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HPD conducts interviews in Zahra's case

November 22, 2010

It has been more than one week since police confirmed they located the remains of Zahra Baker, and police continue to gather information about what happened to Zahra in her final days.
Hickory Police Department Maj. Clyde Deal said police follow up on any information that could give them a clear picture of Zahra's death.
"Obviously, anything we come across that could be of interest to the case we will collect," Deal said.
HPD investigators conducted interviews Monday in the case, but Deal declined to say who was interviewed or what those interviews involved.
Several media outlets reported during the weekend that Elisa Baker spent time at HPD, but Deal wouldn't confirm the reports. He also declined to comment about when investigators last spoke to Elisa or Adam Baker.
Police continue to await results from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation lab about whether remains found in Caldwell County are Zahra's. Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said a medical examiner on site in Caldwell County said the remains were consistent with a child's.
Deal said he expects the results to be back soon.
HPD officers continue to meet with the District Attorney's Office regarding Zahra's death, but no charges have been filed. Deal said no prosecution summaries were submitted to the District Attorney's Office.
Balloon strings and broken angel ornaments are all that remain of a memorial for Zahra, which once stood in the front yard of the child's former home.
A tree, which served as the center of the memorial, was cut down Saturday, and with it went dozens of toys, stuffed animals and other keepsakes surrounding the tree.
The home's windows were boarded up after apparent vandals smashed the window glass. Also gone from the home were signs tied to the front porch, which claimed Adam and Elisa Baker were guilty of maltreatment of Zahra.
The home's owner was overheard telling memorial visitors that he planned to bulldoze the house after police caused extensive damage to the home's interior during their investigation.
Elisa Baker is in jail on a felony obstruction of justice charge, as well as several other charges unrelated to Zahra's disappearance. Elisa Baker filed paperwork Nov. 15 to request a bond reduction hearing in light of her assistance with the search for Zahra. According to the court document, Elisa Baker led police to Zahra's remains, which were scattered at several locations in Caldwell County.
District Attorney Jay Gaither said Monday in an e-mail that he isn't aware of a scheduled bond hearing.
Gaither previously voiced his concern about the appointment of Lisa Dubs to represent Elisa Baker as provisional counsel. Gaither told The O-N-E on Monday that his concern with the appointment is "really an issue separate and apart from the Baker matter, and more one of administrative procedure."
Gaither said the North Carolina Capital Defender's Office prematurely appointed Dubs to represent Elisa Baker because the appointment of a capital defender should come only after someone is charged with a capital crime.
No one has been charged in Zahra's death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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