Skeletal remains found not far from 2010 Zahra Baker search area
CALDWELL COUNTY, NC
(WBTV) – Two turkey hunters stumbled across skeletal remains in rural
Caldwell County Tuesday morning leaving authorities to wonder if they could
belong to Zahra Baker, the 10 year old Australian girl murdered and dismembered
in 2010. "I know what the rumors are that are going around," said Sgt. B.J.
Fore of the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office. "We don't know if it is connected
to the Zahra Baker case and won't until experts can determine what was found."
Weeks after Zahra Baker was reported missing in the fall of
2010, her stepmother Elisa Baker took authorities to three separate locations
where she said dismembered remains of the girl were scattered. One of those
sites was the Indian Grave Road section of Caldwell county but search teams
found nothing after spending days scouring the roadsides and hills sides.
Tuesday's discovered along Winkler Way is just a few miles away from the Indian
grave area. "They did search up the road a bit," said one Winkler Way resident,
"but they never did search down here. "
Sheriff Alan Jones confirmed that skeletal remains were
found but would not confirm reports that among the remains were a skull. Despite
intensive searches during the Zahra Baker case, the little girl's skull was
never found. Authorities said at the time that finding the skull could possibly
be a key piece of evidence in determining how the girl died. Elisa Baker pled
guilty to 2nd degree murder and was sentenced to up to 18 years in
prison but never said how the girl was killed.
Investigators said they were treating Tuesday's discovery as
a crime scene. Hickory police officers were seen driving into the scene
including two of the chief investigators in the Zahra Baker case. A man wearing
and F-B-I jacket was also seen in the area where the remains were found. So far, no one has been able to determine age,
race or gender or the remains. Whatever is found will be sent to the medical
examiner's office in Chapel Hill where DNA tests are likely. It could be weeks,
say officials, before any conclusive information including an I-D could be
"There will be closure we hope for someone be it Zahra's
family or someone else," said Fore.
Tuesday, April 22 2014 8:47 PM EDT2014-04-23 00:47:34 GMT
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