N.C. police 'believe we have found Zahra'

Nov. 12, 2010 at 9:25 PM
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HICKORY, N.C., Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Investigators in North Carolina said Friday they believe they have found the remains of Zahra Baker, the 10-year-old girl who has been missing since Oct. 9.

Police said a bone found Nov. 3 in Caldwell County was identified through DNA as belonging to the missing girl, The Charlotte Observer reported.

"It is with great regret that I stand before you today," Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins told reporters at a news conference Friday. "We have received enough physical evidence to believe we have found Zahra."

Adkins said human remains found in Caldwell County Thursday were those of a child, the newspaper reported. The state Medical Examiner will analyze the remains to try to determine if they are Zahra's, the police chief said.

Zahra's biological mother, Emily Dietrich, who gave the child at birth, flew to North Carolina from Australia, neighbors in Hickory told the Observer. Hickory police confirmed Zahra's father, Adam Baker, was back at the station but would not say why.

Zahra was reported missing Oct. 9 by Adam Baker and his wife, Elisa. The missing girl wore a prosthetic left leg and hearing aids. The leg was found Oct. 26; the hearing aids were left at the house. Investigators also turned up a bone fragment near where the leg was found.

No one has been charged, but Elisa Baker is in jail on obstruction of justice charges. Police say she admitted writing a fake ransom note to throw off investigators.

Citing several TV news reports, the newspaper said Baker led investigators on two occasions to the area where the remains were located.

District Attorney James Gaither Jr., whose district includes Catawba County, said prosecutors "hope to see some resolution in this case that will result in charges being filed in the near future.

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