Local

Adam Baker moved from Catawba jail

The father of 10-year-old Zahra Baker is no longer being held at the Catawba County Jail, but it's unclear exactly where Adam Baker is now.

Catawba County officials said Baker was picked up from the jail recently by immigration officers. But a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Baker is not currently in its custody.

Citing privacy issues, ICE spokesman Temple Black would not confirm whether immigration agents took Baker into custody or say if he had been released.

Federal prison records list an Adam Troy Baker in custody at a federal prison in Anthony, Texas, but records show that person has been in custody since 2009.

ICE placed an immigration detainer on Zahra's father - also named Adam Troy Baker - after he was arrested earlier this month on felony charges of identity theft and obtaining property by false pretenses. Police said the charges were related to obtaining services from Duke Energy.

Baker was due to return to court on May 4 for a hearing on the criminal charges.

Authorities have said Adam Baker was in the country illegally from his native Australia. Family members say Adam Baker and his daughter came to the U.S. on a visa, possibly a tourist visa, that later expired.

Zahra Baker, a cancer survivor who used a prosthetic leg, disappeared last October and a search eventually turned up her dismembered body.

The girl's stepmother, Elisa Baker, 42, has been charged with second-degree murder in the girl's death. She has denied wrongdoing and claims her husband dismembered his daughter's body after Elisa Baker found the girl dead from an illness.

Adam Baker has denied any involvement in the death and has not been charged. His attorney told reporters this month that Baker wants to return to Australia once he settles his legal issues.

Catawba County jail officials determined last year that Baker was in the country illegally when he was arrested on charges unrelated to his daughter's death. He posted bond, however, before immigration officials asked the jail to hold Baker.

Baker's lawyer could not be reached late Tuesday.

  Comments