- Special Sections
Additional indictments have been filed against the stepmother of Zahra Baker, this time on unrelated charges in Caldwell County.
A Caldwell County Grand Jury returned a true bill of indictment for Elisa Annette Baker, 42, on one count of financial identity fraud and obtaining property by false pretenses. Court records show that on or about April 3, 2010, Elisa â€śunlawfully, willfully and feloniouslyâ€ť did obtain electric utility service from Duke Energy for the familyâ€™s Hudson home while using someone elseâ€™s name without permission.
An order for her arrest was issued, and it will be served to the woman who has been confined to the Catawba County Detention Center since being arrested for an obstruction of justice charge on Oct. 10, 2010, the day after Zahra was reported missing. Elisa is expected to appear in Caldwell County Superior Court during the week of May 2.
She also is expected to appear in Caldwell County District Court on Monday, April 11 for multiple misdemeanor offenses. The list of charges includes communicating threats, driving while license revoked and worthless checks.
That is the same day that Adam Baker, Zahraâ€™s father, is expected to be appear in Caldwell County District Court for similar charges.
Elisa was indicted last week on a second-degree murder charge for the death of her 10-year-old stepdaughter by the Catawba County Grand Jury and is being represented by Scott Reilly.
Three days later, Defense Attorney Lisa Dubs spoke to the media about an agreement she helped negotiate with 25th Prosecutorial District Attorney Jay Gaither that allowed her client to avoid facing a first-degree murder charge that could have led to a sentence of life in prison or the death penalty.
Gaither did not comment on Dubsâ€™ assertions, though he has maintained that any credible evidence found that could warrant a first-degree murder charge could lead to a superceding indictment for first-degree murder against Elisa.
Elisa also has been indicted on obstruction of justice, related to her admission of writing a fake ransom note tied to Zahraâ€™s disappearance in October, and bigamy. She still was married to a man named Aaron Young at the time she wed Adam after they met through the Internet.
Members of the Hickory Police Department first learned about the freckled-face, Australian girl who wore hearing aids and had a prosthetic leg from a bout with bone cancer when she was reported missing by her father Oct. 9. The case escalated into a homicide investigation when investigators found human remains at two locations in Caldwell County. Since that time, the case has taken a variety of twists of turns, and court records show the grisly details of how Zahraâ€™s body was disposed of following her death and dismemberment. It was Elisa who led investigators to the recovery of remains along Christie Road and Dudley Shoals Road that â€“ through a DNA match â€“ proved to be those of Zahra.
The little girlâ€™s cause of death has been ruled as undetermined homicidal violence by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill.
Elisa remains lodged at the Catawba County Detention Center under a $307,700 secured bond.