Documents released in court Tuesday shed more light on the case of Zahra Baker, a 10-year-old cancer survivor from Australia who investigators believe was killed and dismembered in Hickory, N.C.
Search warrant documents from the three-month old investigation were released from the Catawba County courthouse. The new documents show:
_ Zahra Baker died on Sept. 24 and her body was disposed of the next day, Zahra's stepmother, Elisa, told investigators, according to the court documents.
_ Elisa Baker accused Zahra's father, Adam, of dismembering the girl's body, according to the documents, which say the couple then disposed of the body parts in several locations, including Christie Road in Hudson and Dudley Shoals Road in Granite Falls.
_ Police used cell phone records to corroborate or refute statements made by Elisa Baker. The records show that Adam Baker's cell phone wasn't at the locations where Elisa Baker says the couple disposed of Zahra's body. But the records show Elisa Baker's cell phone was at the places she described.
_ The documents shed light on Elisa Baker's ongoing relationship with her ex-husband, Aaron Young, who is from the Hickory area. Elisa Baker was married to Adam Baker before she was divorced from Young, according to the documents. The records say Elisa Baker told Adam Baker that Aaron Young was her brother.
Investigators say Elisa Baker and Aaron Young have been in contact with each even though they were estranged, and officers were trying to get his telephone records.
"Obtaining Aaron Young's telephone records or telephone number . . . will likely provide information substantially related to this homicide investigation," according to the court documents.
_ Department of Social Service agencies conducted numerous investigations into abuse allegations by Elisa Baker going back as far as 1999, according to the documents. Investigators were seeking DSS records from eight counties around Hickory regarding Elisa Baker and her biological children.
_ In July 2010, a report was made with the Caldwell County DSS and then transferred to the Catawba County DSS because allegations were made that Elisa Baker had been physically abusing Zahra Baker, the court documents say. According the allegations, Zahra had a black eye. Tuesday's release was the second significant disclosure of search warrants in the Baker case.
Similar search warrant documents released in November show an unnamed source reported to police that the girl may have been raped by two men and that they may have physically assaulted her. At least one of the men was acquainted with Zahra's stepmother, Elisa. But both men denied the allegations and police haven't charged them.
The previous documents also outlined statements from Elisa Baker describing how Zahra's body was dismembered, placed in trash bags, and discarded in dumpsters and rural locations in Caldwell. They also detailed how Elisa Baker accompanied police to various locations where Zahra's body was discarded.
No one has been charged in connection with her death.
Zahra was hearing-impaired and walked with the help of a prosthesis after losing her left leg to cancer. Her father Adam reported missing on Oct 9.
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