Letter by Zahra's stepmom alludes to death

Nov. 15, 2010 at 9:15 PM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A bond request made Monday in a North Carolina court revealed Elisha Baker told lawyers weeks ago she knew how and when her stepdaughter died, an attorney said.

On Oct. 22, Baker allegedly told her legal team, led by Scott Reilly, about the circumstances surrounding the disappearance and death of 10-year-old Zahra Baker, Charlotte's WBTV reported.

Reilly said his team obtained a significant bit of evidence that was turned over to authorities and within two days told police Zahra was dead, and her body dismembered and dispersed in different locations.

Baker, initially jailed under an obstruction of justice charge for allegedly admitting she wrote a fake ransom note after the 10-year-old girl disappeared, was taken out of confinement to lead police to three different sites, WBTV said.

Reilly's team filed for the lower bail in Judge Robert A. Mullinax's Catawba County courtroom, citing Baker's cooperation in helping police with the case.

But not only did the judge decide not to lower Baker's bail, he raised it from $40,000 to $65,000, citing her as a flight risk, the Hickory Daily Record reported.

Before the bail hearing, Baker had many people speculating about how much she really knew because of three letters she wrote to crime memorabilia dealer Eric Gein, a man who also goes by the nickname, Damien, ABC News reported Monday.

Gein said he contacted Baker weeks ago under an alias, and in one of the letters, Baker wrote, referring to Zahra's father, Adam Baker: "I was trying to save us both, but why should I? He is letting everyone destroy me."

In an early letter, she wrote: "what he [Adam Baker] did after the fact is kinda horrifying."

Reilly said capital punishment attorney Lisa Dubs has been "provisionally appointed for any potential homicide charge" in Elisha Baker's defense.

"Unfortunately, this man, who apparently goes by the false persona of 'Damien' used fraud and deceit with the sole intention of profiting from the disappearance of Zahra Baker," Dubs said. "Ms. Baker unfortunately believed this man's representations that he only wanted to offer friendship and support during her incarceration. Much of the information in these letters is in response to specific questions posed by this man.

"The release of these letters is regrettable and only serves to sensationalize an already complicated situation."

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