Past allegations of child abuse, a tangled relationship history and online "chainsaw massacre role-playing" were among the subjects probed by police investigating the death of a disabled 10-year-old girl in North Carolina.
Hundreds of newly unsealed court documents released Tuesday reveal that scrutiny in the disappearance and death of freckle-faced Australian immigrant Zahra Baker fell early on her stepmother and father, and has not wavered significantly since.
Among the new information in more than 200 pages of documents is that Elisa Baker, the girl's stepmother, told Hickory police that Zahra died on Sept. 24, more than two weeks before she was reported missing.
Elisa Baker's information led police to the girl's remains. Elisa Baker said Zahra had been dismembered after she died, and her remains dumped in various sites around western North Carolina. Elisa said her husband, Adam Baker, dismembered the girl and helped dump her body. Information in the warrants from cell phone records say he wasn't in the places where her remains were found, but she was.
No one has been charged in Zahra's death, and the warrants don't reveal how she died. Elisa Baker is currently in jail on charges of obstructing the investigation, allegedly by writing a false ransom note. Adam Baker is free on bond after facing charges unrelated to his daughter. Calls to attorneys for both were not immediately returned.