CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Elisa Baker, whose stepdaughter’s death and dismemberment have captivated an audience worldwide, was indicted Tuesday on a bigamy charge, accused of marrying Adam Baker in Australia before divorcing her previous husband.
Elisa and Adam Baker were married in Australia in July 2008. Adam Baker’s daughter, Zahra, was reported missing in October. The 10-year-old girl’s body was dismembered and her remains were discarded.
Court documents obtained by the Observer show Elisa and her former husband of 10 years, Aaron Young, separated in May 2008 and divorced in August 2009 – more than a year after Elisa and Adam Baker’s marriage.
Elisa Baker and Young have remained in frequent contact, police say, and photos of Zahra with Young appear on the Facebook pages for both Elisa Baker and Young.
Elisa Baker told Adam Baker that Young was her brother, police say.
Bigamy is a low level punishment. For someone like Elisa Baker, who has no felony convictions, she faces probation if convicted.
Police, meanwhile, are continuing their investigation into Zahra Baker’s death. The 10-year-old girl has survived cancer, lost a leg and had a hearing impairment.
The investigation has focused largely on what role, if any, Elisa Baker played in Zahra’s death, according to search warrants unsealed in recent weeks.
Elisa Baker told authorities that Zahra died on Sept. 24 – two weeks before the girl was reported missing. She accused Adam Baker of dismembering his daughter, and said she and Adam Baker dumped Zahra’s body parts in various locations, according to court documents.
Family members have told the Observer that Zahra had been sick before dying and that Elisa and Adam Baker didn’t take her the hospital. They said the Bakers might have feared authorities because Adam Baker was in the country illegally and because DSS had investigated Elisa Baker.
Both Elisa and Adam Baker have denied any wrongdoing.
Read the complete story at charlotteobserver.com