To relatives and former neighbors, Elisa Baker had a short fuse. In interviews and court documents, they portrayed her as nasty-tempered and willing to use a gun or her fists to settle an argument and say her disabled stepdaughter usually bore the brunt of her rage.
Investigators said Tuesday they believe someone killed 10-year-old Zahra Clare Baker, who was reported missing over the weekend. Baker showed no emotion in court Wednesday as a judge explained she could be sentenced to up to 30 months in prison if convicted of obstruction of justice. She is accused of trying to throw off investigators with a fake ransom note.
Baker's court-appointed attorney, Scott Reilly, said she was "scared to death" and very emotional about everything.
"She's upset about being held in jail. She's upset about being away from her family," he said.
Friends described a different side of Baker.