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Stepmother Charged In Murder Of Zahra Baker

Elisa Baker align=left

The stepmother of slain 10-year-old Zahra Baker has been charged with second-degree murder. A Catawba County Grand Jury returned the indictment Monday against Elisa Baker. Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins had an air of relief in announcing the indictment as "a milestone of holding someone accountable." "Team Zahra" is what investigators on the case call themselves, and they've been without a murder charge since the 10-year old girl was reported missing on October 9th. Chief Tom Adkins acknowledged the difficulty of that wait. "Over the last four months many different theories of how and who is responsible for the death of Zahra have been made by anyone who has followed this case," said Adkins. "Not every case is clear cut and only the facts can dictate who is charged and with what offenses." The grand jury indictment alleges Elisa Baker had a history of abusing Zahra and desecrated the girl's body. Police have uncovered what they believe to be Zahra's dismembered body. Elisa Baker has implicated Zahra's father Adam Baker in the murder. Over the weekend, he appeared on television in his native Australia saying he had nothing to do with the crime. Catawba County District Attorney James Gaither says "the state has no credible evidence to suggest that anyone other than Elisa Baker was involved in the murder of Zahra Clare Baker." Elisa Baker has been in the Catawba County Jail since October on charges of on charges of obstructing justice, writing bad checks and bigamy. She is due in court on February 25th for this latest charge of second-degree murder with aggravating factors, which carries a possible sentence of life imprisonment.