Investigators who have been searching for 10-year-old Zahra Baker since she was reported missing in early October are analyzing human remains found as they searched an area along Dudley Shoals Road in Caldwell County, N. Carolina and an area adjacent to Gunpowder Creek.
According to WSOC, police checked the banks of the creek and divers checked the water. Searchers excavated holes as large as 10 feet across.
Zahra Baker has not been seen by anyone outside the Baker family since September 25 and police believe she is dead. Adam and Elisa Baker did not report the little girl missing until October 9. It is not yet clear if she had been missing before then.
Zahra’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, remains jailed on charges related to the girl’s disappearance. Baker admitted to writing a $1 million ransom note to throw off authorities investigating the disappearance. The note was found the same day Zahra was reported missing.
Last week, authorities found a bone that may be related to the case and Zahra’s prosthetic leg was located before that on Christy Road in the same area the human remains were found today.
Letters: An Attempt by Elisa Baker to Shift the Blame?
According to ABC News, Elisa Baker wrote letters in which she says Zahra’s father, Adam Baker, did something “horrifying” after the girl’s death. Is this an attempt to shift the focus away from her and onto her husband?
“We really didn’t kill her, but what he did after the fact is kinda horrifying,” Elisa Baker wrote to Eric Gein, a crime memorabilia dealer, from jail. “[It] makes me scared of him. So I probably am gonna go ahead and file [for divorce]. I have lost my whole life anyway.”
Elisa wrote, “The cops know where she is and what he has done,” apparently referring to her husband.”
Hickory police were unable to verify whether Baker wrote the letters. Deputy Chief Deal said the handwriting was “similar” to Baker’s and the content of the letters matched what she has told police.
Deal says he doesn’t “necessarily have any reason to believe [that Elisa Baker wrote the letters], but I can’t say that she did write them either.”
Vigil Scheduled for Zahra’s Birthday:
The Children’s Protection Council, a local community organization, will hold a vigil Tuesday to honor Zahra who would have been 11-years-old November 16. The candlelight vigil will be held at Union Square in Hickory from 6 to 7 pm Eastern.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway reports in 2007, an estimated 1,760 children died from injury related to or was a contributing factor of abuse or neglect. Additionally, 4.7 percent of children who died from abuse or neglect were 8-11 years old, with children younger than one-year-old being the most vulnerable.
If you know of a child who is being abused, please pick up your phone and contact the police, sheriff’s office, or your local child welfare office. Children rely on us to do the right thing and by acting, it could save a child’s life.
Human Remains Found, Being Analyzed In Zahra Search – News Story – WSOC Charlotte
Zahra Baker Case: Bone Discovered, Sign of Girl? – ABC News
Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities: Statistics and Interventions – Child Welfare Information Gateway