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Students collect toys for children

December 9, 2010

CLAREMONT (AP) — The unexplained death of a 10-year-old disabled girl is weighing on the minds of students at a North Carolina middle school and leading them to collect toys for their underprivileged peers.

Students at River Bend Middle School have collected more than 800 stuffed animals in memory of Zahra Baker, who like them lived in Catawba County.

The stuffed animals will be given to police in Conover and Hickory on Monday for distribution to children who are needy or whose parents are in jail.

Police say Zahra Baker was killed and her body dismembered. No one has been charged in her death. Her stepmother has been jailed after police say she wrote a fake ransom note discovered the day the girl was reported missing.

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