Step-mother Elisa Baker has pleaded guilty to the appalling murder of her Australian step-daughter, Zahra Baker. Elisa Baker has now been sentenced to 14 to 18 years in prison for killing her disabled 10 year old step-daughter.
Elisa Baker has not told authorities how Zahra died or why. It is only known that after Zahra was killed, Ms Baker sawed up her body and scattered her in woodlands on the outskirts of the town. Zahra lived in the town of Hickory, North Carolina, with Ms Baker and her father.
In 2008, Zahra’s father, Adam Baker, took her to North Carolina to live with his new wife, Elisa Baker, where Zahra was constantly mistreated. This mistreatment included Ms Baker giving her fragile stepdaughter black eyes in the lead-up to her murder.
Mr Baker hung his head in the courtroom as tragic details of Zahra’s murder were detailed.
Zahra’s biological mother, Emily Dietrich, read statement to the court, saying she was sorry that her depression, which she suffered after Zahra was born, caused her to abandon Zahra.
Ms Dietrich said Zahra, whom she never knew well, was ‘pulled apart like some human puzzle and discarded like rubbish for wildlife to graze on.’
Adam Baker also read a statement, saying that Elisa Baker had destroyed his life and had broken the trust of Zahra, who had loved her.
Elisa Baker avoided a jury trial by pleading guilty to Zahra’s murder in the second degree, with aggravating factors including desecration of the body and her history of physically, verbally and psychologically abusing of Zahra.
Zahra’s murder still remains a source of constant anger in North Carolina, especially because the child, who had lost a leg and a lung to cancer, and wore hearing aids, was so vulnerable.
Zahra died on September 24, last year, but was not reported missing till October 9. Incredibly, father Adam Baker did not seem to know that his daughter Zahra had been missing from the family’s tiny home for 15 days.