Local

Elisa Baker obstruction case delayed

A judge has delayed the obstruction of justice case against the stepmother of 10-year-old Zahra Baker.

Elisa Baker, 42, did not appear in court this morning where she was also expected to also ask a judge to reduce her nearly $100,000 bond that's kept her in jail since her Oct. 10 arrest.

Judge Robert C. Ervin reschedule the hearing for March 7.

No charges have been filed in the death of Zahra Baker, whose tragic story has captured worldwide attention. Much of investigators' focus has been on her father, Adam Baker, 33, and stepmother, Elisa Baker.

Elisa Baker is in jail after police say she admitted writing a fake ransom note to thwart investigators looking into Zahra's disappearance, which was reported Oct. 9.

Police announced Nov. 12 that they had matched Zahra's DNA to the DNA taken from a child's bone discovered on Christy Road in Caldwell County. They found more of her remains along a creek five miles away on Dudley Road.

The search for Zahra, who had lost part of her leg to bone cancer, began on Oct. 9 when she the Bakers reported her missing. Police said she has not been seen by anyone outside of her family since Sept. 25.

The case, one of the more notorious in the state, has drawn worldwide attention. Television crews from Australia, where Zahra was born, traveled to Hickory, nestled at the foot of the N.C. mountains, to cover the story.

Zahra moved to North Carolina about two years ago with her father from Australia after he met his soon-to-be wife online. Zahra's friends and relatives in Australia described her as an outgoing, happy girl despite the cancer, and said she didn't want to come to the U.S.

The case came to light in October with a backyard fire and a phony ransom note.

Based on emergency calls, the Bakers appeared to suggest that Zahra might have been kidnapped while her father and stepmother were dealing with an early-morning fire. Firefighters discovered a ransom note appearing to come from someone who claimed to have abducted the daughter of Baker's boss and landlord, Mark Coffey. But the Coffey family was fine.

In a second call later that day to report Zahra missing, Adam Baker told an emergency operator that the alleged kidnappers might have taken his daughter by mistake.

"I don't know if they set a fire in the yard to distract us to go out, and they snuck in the door," Adam Baker said in the recorded 911 call.

  Comments