The Hickory Record and ABC News are reporting that remains have been found in connection to the searches being conducted by Hickory Police and other law enforcement agencies for missing 10-year-old Zahra Baker. Although the Hickory Record cautiously reported that what the investigators found were “possible” human remains, ABC News, basing their information on affiliate WSOC-TV in Charlotte, have reported that the remains found were indeed human. Police would not confirm that remains had been found but did say that the discovery “could provide valuable information” to the Zahra Baker investigation.
The remains were found in Caldwell County near a creek in an area that police had covered before, once when they were accompanied by Elisa Baker, Zahra’s stepmother. Police had cordoned off the area Wednesday, keeping everyone out. A reporter for WSOC returned to the Caldwell County location Thursday and found that a large hole measuring about 10 feet long and two and a half feet deep had been excavated.
The remains, according to WSOC, were sent to the SBI (State Bureau of Investigation) for further analysis.
On Thursday, police returned to the Christie Road location in Caldwell County where Zahra’s prosthetic leg and what appeared to be a human bone had been found. Although the prosthetic was later matched to serial numbers on medical records and identified as belonging to Zahra Baker, authorities have yet to reveal if they have received the results of testing done on the bone. They say they do not wish to jeopardize the case by revealing information.
Zahra Baker was reported missing on Oct. 9 by her father. The report came several hours after a suspicious yard fire occurred at Adam and Elisa’s Hickory residence. Police had issued an Amber Alert for the 10-year-old due to a ransom note found earlier that morning (even though the ransom note targeted Adam Baker’s employer’s daughter, who was found unharmed), a bone cancer survivor who also wore hearing aids, but soon found Elisa to be a person of interest when she confessed to writing the ransom note. Hickory Police, acknowledging that they now believed Zahra Baker to be dead, then launched a homicide investigation on Oct. 12.
Elisa Baker began cooperating with authorities again on Oct. 24. The next day, removing her from the Catawba County jail cell where she’d been since the day after Zahra was reported missing (arrested on unrelated charges), she accompanied them to various locations in Caldwell County.
She continues to insist that she does not know what happened to her stepdaughter.
Zahra Baker would have turned 11 years old on Nov. 16.
“Possible remains found in Zahra disappearance,” HickoryRecord.com
“Zahra Baker Search Uncovers Human Remains,” ABCNews.go.com