CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Zahra Baker's stepmother told authorities the 10-year-old girl died two weeks before she was reported missing and accuses her husband of cutting up the child's body, according to new court documents released Tuesday.
The documents don't reveal how Zahra died or why her body was discarded.
Elisa Baker told authorities that Zahra died on Sept. 24, and that she and Zahra's father, Adam Baker, disposed of body parts the next day in various locations, according to the documents.
It's the first time court documents have given a date for Zahra's death. That date, however, conflicts with a furniture store manager's recollection that she saw Zahra with her stepmother on Sept. 25 in the Hickory store. She wasn't reported missing by her father until Oct. 9.
GPS cell phone records also raise questions about whether Adam Baker was actually present when Zahra's body was discarded. Tracking devices place Elisa Baker's phone - but not Adam Baker's - at the locations.
No one has been charged in Zahra's death, which police have declared a homicide. But Elisa Baker remains jailed on a charge of obstructing justice after police say she admitted writing a phony ransom note to throw off the investigation into Zahra's disappearance.
More than 200 pages from some 30 search warrants were released Tuesday in response to a request for the public records by the Observer and other media. It was the second time the court released previously sealed search warrants related to the case.
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