Police Find Remains of the Missing 10-year-old Girl from North Carolina

The USA Today reports, the Hickory Police say testing has matched the bone fragment with the DNA of 10-year-old Zahra Baker from North Carolina. The remains were found in an area close to where the girl's stepmother used to live. The police found the girl's prosthetic leg before they discovered the bone.

The Star Tribune reports, the police found the bone in some brush alongside the prosthetic leg earlier this month. Authorities revealed that one of the bones was found five miles away from the other remains. "We have recovered enough physical evidence to think we have found Zahra," Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said.

The Charlotte Observer reports that no one has been charged in Zahra's disappearance, and Adkins did not make any announcements about suspects on Friday. Zahra was reported missing on Oct. 9 by her father, Adam Baker, 33, and her stepmother, Elisa, 42. District Attorney James Gaither Jr. said the investigation into the homicide is ongoing.

According to the USA Today, Zahra's stepmother has been charged with obstruction of justice. Police say she admitted to writing the fake ransom note that was found the day after Zahra was reported missing.

The Star Tribune reports that Elisa Baker is currently in jail. She has not been charged with Zahra's death and has recently been cooperating with the police. She led them to the areas where the remains were found.

The USA Today reports that Zahra's father Adam Baker was arrested on charges unrelated to Zahra's disappearance. He is free on bail, but the police reported that he has not cooperated.

According to the Star Tribune, Zahra was diagnosed with bone cancer five years ago. She had her leg amputated and underwent chemotherapy, but still had partial hearing loss.

According to the Star Tribune, Zahra was born in Australia and moved to North Carolina two years after her father met his soon-to-be wife online. Zahra's friends and relatives from Australia described her as an outgoing and happy girl, and said that she didn't want to come the the U.S.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Emily Dietrich, birth mother who gave up Zahra as a baby, headed to the Hickory house where Zahra lived on Friday.

Analysis:
This is a notable story because it is a very rare situation. The fact that Zahra was a 10-year-old bone cancer survivor who had recently moved to the United States from Australia added to the importance of the story. The Charlotte Observer reports that Zahra's disappearance and homicide has become one of the most high-profile cases for a missing child in North Carolina. Anytime a homicide case involves a child it is a notable news story. The articles that are cited below are updated news stories, like the lab we did in class on spot news. As I was reading the Star Tribune article it was updated and I was able to see the different parts that were added to the article. I found that the Charlotte Observer covered this story with the most depth, most likely because they are the local newspaper and were the first to pick up on the story. The Star Tribune (article by Associated Press) went into depth about the background of each person in the story. The USA Today provided a brief explanation of the story and had a link to the Charlotte Observer story.


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This page contains a single entry by favr0015 published on November 12, 2010 6:00 PM.

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