ZAHRA BAKER, DEAF AND DISABLED AFTER BEATING CANCER, MURDERED AND DISMEMBERED BY HER STEP-MOTHER, ELISA BAKER – CCA0030 – UPDATED 08.05.2013

ZAHRA BAKER, DEAF AND DISABLED AFTER BEATING BONE CANCER, MURDERED AND DISMEMBERED BY HER STEPMOTHER, ELISA BAKER

Zahra Clare Baker

Zahra Clare Baker

 Zahra Clare Baker was born a fighter.  By her 10th birthday, this beautiful girl had beaten cancer TWICE, persevered after losing her hearing from chemotherapy, and had adjusted gracefully to having a prosthetic leg.  Zahra managed to do all this despite the abuse and trauma she endured over years at the hand of her step-mother, Elisa Baker.

Zahra Baker with Mother Emily Dietrich on the day Zahra was born.

Zahra Baker with Mother Emily Dietrich on the day Zahra was born.

Zahra Baker was born in Wagga Wagga, Australia.  When Zahra was an infant, her mother, Emily Dietrich, suffered from post-partum depression.  She thought she had made the right decision by giving custody of her daughter to her former fiancée, Zahra’s father, Adam Baker.  After receiving custody of Zahra, Adam would often disappear with the little girl, causing Emily to spend 10 years searching for Zahra in the hopes that she could develop a relationship with her daughter.  Sadly, that relationship was never even allowed to begin.

Zahra was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2005, and after beating her bone cancer, she was diagnosed with lung cancer.  Again, she beat the cancer, and in 2008, Zahra went into remission.

Zarah Baker at Adam and Elisa Baker's Wedding

Zarah Baker at Adam and Elisa Baker’s Wedding

Elisa and Adam Baker met online on a gothic website.  It didn’t take long for Elisa to travel to visit Adam in Australia, and the two were quickly married.  In 2008, not long after Zahra went into remission, Adam and Elisa Baker moved with young girl to the United States.

Zahra Baker on Her Camp Quality Trip

Zahra Baker on Her Camp Quality Trip

Before leaving Australia for America, Zahra was granted one last gift.  The community, school and charities in her area raised enough money to buy Zahra a wheelchair and a laptop computer so she was able to complete her school work at home.  She also was finally well enough to attend Camp Quality – a charity for child cancer patients – one last time.  Zahra had a great time, but especially enjoyed meeting Australian soldiers and sitting on an armoured vehicle to take pictures with the soldiers.  She loved everything about the army, and the smile couldn’t be wiped from her face.  The children at the camp were able to go through an obstacle course involving ropes, and when Zahra successfully navigated the course, fellow camp mates asked her how she could do it with only one leg.  Zahra replied, “Because I wanted to.”

On October 9, 2010, firefighters were called to the Baker residence after the report of a fire, they were able to determine that it was a burning mulch pile and were able to extinguish it without trouble.  After the fire was put out, one of the fireman called Officer Rollins of the Hickory Police Department asking him to come to the scene.  Officer Rollins arrived shortly after, were the fireman explained he had observed that the passenger side doors of a silver 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe at the scene, with North Carolina license plates, were open and that a Duke Energy business envelope was located on the vehicle’s front windshield.  When Rollins approached the Tahoe, he could smell gasoline fumes coming from inside it and saw that the Duke Energy envelope had handwriting on it.  When he examined it, he saw that the handwriting said “Mr. Coffey, you like being in control.  Now who is in control?  We have your daughter and your pot smoking red head son is next unless you do what is asked.  1,000,000 unmarked.  Will be in touch soon.”  Written on the top and bottom of the note was the message, “No cops”.

Zahra Clare Baker

Zahra Clare Baker

Later that same day, a disturbing story began to unfold when Zahra was reported missing by her father, Adam Baker, and Elisa Baker.  They claimed to have last seen Zahra sleeping in her bed at 2:30 that morning.  Elisa Baker told authorities immediately after Zahra’s disappearance was reported, was that she and Adam had taken Zahra to the Oktoberfest in Hickory on Friday evening, October 8, 2010, between 7:00PM and 9:00PM, after which they returned home.  Elisa said that Zahra had gone to bed shortly after they arrived home.  Around 2:30AM, Elisa claimed that she had gotten out of bed and had gone to check on Zahra, then returned to bed.  She next woke up at 5:20AM, saw the small fire outside, and placed a 911 call to report the fire.  She told authorities that she believed the fire had been started as a ruse by the kidnapper to get her and Adam out of the house, allowing the kidnapper to grab Zahra unnoticed.  (OK – WTF?  Why would someone set a fire to lure fire fighters and police officers to the scene where he was about to abduct a young girl? *Bangs head into wall*).  It didn’t take long for the seasoned officers to recognize a terrible lie when they were told one.  Authorities had Elisa take a polygraph exam, which she failed miserably.  She was asked: if she had hurt Zahra, if she knew anyone who had harmed Zahra, and if she knew who wrote the ransom note.

Elisa Baker

Elisa Baker

The next day, Zahra’s step-mother was arrested on several charges unrelated to the case, including communicating threats, writing bad checks, larceny, and driving with a revoked license, all crimes unrelated to Zahra’s murder.

On the afternoon of October 12, 2010, Hickory police obtained an arrest warrant for Zahra’s step-mother, Elisa Baker, after she admitted to writing and leaving the $1,000,000.00 ransom note.  She was charged with felony obstruction of justice.

Later that evening police searched a wooded area for Zahra into the late night.  The area was dozens of miles from where Zahra was reportedly last seen, down a dead-end dirt road.  They concentrated on a wood chipper and surrounding mulch piles.  The next evening the search continued with police draining a pond and using a dog to sniff through the mulch piles and surrounding tree-trimming equipment.

On October 14, 2010, police launched a massive search of a remote property north of Morganton, but it turned up empty.  K-9’s were then brought to the home where Zahra lived, and alerted to the scent of human decomposition on both of the Baker’s vehicles.  Authorities also took swabs of what appeared to be blood in one of the vehicles, and all of this together, prompted the search for Zahra’s remains, rather than search for a missing girl.

Zahra Baker Candlelight Vigil

Zahra Baker Candlelight Vigil

As the searches continued, approximately 150 people gathered at a candlelight vigil at the East Hickory Baptist Church, showing their support and commitment to find Zahra.

Police were able to narrow the timeline of when Zahra was last seen by someone other than a family member to September 25, 2010, giving cause for concern to mount.

On the morning of October 20, 2010, Elisa Baker appeared in court for a bond hearing.  The judge increased her bond from $40,000.00 to $65,000.00, citing “disturbing and unsettling” allegations surrounding the charge.  Elisa’s biological daughter, Amber Fairchild, testified at the hearing and stated that her mother told her she was thinking of leaving North Carolina the day before she was arrested.  Amber further went on to testify that her mother was involved in an online relationship with a man from England who sent her thousands of dollars.  This information combined with the fact that Elisa Baker had failed to show up on other court dates for charges such as traffic violations and communicating threats, led to the woman’s bond being increased, rather than decreased as the defense had been seeking.

Elisa Baker

Elisa Baker

Not long after her arrest, Elisa began talking to authorities through her lawyer.  She began to reveal locations where they could find pieces of Zahra’s remains.  Zahra’s prosthetic leg was located off a road in Caldwell County only a few miles from a former residence of Elisa’s.  She gave many locations in Catawba County and Caldwell County where piece by piece Zahra’s remains were located.  However, all of Zahra’s remains were not recovered.  Still missing is the little girl’s skull, hands, leg and one arm.  Elisa allegedly told police that she threw Zahra’s mattress in a dumpster.  Police confirmed that a mattress fitting the same description was found in the landfill.  Elisa then led police to a second dumpster where she claimed she and Adam dumped a car cover and bed cover that had been used to hide and transport Zahra’s remains.  Elisa then casually told police that they could find Zahra’s blood, bones and bodily fluids in the drain trap of the bathtub and the plastic gloves that she had used in her bathroom.

On the afternoon of October 20, 2010, investigators began searching a landfill in Lenoir.  Two days later, the police ended the landfill search and announced that they were searching for a mattress belonging to Zahra.  During their search, they tested several mattresses found in the landfill, but did not find Zahra’s.  On October 26, 2010, a mattress matching the description of the one police were looking for was found by an employee at the Lenoir landfill while re-grading the area investigators searched.  DNA was found on the mattress, but it was never released who that DNA belonged to.  It seems logical to assume the DNA was not relevant to Zahra`s case.

Adam Baker

Adam Baker

Around the same time the mattress was found, Adam Baker was arrested on seven outstanding warrants, including a charge for writing bad checks, communicating threats, and assault with a deadly weapon, all unrelated to Zahra’s disappearance.  In April 2011, Adam Baker was again arrested, this time for one count each of identity theft and obtaining property on false pretenses.  The charges come from Baker getting services from Duke Energy in the name of James Starbuck, who is the husband of Elisa’s daughter, Brittany Starbuck, at his home on 21st Avenue, NW, in Hickory.  Adam and his family moved to the house in mid-July from Caldwell County.  “It was about the time they moved into the house,” said Capt. Thurman Whisnant with the Hickory Police Department. “It was for activation of services at the house.”  Baker was placed in jail under a $10,000 secured bond.  Law enforcement placed an immigration detainer on Baker while he was in jail, which means he can’t leave the country.  Adam was also ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device on his ankle and ordered to meet with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement once a week.  Elisa Baker was also charged with identity theft and obtaining property under false pretenses.  She had used her daughter, Brittany Starbuck’s, personal information to obtain telephone and utility services at one of the family’s residences in Caldwell County in March of 2010.

Zahra Clare Baker

Zahra Clare Baker

On October 27, 2010, investigators and Zahra’s family’s worst fears were being realized.  Police announced a prosthetic leg was found in a rural area off Christie Road in Caldwell County.  Four days later, police were able to confirm the prosthetic leg was Zahra’s by matching its serial number to the number on the medical records collected from Zahra’s native Australia.  On November 3, 2010, investigators found a bone in Caldwell County that they stated may be related to the case.  The bone was sent to the medical examiner’s office in Chapel Hill for further testing.  On November 10, searchers found more human remains in the Dudley Shoals area of Caldwell County.  Sadly on November 12, Chief Adkins announced that investigators recovered enough physical evidence to believe they found Zahra’s remains.  DNA evidence from the first bone found matched a DNA sample taken from Zahra’s home, and the remains found on the 10th were consistent with those of a child.  Warrants in the investigation were later released stating that Zahra had been sexually abused and dismembered.  The coroner was able to determine that Zahra was dismembered due to the numerous marks of cutting tools present on the little girl’s skeletal remains.

Elisa Baker

Elisa Baker

On February 21, 2011, a grand jury indicted Elisa Baker for second-degree murder with aggravating circumstances.  The aggravating circumstances were cited as:

  • Elisa Baker had a history of physical, verbal and psychological abuse of the child.
  • Elisa secreted the child from her family, before and after the crime.
  • Elisa desecrated Zahra’s body to hinder the murder investigation and prosecution.
  • Zahra was young and physically handicapped.
  • Elisa took advantage of a position of trust.

Elisa avoided first degree murder charges when she led law enforcement to Zahra’s remains.

Zahra Baker's Memorial Site Outside Her Hickory Home

Zahra Baker’s Memorial Site Outside Her Hickory Home

The report from the medical examiner’s office listed Zahra’s cause of death as “undetermined homicidal violence”.  Elisa Baker told authorities that Zahra died on September 24, 2010, more than two weeks before she was reported missing.  She testified that she went in to feed the girl at around 3 p.m. An hour later, Elisa Baker claims she found the girl unresponsive. She told authorities that she tried to perform CPR for 20 minutes before calling Adam Baker.  Elisa Baker’s story was she and Adam concluded they couldn’t report it to authorities because Adam Baker was undocumented, and illegally living in the United States.  Adam Baker allegedly told his wife he ‘would take care of it’ and cut up the girl’s body in a bathroom, Elisa Baker told police. He told the woman he needed her help in finding places to dispose of the body, she said.  What actually happened was Elisa Baker dismembered Zahra’s body and scattered her remains across two counties.  Elisa Baker still insists that her step-daughter Zahra, died of natural causes, and is still refusing to tell police how or why the girl died.

Zahra Clare Baker

Zahra Clare Baker

The girl’s father said he didn’t realize that his daughter was dead because he returned home from work late and left early, and would be told by his wife that Zahra was in bed.  Adam Baker said he would look into his daughter’s dark bedroom and would see something in her bed that he assumed was Zahra.  I personally really question how a father can go nearly two weeks without talking to or even seeing his daughter up and about when they are living under the same roof.  Police said that, at first, they also found it hard to believe that Adam didn’t realize his daughter was missing. But after 80 hours of interviews with Adam, combined with the absence of physical evidence, they determined he had no involvement.  I also believe that Adam Baker really had nothing to do directly with his daughter’s murder.  In this tragic situation, Adam Baker will probably live the rest of his life wondering if he could have prevented this by being an attentive father.  I wonder the same thing.  While this man may be innocent of the crime, he is guilty of not protecting his daughter.  As a little girl, and even now as a grown woman, the one person I will turn to when I need to feel protected and know someone is standing in my corner, is my dad.  When I was in Kindergarten, I took the school bus to school.  On the school bus was an older boy that was a bit of a bully to me (so my mom says, I don’t remember!).  When my dad found out, he did the usual things, called the school, spoke with the bus driver, all the proper channels.  Then everyday for the next week, my daddy got on the school bus and rode with me to school. (That I do remember!)  It seems silly to some, but that safety and knowing you will always be protected is what makes a father a little girl’s hero.  I am so sorry that Zahra didn’t have her father be her hero.  When Emily Dietrich, Zahra`s mother, was questioned on Adam Baker’s role in Zahra’s death, she commented, “I still hold a lot of resentment towards him. There’s a big difference between being not guilty and being innocent, and I don’t think he is innocent of what happened. He had played all his own part”.  I could not agree more with Emily.

Adam and Elisa Baker

Adam and Elisa Baker

As time passed, the disgusting and demented lifestyle Elisa led was exposed.  Her MySpace page was erratic, her username being “GothicFairy6668”.  Her page was covered with skulls and bones, the hometown she listed, “Never, Neverland”.  Her page contained photos of Zahra – one photo in particular showed Zahra dressed in all black with the caption “The Dark Child!!! lol”.  Her mood the day before Zahra was reported missing was listed as “crazy”. (You think?)  On January 18, 2011, Elisa Baker was indicted on bigamy charges.  The charges stemmed from Elisa Baker’s questionable past.  A report was released showing Elisa Baker was married at least seven times, with up to three husbands at one time.  She was married to another man when Adam Baker moved to the United States from Australia with Zahra, to be with her. Her husband, Aaron Young, was living across the street from her and Elisa Baker lied to Adam Baker, telling him the man was her brother.  Elisa Baker later pled guilty to this charge.  Elisa and Aaron maintained contact and were on a website 2 days prior to when Elisa claimed Zahra died, where they discussed committing a murder with chainsaws.  Accusations were also made against 2 men related to Aaron Young suggesting Zahra was raped and may have been hit on the head, causing her death.  However the accusations were unfounded.  James Young and Timothy “Sammy” Young were both investigated, and both passed polygraph exams.  It was learnt through the investigation that Elisa and “Sammy” Young had a sexual relationship and the two used illegal drugs together.

Emily Dietrich at her daughter, Zahra Baker's, memorial.

Emily Dietrich at her daughter, Zahra Baker’s, memorial.

Emily Dietrich travelled to America when she received the news that her daughter was missing.  What happened when she visited the memorial for Zahra outside Zahra’s home has been described as about as raw a human emotion as one had ever seen.  She spent time crying and reading notes left for her daughter.  She read one particular note out loud written by a 10 year old girl.

“Zahra, I’m so sorry that your stepmother (sobs), so sorry that your stepmother hit you, whenever she made you walk up that hill.  And now I wish that I could be friends with you, but my mother told me that you are probably in heaven with the angels and God.  Surely God is taking great care of you.  I am ten years old, too.  So sorry that you had to have bone cancer, but you are a cancer survivor.  And just to let you know, your stepmother will be in jail for a long, long time.  PS – Bless you Zahra and I will pray for you.”  After reading the note, Emily broke down further saying, ten year olds shouldn’t have to write that.

Zahra Clare Baker

Zahra Clare Baker

Witnesses told police of three instances in which Elisa Baker apparently abused Zahra in front of them.  They said Zahra often had bruises on her body, but her stepmother explained them away as her falling over because of her prosthetic leg.  I question how a 10-year old girl, who has had her prosthetic leg for FIVE years, still manages to fall with it.  Teachers at Hudson Elementary, the Caldwell County school that the girl briefly attended, were so concerned that they kept a box of records documenting apparent abuse, before the school was told that she would not be returning for the fifth grade but would be home schooled instead.  On one occasion when Zahra was in 4th grade, two teachers visited Zahra’s home after she came to school with a black eye.

  Social services visited the family four times in 2010, the last visit coming only three short months before Zahra’s murder, but found no evidence of abuse.  One wonders how hard they looked.

Zahra Baker and Emily Dietrich

Zahra Baker and Emily Dietrich

Allegations of abuse came as no surprise to family members and neighbours who believe that Elisa had been abusing Zahra for quite some time.  They describe Elisa as a woman with a quick temper who was fast to dole out physical punishment, and all too often, Zahra became the focus of her anger.  Former neighbor, Karen Yount, told reporters that Elisa was always beating Zahra.  She claims she told Elisa to stop but the woman never did.  Personally, I say slap a charge on Yount for knowing a child was being beat and not reporting it.  This is what infuriates me, people like this that allow these things to happen when a call to police could be what saves a child’s life.  Yount will have to live the rest of her life questioning whether she could have saved Zahra’s life by doing the right thing.  Kayla Rotenberry, another former neighbor and friend, told reporters that at one time she noticed Elisa’s hand was quite swollen.  When she asked Elisa what had happened, she said she had been trying to spank Zahra, but had hit her prosthetic leg.  When Adam asked Elisa about the injury, she said she had simply fallen and hurt her hand.  I have to really wonder how hard you would have to hit a child’s prosthetic leg to cause your hand to be noticeably swollen.

Zahra Clare Baker

Zahra Clare Baker

As the days ticked by after Zahra’s disappearance, more and more people came out claiming to be aware of the abuse which was happening in the Baker home.  Brittany Bentley, a relative of Zahra’s stated that Zahra “was beat almost every time I was over there for just the smallest things.”  Bentley also stated that Zahra had been kept locked up in her bedroom most of the day and was only let out for about five minutes to eat.  She stated that nearly everyone close to the family believed that Zahra’s disappearance had been inevitable, that it was “something we knew was going to happen”.  I have no words to describe how much that statement horrifies and angers me.  How many people watched Elisa abuse Zahra and not say a word?  How many hundreds of chances did these people, who claim to have loved Zahra, have to save her life?  If you know abuse is occurring and do nothing, than you might as well be abusing that child as well.  It kills me that this perfect, vivacious little girl would still be here with us had someone stood up for her.  Had someone loved her like they claimed, Zahra may not be buried in the ground today.  When we teach our children how to report child abuse, we tell them to talk until somebody listens.  Tell as many people as you need to and don’t stop talking until someone listens.  If we teach our children this, then shouldn’t we practice this?  Report the abuse, and continue to report it until something is done.  Protect that child.  Fight for her right to live a long happy life, instead having to suffer a horrific, lonely death.

Zahra Baker's Memorial Site Outside Her Hickory Home

Zahra Baker’s Memorial Site Outside Her Hickory Home

Another former neighbor, Renee Bobbitt, also described the mental and physical abuse Zahra endured.  She admits to seeing Elisa scream at Zahra and actually saw her hit Zahra on several different occasions.  Bobbitt is the first witness to the abuse that seems to be grasping what her inactions allowed to happen to Zahra.  “I should have called and said something then.  I wish I had a million times, because no child deserves anything like this.  It’s really got the whole neighborhood upset because we all loved that child.”  There were plenty of opportunities for someone to save Zahra, yet those that knew the girl was being abused chose to sit back and do nothing, and because of their disregard for a disabled 10-year old girl’s safety, they will forever live knowing that Zahra’s blood is on their hands as well as Elisa’s.  Reports of Elisa’s abusive behaviour have been investigated by the Department of Social Services in regards to the abuse she inflicted upon her own three biological children.  The reports date back as far as 1999, so long before Elisa came into Zahra’s life, she was already victimizing children.

As the months passed after Zahra’s murder, Elisa Baker only continued to rack up the charges against her.  In May of 2011, she was indicted with 7 drug counts for distributing Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Alprazolam.  She was charged with possessing, distributing and conspiring to distribute prescription drugs.  In 2013, Elisa was sentenced to an additional 10 years in prison in for her drug related charges.

Emily Dietrich

Emily Dietrich

On September 15, 2011, almost a year after Zahra’s murder, Elisa Baker pled guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.  Zahra’s mother, Emily Deitrich, flew from Australia to be at Elisa Baker’s sentencing hearing.  Adam and Emily made a plea to Elisa to reveal where the remainder of their daughter’s remains were located.  “I feel there will be no real justice for Zahra,” said Emily.  “Her life was taken by an evil selfishness … Part of Zahra is still out there… What I truly want to see is Zahra be given the dignity and respect she deserves.”.  “If at any time you actually cared for Zahra, please tell us where we can find any more of Zahra’s remains so she can be laid to rest,” said Zahra’s father and Elisa Baker’s husband, Adam Baker.  “Zahra will never get to go to high school, never have a real boyfriend, never get married and never have children,” he said. “You have destroyed my life. You have also made my life hell with false accusations.”  Elisa Baker claimed in a jailhouse letter that Adam Baker did something “horrifying” to Zahra after she was dead. Adam Baker has never been charged in his daughter’s death.

Elisa Baker

Elisa Baker

After the trial and sentencing were over, Elisa Baker spoke out for the first time since this entire nightmare began.  Sitting in the Raleigh, NC Correctional Institution for Women, Elisa told reporters, “I pled guilty to something I did not even do and it wasn’t even a murder.”  Elisa spoke of Zahra, calling her “a blessing”.  She showed reporters the tattoo she has which she claims Zahra picked out for her.

When asked about Zahra’s death, Elisa stated that Zahra had been sick that day with a stomach bug.  She states that when she went to check on her in her bedroom, Zahra was not breathing.  “I didn’t see her chest moving up and down.  Automatically I got scared and started doing CPR.”  Elisa conceded that her biggest mistake was not calling 911.  Instead, she claims that she called Adam Baker.  She alleges that after she told Adam of Zahra’s death, he told her to calm down and take some medication, stating the he “would take care of it.”.  The next afternoon after Zahra’s death, Elisa claimed that Adam got utensils and trash bags from the kitchen and then went into the bathroom and turned on the water, drowning out the sound of what she says he was doing.  All of these allegations were proved to be false.  Elisa Baker was the one who was responsible for Zahra’s death and dismemberment.  Her callous and narcissistic attitude while discussing the details of Zahra’s murder is stomach churning.  Elisa continued to spin her web of deceit and inhuman evil claiming Adam asked her to help get rid of Zahra’s body, and she demanded answers.  She claims to have said to Adam, “At this point you need to tell me what you did, because I’m scared and I don’t know what to do.”  She says Adam told her that she was going to take her medicine and everything would be fine, that he had a plan.  As if this monster hadn’t already lied enough, and spout ridiculous theories, she dove deeper into the crazy pool my claiming that she thought Zahra’s dismemberment may have had something to do with Adam’s culture in Australia.  “I thought it was maybe a strange ritual that he done.  For all I know the Aborigines … I don’t know.  I regret not telling sooner.  I regret not calling 911.  But people do make mistakes.”  Just an FYI Elisa, murder and dismemberment are NOT mistakes.  Again, just to reiterate, all evidence surrounding the case shows that Adam Baker was not responsible for his daughter’s death, nor responsible for the scattering of her remains.  Cell phone towers indicated that Elisa was in the area where Zahra’s remains were found, but Adam was not.

Zahra Baker and Emily Dietrich

Zahra Baker and Emily Dietrich

Emily Dietrich stated Zahra was ‘fed to the wildlife’ like a piece of meat.  She says she will never forgive Adam for allowing this to happen.  Emily had not seen Zahra for most of her life, but had been searching for years before Zahra’s murder to locate her daughter and work towards a reunification. She said she was ‘ecstatic’ for a few days when she believed she would finally be reunited with the daughter she gave up ten years ago after a friend emailed her a picture of Zahra at school. Then she found out she was already too late.  I can’t imagine being in Emily’s position.  I only hope she knows, that she truly made every decision in what she thought was Zahra’s best interest.  There is no more a mother can do, but make every decision in their children’s best interest.

Adam Baker

Adam Baker

Months after Elisa Baker was convicted, a hunter found a human skull in the northern part of Caldwell County.  The skull was determined to be Zahra’s.  The discovery of Zahra’s skull was tragic, however, it granted all involved in the case the ability to truly feel like they have now brought Zahra home.  When Adam Baker was deported back to Australia, he took Zahra’s remains with him.  It was time to let Zahra rest in peace.  It was time to put the horror behind us and face only the joy this little girl graced this world with in her short ten years.

On December 1, 2011, a law inspired by Zahra Baker’s case went into effect in North Carolina.  The law sparked by Zahra’s death has made it illegal to dismember or desecrate a body to conceal it from police.  The new law can now add up to seven years of jail time to the sentences of criminals which have committed such heinous acts.  While the law does not serve as a deterrent it does go to further the justice brought for the victims of such crimes.

Ground was broken for a playground dedicated to Zahra Baker on November 16, 2011, what would have been Zahra’s 12th birthday.  The community, and all those who love Zahra, won’t let this beautiful little girl to be forgotten.  Her life will continue to be celebrated and remembered.  Her courage and determination will remain an inspiration for people across the world.

A website was launched in Zahra’s memory.  The organization is working to provide hearing aids and prosthesis for children like Zahra.  Please take a moment to stop by and read about the work they are doing.  Donations are also being accepted on the site should anyone be interested in donating to the Zahra Baker Memorial Fund.

http://www.friendsofzahrabaker.com/index.html

Zahra Clare Baker

Zahra Clare Baker

The more you learn about Zahra Baker, the quicker you fall in love with this beautiful little girl that did nothing but bring joy and love to everyone that met her.  Zahra was a fighter, and was able to spread hope to absolutely EVERYONE she came in touch with.  Zahra showed us how we need to live life.  Live it with compassion, curiosity, determination and unabashed optimism.  The story I love most about Zahra happened when she was only 6 years old.  The bone cancer she was fighting had worsened and doctor’s had to make the decision to amputate Zahra’s left leg above the knee to give Zahra a fighting chance at beating the cancer.  When Zahra was speaking to an older woman who was herself fighting cancer, she stated that losing her leg was not to be worried about.  “It’s okay,” she said, “because I’m going to be getting a Barbie leg, so I don’t want you to be upset.”  Zahra was known for hopping around on her crutches throughout the cancer ward, full of life and energy.  Reporter Jessica Johnston said it best when she stated, “They don’t make them much tougher than little Zahra Baker.”  I couldn’t agree more, and I thank Zahra for helping me to see that even in times of great adversity and tragic circumstances, that we have two options.  We can let the despair take over our lives and struggle to make it through the days, or we can do exactly what Zahra did.  We can smile – stare the situation or disease in the face and clearly say, you can’t and won’t ever break my spirit.  I will smile and I will get through this, and for that I will become a better person.  I have my disease, my disease does not have me.  This message that Zahra displayed, is unquestionably one of the most powerful displays of sharing hope that I have ever seen or known, and I will forever be grateful for Zahra reminding me in my darkest hours, with those beautiful eyes and smiling face, to fight, and to smile, and to believe that I can get through anything.

Zahra is looking down on us from heaven, and I truly hope that she is proud of all those who have fought to seek justice for her.  For the rest of our lives, Zahra’s spirit will remain alive in our hearts.

CCA0030

Zahra Clare Baker - Heaven to Home

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~ by LTWH on January 30, 2012.

6 Responses to “ZAHRA BAKER, DEAF AND DISABLED AFTER BEATING CANCER, MURDERED AND DISMEMBERED BY HER STEP-MOTHER, ELISA BAKER – CCA0030 – UPDATED 08.05.2013”

  1. Everyone knew about this and nobody did anything! They should all be in prison.

  2. I somehow am thinking of this precious child this snowbound AM. Never forgot the story. I am the mother of a splendid, disabled young woman of 21 whom I adopted as a baby with Cerebral Palsy, from Russia . She needed various operations,and we have cherished the ground she walks on. Some parts were harder than others,but always love,love love. I know NC and somehow this story just about did me in. I can not tell you how horrifying this was to take in. A true ,brave survivor and an angel with a devil. Oh God,why?????? I can’t…Just can’t …..Anyway,thank you for your expose of this case and deeply felt,soulful tribute to Zahra. It is great for my spirit to hear your outrage. I don’t have to suffer alone with my outrage. Jorgiana Cole

  3. my heart goes out for the little girl – they should have given the step mother death – i would pull the lever on that evil woman

  4. I am completely disturbed by what happened to this beautiful girl. I wish I could take it all back grab her off the plane n take her home n give her the life she wanted to live. Nothing out of the ordinary just happy loving life. I shudder to think how all those people seen this happening but never had one incling of feeling to take her, hold her, help her make her life OK again. Take her away from that witch. It hurts my heart this story I get dizzy I feel her pain. But her pain now is all of ours who seen something n did nothing. We now honour this beautiful angel by never forgetting her. You see something say something. If you have to stop to think remember Zahra n how we wish to have helped her. Fight for that child, let’s protect our future. Our unprotected.

  5. This rely Hurted me. 😔😔😔😔😔😔😔💐💐💐💐💐💐🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🍦🍦🍦🍦🍦shuch a sweet Girl I would of loved too have a Doughter like her. Soon God will take Her Step Mother & Her Father off of this earth. I know becouse i know the true Bible .all my Prayers gose out too her true Mother & Her Family.

  6. This was very sad news I was deeply hurt. Sadden . Jeovah God will wipe out her Step Mother & Father . No pain be any more the former things has passed away.

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