Elisa Baker was suspected from the beginning, but police were unable to find Zahra's body. Elisa was jailed on unrelated charges. Eventually, she confessed that Zahra had died, although she claimed from natural causes, and that no knowing what to do, they had dismembered and disposed of her body. Zahra's prosthetic leg was found in late October off a road in Caldwell County.
In November 2010, Elisa Baker led police to different areas in Catawba County and Caldwell County to find Zahra's scattered remains. Numerous bones were found but Zahra's skull wasn't found until April 2012.
On February 21, 2011, Elisa Baker was indicted for second-degree murder. Convicted of that and other crimes, she got a lengthy prison sentence. Adam Baker denied any involvement with the murder. He was arrested on other unrelated charges, but never on any relating to the abuse and murder of his daughter.
The Zahra Baker cases brought international media coverage to Hickory, and much sadness. In April 2012, the month her skull was eventually found, more than 300 volunteers gathered to build the Zahra Baker All Children's Playground at Kiwanis Park in Hickory. The Children's Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County had planned a big Pinwheels for Prevention event there to remember Zahra and kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month at the beginning of April, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced those plans to be cancelled.
The Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center of Catawba County joined Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina in a more widespread project to remind that everyone has a part in preventing child abuse. The nationwide campaign: “Everyone Can Make Great Childhoods Happen—Especially You, Especially Now!” celebrates National Child Abuse Prevention Month, first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.
Pinwheel Gardens were “planted” in front of homes and businesses to bring awareness to the month-long observance. Over 1700 Pinwheels are currently scattered around the community, but the CAPC says it is not too late to participate in “planting” a Pinwheel Garden. Pinwheels are $2 each and may be purchased online at www.catawbacountycapc.org/pinwheels.htm. Arrangements can be made for curbside pickup at the Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center or delivery to a home or business. Those purchasing the pinwheels are encouraged to take pictures of the gardens around the county and send them in to use on social media.
The CAPC is a non-profit organization that works to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse and serious physical abuse. It coordinates the efforts of Catawba County Social Services, law enforcement, and the District Attorney's office.
More information about the CAPC is available on its website at catawbacountycapc.org. You may call the center at 828-465-9296. For more information about the pinwheels, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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