The body of missing Australian girl Zahra Baker has been positively identified just a few days before what would have been her 11th birthday, ABC News reports. Hickory, North Carolina Police Chief Tom Adkins announced during a press conference today that officials “have recovered enough physical evidence to believe (they) have found Zahra.”
The Baker family, comprised of Zahra, her father Adam and her stepmother Elisa, had been living in Caldwell County, N.C., where the disabled girl’s body was found. According to ABC, “Zahra’s birth mother, Emily Dietrich, flew from her home in Wagga Wagga, Australia, on Thursday ahead of the announcement.” (Dietrich relinquished custody of Zahra when she was a baby.) Police say “the remains were consistent with the child,” according to medical examiners on site.
Although Zahra was sadly not found alive, there is some relief at least that her remains have been recovered. The next step, of course, is to determine who killed this poor girl. Adkins said, “This case isn’t over and we won’t rest until we have all the information we need to bring the people to justice who hurt Zahra.” If the jailhouse letters written by Elisa Baker are to be believed, Adam Baker, who is not currently in jail, may have had a hand in his daughter’s gruesome demise.
ABC News says, “The letters maintain neither Elisa Baker nor her husband killed Zahra, but that the father did something horrifying after the girl was dead. The letters appear to shift any blame from Elisa Baker to her husband Adam Baker.”
Elisa Baker writes, “We really didn’t kill her, but what he did after the fact is kinda horrifying. It makes me scared of him. So I probably am gonna go ahead and file [for divorce]. I have lost my whole life anyway.” Elisa Baker admitted to writing a phony ransom note before calling in a missing persons report, which she now claims her husband Adam wrote. Elisa Baker has been accused of physically and mentally abusing her stepdaughter.
This is a horrifying story, and I’m truly not sure what to say, other than one can only hope Zahra’s soul is now at peace.