Missing girl search focuses on pond

Nov. 4, 2010 at 10:27 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 4 (UPI) -- The search for a missing North Carolina girl is being focused on a pond in Caldwell County, investigators said.

Investigators said Wednesday they found a bone that might belong to 10-year-old Zahra Baker, and a pond was being drained as police looked for more evidence, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported.

Police didn't say where the discovery was made or describe the bone, but sent it to the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for inspection, the Observer reported.

Zahra Baker, who is hearing impaired and lost a leg to bone cancer, was reported missing on Oct. 9 by her father, Adam Baker. Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, was charged with obstruction of justice after allegedly admitting to writing a phony ransom note to sidetrack the investigation.

Police drained the pond after a prosthetic leg belonging to the girl was found. Clyde Deal, deputy chief for the Hickory Police Department, said police drained the pond because "we want to be thorough," but it's unclear whether anything was found.

Deal downplayed the importance of two letters a crime memorabilia Web site owner said he received from Elisa Baker. The letters said the girl is dead, and claim the girl's father did something "horrifying" to her after she died.

The letters haven't been authenticated, and Deal said he wanted to concentrate his search in Caldwell County.

"It looks like we made the right choice," Deal said. "There are things more important" than the letters.

Adam Baker was arrested Oct. 25 and later released on bond for several charges, including writing worthless checks and assault with a deadly weapon.

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