Courts & Crime

'Don't free my mother' says Zahra Baker's stepsister

Hickory, North Carolina for a candlelight vigil for 10-year-old Zahra Baker, as police expanded their search for the missing girl.
Hickory, North Carolina for a candlelight vigil for 10-year-old Zahra Baker, as police expanded their search for the missing girl. Robert Lahser/Charlotte Observer/MCT

Zahra Baker's stepsister asked a judge Wednesday not to release her mother from jail, saying she feared for her safety and that of her own children.

On Thursday morning, crews returned to a Caldwell County landfill that is the scene of an intense search for what police say is a key "piece of evidence" in the disappearance of Zahra, a 10-year-old Hickory girl.

Authorities have not said what they are looking for, but they say interviews have led them to check the landfill in Lenoir. That search could take five days, they say.

In a Catawba County courtroom Wednesday, Amber Fairchild, 25, described her mother, Elisa Baker, as a potentially violent and unstable woman who has severed ties with her N.C. family and begun an online relationship with a man in London.

Fairchild didn't specify why she was afraid, but a Catawba County prosecutor noted that Elisa Baker has had several allegations of communicating threats filed against her this year.

Read the complete story at charlotteobserver.com

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