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ZAHRA BAKER (10) - DISAPPEARANCE A HOMICIDE - ELISA BAKER INDICTED FOR MURDER - PRE-TRIAL -TRIAL & SENTENCING

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Oct 13 10 4:05 PM

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Zahra Clare Baker at 10 faced more in life than many. Zahra suffered from childhood
cancer, and as a result, lost her hearing and left leg, leaving her with a prosthetic.
Friends say despite health problems, and being shy, Zahra was upbeat.
  
 
         

                                         Zahra Clare Baker

  

Zahra's father Adam Baker is from  Australia. Zahra's mother abandoned the child
and Zahra was raised mainly by her grandmother. Adam and Zahra came to the
U.S. a few years ago, and then moved to N.C. after Adam met Elisa, his second
and urrent wife, over the Internet.  
 
Now Zahra Baker is missing, presumed dead. Her disappearance is now deemed a
homicide.
 
                          HICKORY NORTH CAROLINA
 
                                    RANSOM NOTE
 
                              
2010 - October 9 - Saturday - 5:20 A.M. -Police respond to the Baker home to
                            investigatea small grass fire. 

Officer R. Rollins arrives and is approached by a Hickory firefighter who said there
was a fire on a mulch pile behind the home, the passenger side doors of a silver
1996 Chevrolet Tahoe that was parked outside the home were open.  A Duke
Power envelope with handwriting was inside the vehicle on the front windshield.

Officer Rollins smells gasoline emitting from inside the vehicle.

The ranson note is addressed to a man Baker had worked for. 
                      
 5:30 A.M. - Officer Rollins sees Mark Coffey and his only daughter, Lauren Coffey,
                   at the home. Adam Baker is renting the home from Mark Coffey,
                   who is also Baker's boss. 
 
Fred Causby is a foreman for Real Tree Services, a tree trimming company
The company stores heavy equipment and mulch on the property. Adams
has been employed by Real Tree Services for about 6 months.
 

 
The note:
Mr. Coffey, you like being in control who is in control now we have your daughter
and your pot smoking red head son is next unless you do what is asked 1,000,000
unmarked will be in touch soon [sic]," 
"No cops" was also written twice on the note.

6:41 A.M. - Officer Rollins and the firefighters leave. They believed it to be an arson
                 fire.
 
                                    MISSING CHILD REPORT
 
  Saturday Afternoon - 2:00 P.M. Adam Baker reports Zahra (10) missing.
 
Adam baker calls the police department and states "someone had poured gas into
his car and left a note stating that they had his bosses' daughter.  Baker told police
he thought a kidnapper took his daughter, Zahra Baker."
 
Adam Baker
"Because of my work schedule, I hadn't seen my daughter since Thursday night."
 
Elisa Baker (stepmother) 
"The last I saw Zahra, she was sleeping in her room."
 
That was 12 hours earlier.
 
A police officer searches the house with assistance from Adam and Elisa Baker.
Zahra is not found.

                                   SEARCH & RESCUE DOGS
 
2010 - October 10 - Sunday - FBI and Police call in Maria Claxton with the South
                              Carolina Search and Rescue Dog Association. A search
                               warrant is executed.

Maria Claxton walked the dog around the Bakers' home and their vehicles. 

1:00 P.M. -  The canine "gave a positive alert for the presence of human remains
                  in or on both vehicles, the silver in color Chevrolet Tahoe... and the
                  burgundy in color Toyota Camry.

The vehicles are taken as evidence to the Hickory Police Department where
agents with the North Carolina SBI and FBI assisted police officers in gathering
evidence.

                                  SEARCH WARRANT

Items removed from the Chevrolet Tahoe and Toyota Camry include:
Duke Power bill, numerous papers with writings and phone numbers
Assorted receipts,
(3) passports with paperwork
(2) toothbrushes
Hair brush
Assorted ink pens
(2) lighters
(2) pillows, sheet, comforter,
(3) gas cans
(4) burnt samples from Tahoe and brush pile
Pink jacket
Plastic bowl with green vegg. matter
Assorted drug paraphernalia
Chinese take-out menu
1990 Burgundy Toyota Camry
Latent lift, photos
Chevy Tahoe.

In addition to taking photographs of both vehicles, three swabs of a substance


which police said appeared to be blood were also taken from the Chevrolet Tahoe. 
      
 
2010 - October 11- Monday -  

Police Chief Tom Adkins is skeptical regarding the timeline Adam and Elisa Baker
 have provided.
 
Neighbors, relatives told police "it has been more than a month since they last saw
Zahra."
 
Although Zahra attended a local elementary school last year for 4th grade,
 the school received a phone call stating the child would be home-schooled.
 
 
     2010 - August 9 - The last day Zahra Baker is seen by neighbor Brandy Stapleton.
                               Stapelton takes a photo of Zahra on her cell phone. The photo
                               shows Zahra with a bruise under her right eye.
 
Brandy Stapleton
"Zahra seemed down, so I thought a picture would cheer her up.
Elisa Baker told me not to take the picture, because Zahra's eye
was bruised. But I insisted because I wanted to see her smile."
At the time, I didn't think much of the bruise because Elisa
would often say Zahra was clumsy."
 
                                    ABUSE

Caldwell County Court records show that Karen Yount and
the woman's relative Brittany Bentley each filed a complaint
in May 2010 accusing Elisa Baker of making violent threats
against them on separate occasions.

In interviews and court documents:
Elisa Baker is "nasty-tempered and violent." "Willing to
use a gun or her fists to settle an argument.
 
Zahra's life described as miserable due to her stepmother's
short fuse. Zahra usually took the brunt of her rage."
 
Karen Yount (Former neighbor)
"She was always beating her. I told her to stop but she wouldn't listen
to anyone. That poor girl."

Other neighbors feared for Zahra's safety.

A neighbor
"I spoke to an investigator from the Department of Social Services,
who visited the Bakers' house a few months ago to see if Zahra
was being beaten."
 
Several former neighbors, along with a relative, claim Elisa Baker
repeatedly physically abused Zahra.
 
 
Kayla Rotenberry
"I grew close with the Bakers when they lived down the street from me.
But I grew suspicious of Elisa Baker because of her outlandish stories
and quick temper. "There were warning signs along the way. But you
never want to think the worst."


Bobby Green (former neighbor & Rottenbery's fiance)
"Zahra frequently had bruises but Elisa Baker would always explain
them away. "It's always she fell down, or she rolled out of bed or she
didn't have her leg on right and couldn't walk right and fell. It's always
Zahra's fault, for her injuries," 
 
Brittany Bentley (relative of Zahra's,, married to Elisa Baker's nephew)
"The girl "was beat almost every time I was over there for just the smallest
things" by her stepmother. "Elisa would get mad, she would take it out on
Zahra, things the kid didn't deserve. She just had a horrible home life."
 
"Zahra was locked in her room most of the day and only allowed out for five
minutes to eat. "I just think this was something for a long time that we knew
was going to happen, everybody that was close to the family."
 
"When Zahra stayed with me for a weekend the 10-year-old,grew upset when
she had to return home."
 
 Renee Bobbitt (former neighbor)
"Elisa Baker was a stern and cold parent to Zahra. Just the way she yelled
and screamed at her, and I did see her hit the child a couple of times,"
Zahra was once sent to school with black eyes."
 
DSS won't confirm whether anyone was sent to investigate.
 


                                    OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE & OTHER CHARGES
 
2010 - October 12 - Tuesday - Elisa Baker is incarcerated on 6 charges of:
                               writing worthless checks, larceny by employee,
                               4 counts of communication threats, 4 counts of driving
                               while license is revoked, unsafe tires, operating a vehicle
                               with no insurance, fictitious or revoked registration/tag
                               and failure to appear.
                            
                               Elisa Baker, already in on the previous charges, admits
                               to writing the $1 million ransom note "in order to throw
                               off detectives investigating Zahra's disappearance."
 
                               She is charged with Felony Obstruction of Justice.
                               Baker is being held on $40,000 bond.
 
                                Baker’s total bond is set at $72,200 for all charges.
 
                               Next court hearing is November 3, 2010.
                               
                                  
                                                 Elisa Annette Baker


Scott Reilly (Attorney for Elisa Baker) (court-appointed for the obstruction of justice
charge)
"My client claims she had nothing to do with Zahra's disappearance."

"She is scared to death. It's scary coming out here and seeing all the court
reporters and courtroom of people who are so much against her right now."

 
"I plan to file a motion for reduction of bond. Forty thousand (dollars) is in far
excess for this charge. I would like the bond to be set closer to the $10,000
guideline for an obstruction of justice charge. I hope the bond reduction hearing
will be set as early as Monday."
 


"I  can’t talk about what  Baker has said about Zahra.


She’s upset with being in jail and away from her family,”
 
Jared Amos (Attorney for Elisa Baker) (court appointed for the larceny by
employee charge in Burke County) also was in court.
 
                                     HOMICIDE CASE
 
Police Chief Tom Adkins
"The Amber Alert for Zahra Baker is cancelled. The investigation is
now a homicide case."
 
Adam Baker has not been charged in the case. He hasn't been ruled out
as a suspect.
 
Adam Baker (Zahra's father)
"It is possible my wife could be involved in Zahra's disappearance."
"I wouldn't like to think so. It's kind of what I've heard so far. It could be possible." 
 VIDEO

Other relatives agree.   
  
                                    CADAVER DOG HITS ON WOOD CHIPPER
 
 
District Attorney Jay Gaither
"It is a "very emotional time" for law enforcement. I think the images you see,
the smile, a handicapped girl that age, is just emotionally upsetting.
"Law enforcement doesn't show it, but I think that they are affected by it."
 
I can't discuss details about the case. "I'm upset. The facts are disturbing.
You saw the images; she is such a darling child,"
 
More than 2 dozen law enforcement officers search the property the Bakers
reside on. The search is conducted by the Hickory Police Department, the
Burke County Sheriff's Office and the FBI.

A dog got a positive "hit" on equipment at the scene a day earlier but nothing
was found. The wood chipper and nearby mulch pile then became the focus of
the search.
 
Alvin Webb (Retired 30 year veteran of Morganton Police Dept.) lives next
door to the property.
"I was asked by the local sheriff to observe the search. "I went up there and
stayed till 12 o'clock [this morning], I just sat there and watched [and] ... the
[cadaver] dog hit on a pile of mulch and the wood chipper."


"He  (Adam Baker) was there. I had them point him out to me. He stayed back
away from everybody, and that is all I know about him."
 

Burke County Sheriff John McDevitt
"Adam Baker was "not exactly cooperative."

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#1 [url]

Oct 13 10 5:21 PM

NANCY GRACE SHOW - CNN
 
Nancy Grace is reporting that authorities are draining a pond that is adjacent
to where a late night search was conducted on the property where the Baker's
live.

Elisa Baker is "uncooperative."

Elisa Baker
"I'm not a killer."
 
Letitia reporting on scene:
Police and fire trucks, Sheriff's, firemen, they are draining the pond.
They are searching for a body. They are using large fireman
hoses. They are using lights to look around. It's a large clearing.
There are several ponds in this area. One of the ponds is about six
acres.
 
The father of Zahra Baker has equipment kept on this land.
A foreman who worked with him, lives close by and believes Adam
Baker was in that area around the time Zahra is thought to have
disappeared.
 
The whole thrust of the search in this area is to find a body.

Nancy:
You don't set up a night search, which is difficult, with this kind of set up
unless you know you have something.
 
Mark Klass
"I can't conceive of any reason the stepmother would have to write a
ransom report."
 
Nancy speaking of abuse Zahra is said to have experienced:
Adam Baker was around while the stepmother was abusing the child.
He's just as reponsible.
 
Caller - Monica in Indiana
You can't put the prosthetic leg through a woodchiper. It's made of
titanium and a hard plastic. Could they be draining the pond - looking
for the prosthetic leg?
 
Nancy
A very good point.
 
Journalist North Carolina
Family members and neighbors are confused as to why this has happened.
They've reported the abuse to authorities and nothing was done. Representatives
of the family contacted DSS.

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#2 [url]

Oct 13 10 5:28 PM

    

2010 - October 13- Wednesday - Zahra's stepbrother releases statement
 
 CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Late Wednesday afternoon Douglas Proctor,
the son of Elisa Baker, released a statement to the media.
 
 

     Douglas Proctor
Dear everyone,
 I would first like to personally thank all those who have and are continuing to helping
locate Zahra Baker and i ask that everyone continue to please support my family during
this difficult time.
 
Due to the fact i am still gathering facts right now i am unable to make any comment
on anything regarding Zahra Baker as well as my mother Elisa Baker. I would also
like to ask that everyone please respect my families privacy during this difficult and
stressful time. Once all the facts have been gathered i will issue another statement
but until then i will refrain from saying anything else. Once again please keep Zahra
Baker in your prayers and thanks to everyone who is helping.

 Sincerely,
Douglas Proctor

 


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#3 [url]

Oct 13 10 5:38 PM

WBTV POND SEARCH

Several sheriff's vehicles and fire trucks sped to the search site just before 6 pm

Wednesday. They were planning to drain the pond on the property. However,

officials said they did not have a solid lead that prompted the pond search.

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#4 [url]

Oct 13 10 5:45 PM

WBTV Elisa Annette Baker's gothic myspace  VIDEO


Elisa Baker has a social networking site on Myspace in which she calls her herself "gothicfairy6668." 

 

The creator of the page, however, goes by "E'lesa" and says she is 42-years-old,

which is the same age as Elisa Baker. She deems herself a "Goth."

 

Under the "General" section, the writer says: "People often judge what they don't

 understand i [sic] myself prefer to be different.  There is no one out there I really

envy.  I strive to be different in my own way,so if people [sic] stop and stare i [sic]

think to myself god I feel sorry for them they are so scared to step outside the norm

that they live in a constant bubble afraid to stand out and stand up for how they really

feel.."

 

Commenting on her appearance, the writer blogged on Sunday, February 22, 2009: 

 "I am so sick of people judging me by how I look.  I am gothic and proud of it…

Maybe if everyone would stop judging people the world might be a better place.

Then it's the doctors.. oh my god if you look a little different they think ur [sic]

hooked on some sort of drugs when truth is I have enough health problems without

 that s--t [profanity edited].  I hate it, I cant [sic] see how our world has come to

this and I don't [sic] understand why all the people from other countries want to

come here… I'm E'lesa by god and that's [sic] who I am til I die."

 

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#5 [url]

Oct 13 10 7:48 PM

Eddie Mitchell (Neighbor lives directly across from the Bakers)
“I’ve never seen her (Zahra)"
 
"I saw Elisa Baker, once.
“I walk two or three times a day.

 
 It was one of those occasions when I saw Zahra’s father, Adam Baker
drive up with his wife. There was no child with them when they got out of the car.
“I’m always out. I never noticed them (the Bakers) until about three weeks or a
month ago.”  I've lived at the same location for two years.
 
“He was always out at the mailbox, and I would say hello, but I couldn’t get a
reaction. He wasn’t a very sociable guy.”
 
"Some of the neighbors told  me they saw Elisa Baker from time to time.
 
"I was surprised Sunday morning when a Police Officer asked me if I'd
seen Zahra."

"It was the officer’s turn to be surprised when I said "never."
 
"I've never heard any commotion or machinery being operated on the property.
“This is a quiet neighborhood. Several older people live on the street.
 
“He (Adam Baker) was always out front, but I didn’t notice anything going on
behind the house — but then the house screens the yard.”

"I heard the siren Saturday morning when the fire was reported in the Bakers’ back
yard. But I hear them all the time, so I didn’t think much about it. Police asked to
look around my property Saturday. I said yes."
 
Then, Sunday morning, “They took the stepmother away in handcuffs.”
 
Police looked around my place again.
 
"I've looked for Zahra whenn I walk, and checked out some nearby woods.
Nothing. “It’s crazy

Elizabeth Goderstad (lives nearby)
“Nobody ever saw her,”
 
"On 22nd Street, there are lots of children who get out and play
But none of the kids ever saw Zahra. Many of the children are in
Zahra’s age group. There’s a spot nearby the Baker house where
the children like to play. None of the children saw her."
"Police talked to the children, but to no avail."
 
“We thought the house was vacant

"A child of one of my relatives went to school with Zahra in Caldwell County
 last year. The girl was described as a loner. And one day, Zahra was no
longer in school."


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#7 [url]

Oct 18 10 6:27 PM

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER

Police thanked local volunteers and restaurants for donating time and food
to search teams.

Police are, however, warning the public of a group that is seeking donations
in Zahra Baker's name. The group claims to "support the efforts of law
enforcement," but it has no connection to the Hickory Police, officials said.

Hickory police officials said they intend to investigate the group.

 

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#8 [url]

Oct 18 10 6:29 PM

CNN

Attorney Scott Reilly said that "whatever investigation was done there was
never anything substantiated regarding child abuse by Elisa Baker."
"The lady saying they were keeping Zahra (Baker) in the attic, and they thought
 it was squirrels, that lady has squirrels in her head," Reilly said. "She had no
business saying things that were untrue. Someone else says she was kept in
a locked room and only allowed to come out five minutes a day to eat. Those
people [reporting that information] should have their media credentials revoked."

Earlier, a relative said that the alleged abuse was reported to the state Department
of Social Services but the relative did not know the outcome. The state office said
such a report would have been handled by a county office but that the agency is
barred from commenting because of strict confidentiality laws."

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#9 [url]

Oct 18 10 6:34 PM

HICKORY DAILY RECORD

Zahra Baker’s father and stepmother, Adam and Elisa have an extensive criminal

history and the majority of the charges currently pending against them are tied to

money problems. Charges were filed, arrests were made and the Bakers established

a pattern of not showing up for their court dates.

 

MUCH MORE AT LINK!  Including abusive behaviour towards Zahra,

                                     threatening behaviour to others.

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#10 [url]

Oct 19 10 8:22 PM

Kayla Rotenberry (Neighbor)
"I think there was more behind closed doors than what anybody knew,
There was once an incident where Zahra's stepmother was whooping Zahra,
and she broke her hand on her prosthetic leg. She said when she was whooping
her, she hit that youngin's leg and broke her hand."
 
Police have searched through woods, fields, deployed search dogs 
in Catawba County, Caldwell and Burke counties.

Police are reviewing the family's computers and phone records.

Hickory police are asking for Zahra's medical records, including the model,
serial number and composition of the artificial leg she received from an
Australian medical facility. No word on whether they've asked for dental
records yet.


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#11 [url]

Oct 19 10 8:26 PM

2010 - October 9 - The "reported" day of Zahra's disappearance


Stepmother, Elisa Baker, reports a fire in the back of the family's home in Hickory.

Elisa Baker to 911 Operator
"My husband works for a tree maintenance company and our backyard is on fire. ...
We've got big mulch piles and wood piles ... firewood and stuff,"   

Police state they now believe the fire had been set deliberately.

2010- October 10 - Eight hours later - the second 911 call to report Zahra "missing."

Adam Baker to a dispatcher
 "Hey, how are you doing? I need police,"

Baker is transferred to a second 911 dispatcher.

"The police were out here last night after finding a ransom note for my boss's
daughter, I got up a little while ago and it appears they took my daughter
instead of my boss's daughter."
 
"The last I saw my daughter was around 2:30 a.m. that night.
"I don't know if they set a fire in the yard to distract us to go out and then they
snuck in the door, or, I don't know. Somebody had put gas in my company's
truck that I drive for work. They left the ransom note on the company vehicle
 to my boss saying they had his daughter and his son was next."

Baker can be heard chuckling after he says
 "My daughter's coming into puberty so she's in that brooding stage, so we
only see her when she comes out, when she wants something."

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#12 [url]

Oct 20 10 2:33 PM

Hickory Police, NC Bureau of Investigation, FBI, U.S. Marshal Service, Evidence Recovery

Team, and a team with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have
combined resources, technical assistance and national resources in the search for Zahra
Baker.


                                     LANDFILL SEARCH


2010 - October 20 - The Foothills Environmental Landfill is the focus of a search today.

 

 Tom Adkins (Hickory Police Chief)
"Investigators are looking for a piece of evidence. The search could take several days
for the search team to find it. It could last up to five days. I hope that if we find this
evidence, it will provide a good, solid timeline in the case."
 
“Interviews have led us to it.”

“We have had different family members tell us different timelines. We’re looking for
other people to help confirm it. The timeline is so crucial to the investigation. We’re
determined to find the truth and seek justice.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hickory Police Department at (828) 328-5551.



 

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#13 [url]

Oct 21 10 12:04 PM

2010 - October 20 -  COURT HEARING

Judge Robert Mullinax Jr. (Catawba County District Judge) presiding.
Citing Elisa Baker's litany of arrests, failure to show, the allegations against
Baker being "disturbing and unsettling," and deeming Baker a flight risk,
Judge Mullinax Jr. increased the bond from 40,000 to 65,000. Making a
total bond of $97,000 for all charges. He set other conditions on the bond:
If Baker is released on bond, she has a curfew from 6 P.M. to 6 A.M. and
electronic monitoring.

Scott Reilly (Attorney for Elisa Baker) objected to the raising of the bond, telling

the court "Baker is someone with a solid background, a “lifetime resident of Caldwell

and Catawba counties. She got her GED from Caldwell Community College.
Reilly blamed the media attention and news cameras for the unfairness in the
ruling. 

"All I want is some fairness and some consistency in the ruling." "If her
bond was to be paid, it would likely be friends and family who did it, not Baker."

Reilly admitted his client had "failed to appear in court for a "few worthless check"
and "communicating threat charges."

After the hearing: I don't believe family or friends will be able to raise the money.

Eric Bellas (Prosecutor) listed numerous driving and other infractions in multiple counties
that Elisa Baker has failed to appear in court, going back to 2005.

"The only time this defendant comes to court is when the sheriff's office brings her to court.

Over the last 20 years she failed to appear on previous charges ranging from traffice offenses

to communicating threats."  She has unserved warrants from 2010, 2009, 2007 and 2003.
"I'm not confident I have all of Baker's offenses, citing the different names she's used over

 the last 20 years."

AMBER FAIRCHILD (25) daughter of Elisa Baker, testifies for the prosecution. Her sister,


Brittany Starbuck (21) sat behind the prosecutor's in support of her sister.

 AMBER FAIRCHILD'S TESTIMONY
Her mother, Elisa Baker, has lived in South Carolina, Kings Mountain, and has had
a nomadic lifestyle for all of her (Amber's) life. Elisa Baker has lived in 5 places in
the last 22 months. "I've never had a stable residence growing up. I lived with her
until I was 17."

Fairchild testified she had been in touch with her mother until the day she was arrested.
"My mother went to meet now-husband Adam in Australia and lived there for a year-

and-a-half, returning in December 2008, married to Adam and with Zahra.

 

 First, Elisa Baker and her family moved in with the woman's father, but he kicked

her out “over bad checks."  Then they moved four more times - the last time in

September, when they moved to the house where Zahra's disappearance was reported.

 

Despite being married to Adam Baker, her mother "had been in touch with a man from

London online, and he had given her $10,000. She was in touch with the man up until

a week before her arrest.  

"She talked of leaving North Carolina as recently as Oct. 10, the day after Zahra was
reported missing. "She said she wished she could leave the state."

Other information Amber Fairchild testified to:
Elisa Baker applied for disability because she has lupus and seizures;
Elisa Baker had a falling out with her grandfather about a car;
Elisa Baker is not in touch with her son;
"She rarely worked."
Elisa Baker is violent and unstable, has severed her ties with her N.C. family.

Amber Fairchild asked the judge "not to release her mother from jail,
fearing for her safety and that of her own children."
 
Prosecutor Bellas noted that Elisa Baker has several allegations of communicating
threats pending against her. 

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#14 [url]

Oct 21 10 5:29 PM

2010 - October 21 - NANCY GRACE SHOW (CNN)

Nancy Grace is reporting that authorities found two mattresses in the landfill.
After examining them thoroughly, they were taken into a forensics tent set
up on site.

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#15 [url]

Oct 22 10 9:55 PM

2010 - October 22 - Police end search of landfill.

"Investigators stopped searching a Lenoir landfill Friday, saying they failed to find a
 mattress - and possible DNA evidence - that could help explain the disappearance
of Zahra Baker."

Police state the missing mattress, belonging to Zahra, was thrown out by her
parents in early October, just days before reporting her missing Oct. 9.

 CHARLOTTE OBSERVER
A state lawmaker said he will push state officials to look into how the Department
of Social Services handled alleged reports of child abuse against Zahra's stepmother,
Elisa Baker. "People are horrified by this and sickened by it," said Sen. Austin Allran,
a Republican who represents Catawba and Iredell counties. "Something went wrong in
this case," said Allran, who also serves on a child death advisory panel.

 
Elisa Baker's attorney, Scott Reilly, has confirmed the DSS investigated reports of
abuse against Elisa Baker but said social workers found they were "unsubstantiated."

 

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#16 [url]

Oct 23 10 12:58 PM

 
 Lisa Dubs confirmed Friday that she has been assigned to Baker’s case as
provisional counsel. According to court records, Dubs’ role is to “Conduct a
preliminary investigation, determine if the defendant is indigent and needs
appointed counsel, and protect the defendant’s rights pending appointment
of trial counsel."

"North Carolina’s Indigent Defense Services Director and Capital Defender
Robert M. Hurley assigned Dubs to Baker’s case Monday."


"Dubs is well-known for defending high-profile murder suspects, and her website
describes her specialties as “capital murder cases and serious felonies.”

 

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#17 [url]

Oct 25 10 11:35 AM

2010 - October 25 - Monday - Adam Baker arrested.
 
Adam Baker was at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport picking up a
family member Sunday before he voluntarily went to the Police Department.

At the request of Adam Baker, who is an Australian citizen, the closest
Australian consulate, which is in Atlanta, Georgia, was notified of his arrest.

 Adam Baker (father of Zahra) was arrested today on charges (filed over the
past few months) of one count each of assault with a deadly weapon and failure
to return rental property; two counts of communicating threats and five counts
of writing worthless checks.

Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins 
"Adam Baker was wanted on several outstanding warrants, but authorities had delayed
taking action because the father was cooperating with police in the search for Zahra."

Baker is being held on $7,000 bond. (Same jail as his wife Elisa Baker)

Next court date for Baker is November 18, 2010.


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#18 [url]

Oct 25 10 5:46 PM

2010 - October 25 -  "PROMISING LEAD"
 
Police said on Monday morning that they are following up on a “promising lead."
They began searching the area around Dudley Shoals Road in Caldwell County
before daylight on Monday. The area is less than a mile from where Elisa Baker
lived three years ago
 
Elisa Baker was taken out of jail and brought to the newest search site, a densely
wooded area and a creek area.

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#19 [url]

Oct 26 10 5:58 PM

2010 - October 26 -  

Deputy Chief Clyde Deal "The discovery is "potentially" a significant
                               moment in the case."
 
At the Foothills Environmental landfill where police previously searched, an employee
spotted a mattress believed to belong to Zahra Baker and informed police.

Hickory Police Dept.
"The bed contained DNA that will be tested to confirm it is indeed related to the
 Zahra Baker case."

                                   NEW SEARCH

The FBI has joined police in a separate search in bushland along Christie Road
in Caldwell County where local residents say a "bad" smell was present. The
area is about seven miles away from where investigators searched on Monday.

Elisa Baker, was taken out of jail Monday morning and led investigators to
three locations in connection to the investigation.

Mary Helton
 "I went down there a couple of weeks ago and it smelt awful bad."

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#20 [url]

Oct 27 10 1:42 PM

2010 - October 27 -  
 
Major Clyde Deal (Deputy Police Chief) Hickory, N.C.
"Elisa Baker (stepmother of Zahra Clare Baker) and her lawyer are talking with
investigators. We're working with her attorney to see what information she has
and what she is willing to share. We're treating her like every other source of
information.

"Elisa Baker was taken earlier this week to a home where she once lived."
Maj Deal declined to elaborate further.

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