Missing Child: Zahra Baker

Zahra Baker's case has been in the news quite a bit this month, and though I have read many of the articles on it, I have not had a chance to post on her disappearance until now...
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Case Summary


On October 9, 2010, the family of 10-year-old Zahra Baker called police in Hickory, NC and reported her missing.     

After an initial search, authorities began focusing on Zahra's father Adam Baker and step-mother Elisa.

The case then took several strange twists. 

Police released that there had been a call for fire services at the Baker's residence prior to her being reported missing. A ransom note then appeared--one that Elisa allegedly confessed to writing.  Cadaver dogs then evidently hit on both parents' vehicles.

There were reports of abuse involving Zahra.

In addition, authorities had difficulty finding anyone who had seen the missing girl in over a month.

Unfortunately, these factors led authorities to begin examining the case as a homicide.

The missing little girl was born in Wagga Wagga, Australia,  and had moved with her father to North Carolina several years ago when he remarried.  She had lost her hearing and a leg after a previous battle with cancer, and walked with assistance from a prosthetic.

Zahra's body has not been located, but police believe they have found her mattress and other relevant clues.

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Last Wednesday (OCT 27), authorities announced that they had found a prosthetic leg consistent with the one worn by Zahra Baker in a "brushy" area near a home where the little girl's step-mother had previously lived. 

Unfortunately, confirming that the prosthetic device was indeed Zahra's will be difficult:


...When investigators found an artificial limb Tuesday, the police chief said they would have to match the serial number to Zahra's medical records.


However, a prosthetic expert said that's not so easy.


“That's kind of a long-shot because all the prosthetic parts are not identified by serial numbers,” said Randy King, an Orthotist/Prosthetist.


“Some feet are, some feet are not. So you're chances are probably pretty slim.”

This article states that the child's leg was fitted in Australia, and police are trying to obtain her medical records with the hope of identifying the serial number on her prosthetic--which adds complexity.

So, police have some type of number recovered from the prosthetic leg, and it remains to be seen if they can positively link the find to Zahra.

Meanwhile, the search continues for a missing little girl who deserved a much better life.
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For a comprehensive list of articles and thoughts on Zahra Baker's case, Valhall has done an excellent job creating a resource and you can visit that site by going here.

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Update: In contrast to the comments about serial numbers and artificial limbs made above Randy King, authorities today confirmed that the prosthetic limb recovered belongs to Zahra Baker.

With the find, police had information as to where to look, and I would not be surprised if they find additional evidence in the case very soon.

26 comments:

joanny said...

Tragic.

I hate that this country of ours has so many missing children.

Enjoy your children, life flows swiftly,

Have a nice week,
joanny

chuckmullis said...

This is where I live and there is more info here than what we can get locally.

Diane said...

Very sad. I am always mad, if you don't "want" a kid anymore give her away instead of killing them. There are so many families that would have loved her.

Brian Miller said...

dang dude. it makes me sick to think of someone capable of doing that to their kid.

KittyCat said...

Thanks for sharing. I have not heard this one , but then again i try to avoid the news cause its mostly depressing.

lifeshighway said...

I have been following this case pretty carefully and you did a very good job summarizing it. So sad and so tragic.

I had hoped earlier than she would have been found.

Momma Fargo said...

Fascinating case, but sad. Little ones break my heart. They should be protected by adults, not made victims by them.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

So sad...if you don't want your children, then let the state take them and give them a chance. I hope they find her and can put her to rest properly.

Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

My heart breaks for that child. She doesn't sound like she ever got a fair shake on life. It's disturbing enough but to add that she battled cancer and survived with sequelae. It's beyond tragic and they are beyond monsters.

Samantha VĂ©rant said...

This is horrible. And the circumstances surrounding the events sound very sketchy!

Hilary said...

This is heart-wrenching. Look at that sweet face. It sounds bleak but I'll think best thoughts for this little darling.

J. J. in Phila said...

From what I've heard, a truly tragic story.

It might, however, be possible to determine that it was Zahra's prosthetic from the wear patterns.

Crystal Escobar said...

Oh man, I hope they find her.

BobKat said...

Your update is welcome... as well as your unique journalistic style...

We all can pretty much guess it's Zahra's limb. Yet you remained objective, letting us the readers express our feelings.

Our feelings ask WHY? I think we look forwards to your writing since we don't know the answer.

Thank-you!

J. J. in Phila said...

They matched the serial number. It was Zahra's. :(

SuziCate said...

I heard today that it was confirmed that the prostesis was hers...so sad.

Stephanie Faris said...

Wow...I just don't get it. How could anyone do that to a child. There are some sick people in this world.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Didn't she go through enough with the cancer? To think she had to endure something worse is horrifying.

aconnectiontomyheart said...

I have to say, I was little OK until I read your update! Disappointed in humanity once again.. Thanks for bringing to light SD! Good job once again!

obladi oblada said...

This case has absolutely grabbed my heart. These cases usually do..but this one more so. I have a theory of course and it involves BOTH "parents". Are you a websluether by any chance? Theres some intense and fast moving conversation on this case over there, you should check it out, if you havent already. webslueths.com.

bschooled said...

This is one of the saddest cases I have read about in a long time.

I just think how awful her life must have been being raised by those people and suffering through chemo treatments, and yet in all of her pictures she's smiling.

Just another one of those things I can't seem to wrap my mind around.

carma said...

Did you see the footage yesterday of Zahra's dad's neighbors shouting at the him yesterday when he was escorted home? That this sweet sweet girl had to suffer at the hands of those evil "parents" is sickening...

Entre Nous said...

I keep watching Nancy Grace and CNN waiting to hear the next clue that shows up in this really strange case. No one has said how the parent alledgedly met the new spouse, I mean Australia is really far away. Really Strange

Oz Girl said...

When I first heard this on the news, I thought how horrible... this little girl has already been through cancer treatments and is a survivor, but her own parent/step-parent abused her??? She certainly deserved a better life, after going through her cancer and losing her leg. How utterly tragic.

J. J. in Phila said...

Fox is reporting that Zahra's remains have been found. :(

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
What a lovely bright girl she is in that picture. I hope her tormenters are brought to justice.

Thanks for posting.
Ann T.