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Zahra's death certificate complete

April 5, 2011

Zahra Baker

Zahra Baker's finalized death certificate reveals what most everyone already knew: the 10-year-old cancer survivor was murdered.
An updated death certificate released Tuesday from the Catawba County Register of Deeds reveals Zahra died Oct. 26 from "undetermined homicidal violence."
The October date directly contradicts previous indictments in Zahra's death that claim the child's stepmother, Elisa Baker, murdered her on or about Sept. 24.
It's possible the Oct. 24 date indicates when police positively identified the remains found throughout Caldwell County as Zahra's.
A previously filed death certificate from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Records listed Zahra's cause of death as "pending." That death certificate was filed Jan. 21.
More than two months later, Franklin E. Pippin, of Piedmont Pathology in Hickory, said homicidal violence killed Zahra. The certificate was completed March 4.
The death certificate indicates that an autopsy was performed, but doesn't detail what "homicidal violence" Zahra might have endured prior to her death.
An autopsy released several months ago revealed Zahra's body had dozens of cut marks, indicating dismemberment after her death.
The autopsy, like Zahra's recently released death certificate, says the child died from homicidal violence.

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