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Archive - Oct 13, 2010 - News Article

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Search for Zahra continues

October 13, 2010

Area law enforcement drained a pond late Wednesday on property in Burke County where they've been searching for missing 10-year-old Zahra Baker.

The land is owned by a family who runs tree trimming company where Zahra's father, Adam, works. It is an area where mulch, wood chips and heavy equipment are all stored. Hickory Police Deputy Chief Clyde Deal said there was nothing specific they were looking for.

"We always want to err on the side of doing more than you need to than not doing as much as you should have done," he said.

Praying for Zahra

October 13, 2010

The sound of children's laughter drifted Wednesday night from the playground at East Hickory Baptist Church, a painful reminder for everyone gathered there of one child who was noticeably absent.
East Hickory Baptist Church hosted a candlelight vigil Wednesday evening at the church playground to honor missing 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker.
"A child's life should be something of joy, of fun and laughter," said David King, chairman of deacons at East Hickory Baptist. "Not of tragedy that evidently has happened with this young child."

Man convicted of kidnapping

October 13, 2010

A Hickory man was convicted this week in Catawba County Superior Criminal Court of two felony charges.
Ricky Dean Reina, 25, was convicted of felony first-degree kidnapping and felony larceny of a motor vehicle. Reina was sentenced to prison for no less than 44 months and no more than 58 months.
The incident occurred in February when Reina stole a vehicle from the Sunhouse gas station on U.S. 70 in Hickory. The car was running at the time, and a child was inside.
Reina drove the car a short distance and then let the child get out of the vehicle.

County holding first gay pride event

October 13, 2010

It's time.
That's what members of the Catawba Valley Pride Inc. say about Catawba County's upcoming gay pride event, the first held in the county.
The event is scheduled for Oct. 15-17 at various locations across the county, from Lenoir-Rhyne University to area churches.
"I have gotten many e-mails with people saying, 'It's time, and we're wishing you the best in turnout,'" said Christy Austin, Catawba Valley Pride president. "We're really excited for this event."

Search returns to Burke County

October 13, 2010

HICKORY, N.C. — Investigators used a police dog to search among tree-trimming equipment and piles of mulch for a missing 10-year-old North Carolina girl on Wednesday, a day after authorities said they believed the girl had been killed.

Hours earlier, Zahra Clare Baker's stepmother showed no emotion in court as a judge explained she could be sentenced to up to 30 months in prison if convicted of obstruction of justice. Elisa Baker is accused of trying to throw off investigators with a fake ransom note.

Vigil planned for Zahra Baker

October 13, 2010

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Zahra Baker, a 10-year-old disabled child who was reported missing during the weekend.
The public vigil is set for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at East Hickory Baptist Church on 16th Street Southeast in Hickory.

Missing girl's stepmother is 'scared to death.'

October 13, 2010

The stepmother of a missing Hickory girl appeared in court Wednesday under a felony obstruction of justice charge.

Elisa Baker, 42, stepmother of missing 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker, walked into a courtroom in the Catawba County Justice Center on Wednesday morning wearing a pink jumpsuit and handcuffs.

Baker's bond for the felony obstruction of justice charge is set at $40,000. Her court-appointed attorney, Scott Reilly, said he plans to file a motion to reduce Baker's bond. The process could take about five days, he said.

'She was always beating her' neighbor says of missing girl's stepmother

October 13, 2010

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — To relatives and former neighbors, Elisa Baker had a short fuse. In interviews and court documents, they portrayed her as nasty-tempered and willing to use a gun or her fists to settle an argument and say her disabled stepdaughter usually bore the brunt of her rage.

Investigators said Tuesday they believe someone killed 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker, who was reported missing over the weekend. Baker was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, accused of trying to throw off investigators with a fake ransom note.

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