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Entries in Adam Baker (6)

Monday
Jan302012

Adam Baker Deported with Daughter Zahra’s Remains

iStockphoto/THinkstock(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Adam Baker, the father of slain North Carolina 10-year-old Zahra Baker, has been deported to Australia, and has taken the girl’s remains with him, Baker’s attorneys said Monday.

Zahra Baker was killed in October 2010 by Adam’s wife -- and the girl’s stepmother -- Elisa Baker. Adam Baker, 33, had met the woman online and moved from Australia to be with her, taking Zahra with him. Zahra’s mother, Emily Deitrich, had given Adam custody because of postpartum depression.

Zahra Baker had lost a leg and part of her hearing during two bouts with bone cancer. Her life with her stepmother was marked by abuse, frequent bruises, and being locked for hours each day in a room, witnesses told police and ABC News.

When she was killed, her disappearance wasn’t reported for weeks and police eventually determined that she had been murdered and her body dismembered. Police found her prosthetic leg and parts of her body, but her head was never located.

Adam Baker was never arrested or named a person of interest in the murder of his daughter.

According to Adam Baker’s attorneys, Zahra’s remains will be buried in a family plot in Australia, ABC affiliate WSOC reported.

Baker’s attorney, Shell Pearce, told the Charlotte Observer that his client left the country quietly about two weeks ago, after receiving a suspended sentence for misdemeanor crimes in Cawtawba County. Charges against Baker in Caldwell County remain pending, though Pearce said Monday he did not believe Baker would be brought back to the U.S. for those hearings, according to WSOC.

In 2011, authorities revealed that Baker was in the country illegally and U.S. officials were arranging for his deportation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan052011

Zahra Baker Case: Stepmom Role-Played 'Chainsaw Massacre'

Photo Courtesy - CatawbaCountyNC [dot] gov(HICKORY, N.C.) -- Recently-released warrants reveal contradictions by the stepmother of Zahra Baker, the North Carolina girl who was murdered and dismembered, and indicate police have investigated the parents' online role playing of a "chainsaw massacre" game.

The 10-year-old's stepmother, Elisa Baker, told police the girl died two weeks before she made a 911 call reporting her disappearance, according to more than 200 pages of court documents released Tuesday.

Elisa Baker also told police it was her husband, Adam Baker, who cut the girl up before disposing of her body in several locations in the area around the couple's North Carolina home.

GPS phone tracking records included in the warrants note that while Elisa Baker's cell phone was in the areas where the remains were dumped, but Adam Baker's was not.

The publication of the date of the child's death as given by Elisa Baker -- Sept. 24 -- is the first time any date of death has been made public, but it contradicts one witness who told police previously he had seen the girl alive a day later. The warrants also state a witness claimed to have had an alarming online conversation with the Bakers around that time.

According to the court documents, the person using the online name "NoeticsSoul" blogged "that she had a conversation with Adam Baker and/or Elisa Baker regarding their involvement with chainsaw massacre role-playing... The date of September 22 was given regarding their virtual family 'doing a murder with chainsaws....'" The warrants do not reveal how the girl died.

One person involved in the online virtual family fantasies was identified as Aaron Young. Police discovered that Elisa Baker was married to Young at the time she got married to Adam Baker, but that she had told Adam Baker that Young was her brother.

Elisa Baker and Young were later divorced, but the warrants state they kept in "frequent" contact and police requested permission to track phone records from Young's cellular provider.

Zahra, who lost her left leg and most of her hearing in a childhood battle with cancer, was reported missing on Oct. 9 after police responded to a small fire in the Baker's yard. At the scene, police discovered a ransom note demanding $1 million.

Elisa Baker later admitted to writing the note herself and was arrested on obstruction of justice. After an exhaustive search, Zahra's prosthetic leg, a bone fragment and her remains were all discovered in seperate locations. No one has been charged with the girl's murder.

Elisa Baker remains in prison on obstruction of justice and several unrelated charges. In addition to her primary attorney Scott Reilly, a homicide attorney has been "provisionally appointed" to the case in October.

Adam Baker was previously held on unrelated charges, but was released on bond.

Police declined to comment on the released documents, but told ABC News, "The investigation is ongoing." Lisa Dubs, the homicide attorney assigned to defend Elisa Baker, did not immediately return request for comment. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov152010

Court Docs: Zahra Baker Was Dismembered, Stepmom Said

Photo Courtesy - CatawbaCountyNC dot gov(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Ten-year-old North Carolina girl Zahra Baker was dismembered after her death and her remains were scattered in several locations, the girl's stepmother told investigators, according to court documents filed Monday.

Lawyers for Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, filed the documents as part of a bond reduction request as evidence Baker had been aiding the search for the disabled girl's remains, according to ABC affiliate WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C. The attorneys also claim Baker led searchers to Zahra's prosthetic leg. Elisa Baker is in jail, being held on charges she allegedly wrote a fake ransom note after Zahra disappeared.

The leg, a bone fragment and the girl's remains were discovered in different locations.

In jailhouse letters, Elisa Baker said her husband, Adam, did something "horrifying" to Zahra after she was dead. Adam Baker's attorney told ABC News Monday those claims were nothing more than a "desperate" attempt at distraction.

Two weeks before police announced they had discovered Zahra Baker's remains, Elisa Baker indicated in a jailhouse letter that the child was dead, but expressed no remorse or guilt -- only self-pity and vague accusations against her husband.

"I was trying to save us both, but why should I? He is letting everyone destroy me," Elisa Baker wrote, referring to Adam Baker.

In an earlier letter Baker wrote, "We really didn't kill her, but what he [Adam Baker] did after the fact is kinda horrifying."

In the latest letter, obtained exclusively by ABC News, Baker said she "ain't the monster people are saying."

She also said she was frustrated by her lawyer's refusal to allow her to do TV interview requests. "I want a chance to be heard damn it. This is my life and everyone is playing with and I have no control over what is said or done," she wrote.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov012010

Zahra Baker Case: Cops Confirm Artificial Leg Belonged to Missing Girl

Photo Courtesy - ABC News (HICKORY, NC) -- The stepmother of the missing girl Zahra Baker appeared in court Monday as police confirmed that a prosthetic leg found last week belonged to the disabled 10-year-old, who disappeared at the end of summer.

Elisa Baker was driven to court in Burke County, NC, Monday in handcuffs and an orange jail jumpsuit for a probable cause hearing on a larceny charge that is unrelated to Zahra's disappearance.

Baker, 42, has been charged with several crimes unrelated to the investigation into Zahra's case. In addition, the stepmother is charged with obstruction of justice for writing a false ransom note before Zahra was reported missing.

Her appearance in court gave observers a rare view of the woman who kept publicly silent since Zahra vanished. Despite her public silence, police have said she appears to be cooperating with the investigation.

The 10-year-old girl was reported missing October 9th, but authorities have said they do not believe she is alive. The most recent sighting of the girl was at a furniture store on September 25th.

The only evidence of the girl uncovered so far is a prosthetic leg found close to where Elisa Baker used to live. Monday police said the leg was confirmed to have been Zahra's leg. The Hickory, NC, police said a scanner was used to extract the serial number from a transponder placed inside the prosthesis.

Earlier, police had obtained the identifying number for Zahra's leg from Australia where the leg was originally fitted. The two numbers matched.

Zahra lost her left leg along with most of her hearing in a battle with bone cancer.

Since the girl vanished, her father Adam Baker, 33, has also been arrested. He was charged with passing bad checks and assault with a deadly weapon, charges unrelated to her disappearance. Adam Baker has since been released on bond.

The search for Zahra has also turned up a mattress police pulled from a dump and are testing it for DNA matter.

Since the girl disappeared, relatives and neighbors have recalled how Zahra was frequently bruised and accused Elisa Baker of frequently yelling at the girl for walking too slow, locking her in a room all day except for meals, and blaming her bruises on the girl's own clumsiness.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct112010

Police Release New Details in Disappearance of Disabled Girl

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(HICKORY, N.C.) -- Police revealed new twists Monday in the investigation of missing 10-year-old Zahra Baker, including the existence of a $1 million ransom note, positive dog alerts for human remains in cars belonging to both of her parents, and doubts about the parents' timeline dating back as far as a month.

The little girl who lost her hearing and her left leg in a childhood battle with cancer was reported missing from her Hickory, N.C. home Saturday afternoon.

Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, has been arrested on charges unrelated to the girl's disappearance.

Former neighbors of the Bakers in Sawmills, N.C., described a troubled relationship between Elisa and Zahra Baker, though they described Zahra as a "normal, happy 10-year-old" with good manners who played well with neighboring children.

Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins appealed for anyone who has seen the little girl in the last month to step forward, saying that the parents' timeline of events had "inconsistencies."  Because the girl was homeschooled, police said they're having trouble contacting anyone other than her parents who saw her recently.

"At this point in the investigation, we are having a very difficult time establishing a true timeline," Adkins said. "We are running out of time, folks.  The longer this thing goes, the likelihood this outcome will not be positive.  So we need help....This is going all over the place.

"We need teachers, we need doctors, we need store clerks.  We need anyone that has seen this girl in the last week, in the last month, anything that they feel is important for us to know," he said.

Search warrants for the Bakers' two cars and home contained confounding details, including the discovery of a $1 million ransom note left on one of the family's two vehicles.  The note, however, was not addressed to Zahra's parents, but to her father's boss, Mark David Coffey.

"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]," read the handwriting on the note, according to the warrant.

"No cops" was also written twice on the note.

Coffey reportedly owns the property on which the Bakers live and was present the day Zahra was reported missing.

The ransom note was discovered on the windshield of Baker's car by officers responding to a fire in the Baker's backyard about 5:30 a.m.  However, it wasn't until 2 p.m. that Baker called police to report Zahra missing.

The father told police that someone had poured gasoline in his car during the night and left the ransom note, and that he believes his daughter was taken by whoever threatened Coffey.

Adkins said the police are "questioning the validity of that note" and have received no further demands.

The warrant also revealed that a search dog gave a "positive alert for the presence of human remains in or on both vehicles" belonging to Elisa and Adam Baker.

Investigators seized several items from the Baker home, including two gas cans, burn samples from the morning fire, and drug paraphernalia, the warrant states.  Two samples of "possible blood" were taken from one of the cars, according to a warrant.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct112010

Stepmom Possibly Involved in Disappearance of Disabled Girl

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(HICKORY, N.C.) -- Adam Baker, the father of a missing disabled child in North Carolina, said Monday that his wife, the child's stepmother, could have been involved in the girl's disappearance.

Zahra Baker of Hickory, North Carolina, has been missing since Saturday morning. The 10-year-old girl has battled bone cancer since childhood, and it has cost Zahra her hearing and her left leg.

Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, was arrested over the weekend on several charges unrelated to her stepdaughter's disappearance.  Police said that no one, including Elisa or Adam, has been ruled out as a person of interest.

Adam Baker told ABC News that he hadn't "really seen" his wife since her arrest.

When asked if he believed his wife was involved in Zahra's disappearance, Baker said, "I wouldn't like to think so. It's kind of what I've heard so far. It could be possible."

Baker said because of his work schedule he hadn't seen his daughter since Thursday night.  He said his wife was the last person to see Zahra alive when she said the girl was in bed early Saturday morning.  Zahra was not reported missing until Saturday afternoon, when Elisa came to Adam in a panic.  Zahra was gone with her prosthetic leg, but her hearing aid remained.

"She didn't know very much. She came out crying and panicking. She told me Zahra was gone," Baker said.  He searched the house and then the block before calling the police.

"I think just about every officer in Hickory came to the house," the father said. "I just hope I can get my daughter back. I miss her so much."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio