Archive - News Article
November 17th, 2010
HICKORY (AP) â€” The father of a disabled girl who North Carolina police say was killed said he had nothing to do with her death and did not dismember the child.
"There's no way I would do that to my baby," Adam Baker told WBTV in a Tuesday interview. "There's no way in the world I would hurt my daughter."
Adam Baker said he avoided a public vigil Tuesday night on what would have been Zahra Baker's 11th birthday because he didn't want to take the focus off his child. He watched over the Internet along with his mother and lawyer.
Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins learned a lot about Zahra Baker since the investigation into her disappeance started more than a month ago.
He spoke with several people who knew Zahra during her life, and each one told him the same thing: Zahra didn't want to be pitied.
"Nothing would slow her down," Adkins said. "She wanted no pity. She wanted to be like every other child."
Catawba County is one of two counties in the country chosen for a $30,000 grant from the National Association of Counties (NACo) and Motorola.
The funding will be used at the county's EcoComplex and Resource Recovery Facility to provide broadband capacity for real-monitoring between the site and its partnered universities and businesses.
"There's a lot of research that's going on, and there's a lot of data being developed," said Lee Worsely, assistant county manager, on Monday at the Catawba County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Elisa Baker's bond will not be reduced, if the District Attorney's Office has its way.
District Attorney Jay Gaither said Tuesday his office will fight Elisa Baker's request for a lower bond.
"As this point, we plan on arguing that the bond will not be reduced," Gaither said.
Elisa Baker filed a motion Monday to reduce her bond on a felony obstruction of justice charge.
A North Carolina woman created a Facebook page to honor Zahra Baker in the hope that no child will suffer like Zahra did.
Kristie Austin Pope, 40, of Stokedale, started The Zahra Project on Facebook to achieve change within the Department of Social Services.
Pope and her husband watched the news coverage of Zahra's case, and the reports of abuse and neglect hit a nerve for Pope.
She watched people step into the media spotlight claiming they knew Zahra was being abused, but did nothing to stop the abuse.
Zahra Baker's stepmother told law enforcement that the 10-year-old child was dismembered and spread across Caldwell County. Now, after leading police to critical evidence, she is hoping her cooperation will sway court officials toward reducing her bond.
Birthdays are a time to celebrate life, and today is Zahra Baker's 11th birthday.
The Children's Protection Council will hold a candlelight vigil Tuesday to honor Zahra, the child whose struggle with cancer and reported abuse captured the hearts of people worldwide.
"It's a recognition of Zahra being part of our community and our community being overwhelmed by the possibilities of what could have happened," said Adrienne Opdyke, Children's Protection Council vice chairwoman.
Raindrops fell Monday on Zahra Baker's former residence in Hickory, but a newly added plastic tarp kept the ever-expanding memorial for the 11-year-old dry. Balloons, stuffed animals, angel ornaments and hand-written letters encircle a tree in the front yard of Zahra's former home, located at 21 21st Ave. NW. The plastic tarp that covers the memorial is held down with pieces of wood to ensure nothing is damaged by the rain scheduled to arrive in the coming days.
Another boat owner is a victim of a three-week crime spree in Sherrills Ford.
Todd Christopher Goodykoontz, 40, of Sherrills Ford, reported Nov. 8 that an unknown suspect stole 25 gallons of gasoline from his boat. The vehicle was docked in a community area in the 2300 block of North View Harbor in Sherrills Ford.
According to the Catawba County Sheriff's Office incident report, the victim discovered the larceny Oct. 15.
2:30 a.m. Oct. 9
Elisa Baker, Zahra's stepmother, claims she saw Zahra sleeping in her bed.
5:30 a.m. Oct. 9
A brush fire is reported in the backyard of the Zahra's residence, located at 21 21st Ave. NW in Hickory.
A Hickory Police officer notices the smell of gasoline coming from a Chevrolet Tahoe parked on the property and finds a hand-written ransom note demanding $1 million in unmarked bills.
2 p.m. Oct. 9
Zahra is reported missing, and police issue an Amber Alert.
12:45 p.m. Oct. 10