The search for missing 10 year old Zahra Baker has come to a grim conclusion as authorities announce that evidence has confirmed the girl is dead.
Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins became emotional during a press conference Friday as he shared that investigators had found sufficient evidence to prove Zahra Baker was dead. Adkins said he had dreaded the moment from early in the investigation and that those who worked the case were devastated that they could not bring her home safely.
The DNA that was taken from a bone found last week in Caldwell County matched the DNA sample taken from Zahra’s belongings in her house. This week investigators found more remains along a creek five miles from the location of the bone. Though the remains still need to be tested for a DNA match, it was concluded by on-site examiners that the remains were consistent with that of Zahra. The remains have been sent to the State Bureau of Investigations lab for positive identification.
No charges had been filed as of Friday. District Attorney James Gaither, Jr. said that the DA’s office was working with investigators and hoped to see charges filed in the near future. He expressed that the police were still piecing together details of the grisly case.
The SBI lab is building a DNA profile from cheek swabs collected from father, Adam Baker, and biological mother, Emily Dietrich.
Zahra was reported missing on October 9 though police could find no one who had seen the girl since September 25. Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, was arrested on October 10 for unrelated charges. Days later she admitted writing a fake ransom note and has since been indicted on felony obstruction of justice charges. She is still in jail under a $97,200 bond.
Adam Baker was arrested on October 25 for unrelated charges but has since been released on bail.