The $92,200 bond amount corrects earlier reports that the bond was set at $97,200.
“Elisa Baker indicted; prosthesis confirmed as Zahra’s,” HickoryRecord.com