HICKORY (AP) — 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.
Adam Baker said he's been called a murderer since his daughter's disappearance last month became a homicide investigation. The Hickory home he shared with his daughter and wife, Elisa Baker, has been abandoned and turned into a memorial for the girl, complete with signs blaming the adults for the girl's death. Tuesday night's vigil in Hickory included members of the crowd calling for justice in the case.
Police said last week they found a bone belonging to Zahra Baker at one location and other remains at a second site about five miles away. Investigators haven't said how she died.
Adam Baker said when the case is over, he would like to return to his native Australia with his daughter's remains. He was arrested on charges unrelated to the girl's disappearance or death, but is free on bail.
Adam Baker declined to describe what he knows about his wife's involvement in Zahra's death.
Elisa Baker is jailed on an obstruction of justice charge. Police say she wrote a bogus ransom note about another girl when Zahra was reported missing on Oct. 9. Authorities doubt the Bakers' story that they last saw the girl that day sleeping in her bed. They say they can't find anyone other than the Bakers who had seen her alive in the weeks before her disappearance.
After a suspicious fire at the house that morning, police discovered a ransom note addressed to Adam Baker's boss on the windshield of Baker's car. Police went to that man's house and found him and his daughter to be fine. Elisa Baker admitted writing the note to throw off authorities, police said.
Elisa Baker's lawyers on Monday asked for her $97,00 bond to be lowered, saying she led police to the girl's dismembered remains. District Attorney James Gaither Jr. said his office opposes those efforts.