New charges filed against Elisa Baker

March 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM
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HICKORY, N.C., March 22 (UPI) -- The stepmother of Zahra Baker, whose remains were found scattered in a North Carolina county, has been arraigned on additional charges, officials said.

Elisa Baker, 42, facing charges of second degree murder in Zahra's death, was indicted Monday on two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, the Hickory (N.C.) Daily Record reported.

Baker pawned a 46-inch television and a pressure washer -- items she allegedly did not own -- in August 2010 at a Hickory pawnshop, the indictment said.

Baker is now charged with eight felonies and numerous misdemeanor charges.

All of the misdemeanors are unrelated to the death of 10-year-old Zahra, authorities said.

After Zahra was reported missing from her Hickory home on Oct. 9, Baker was arrested the following day and charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly writing a ransom note in connection with Zahra's disappearance demanding $1 million.

Authorities searched for Zahra's body for weeks, eventually finding her remains scattered in Caldwell County.

Police say they believe Zahra died on Sept. 24 and her body was dismembered and scattered the following day.

Elisa Baker remains in custody in the Catawba County jail, the Daily Record said.

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