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Warrants reveal N.C. girl found dead may have been raped

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Report: Zahra Baker was dismembered
  • Police say they searched for items used to dismember Zahra at the home where she lived
  • Police say they found a stained mattress at the home
  • No one has been charged in Zahra's death

(CNN) -- Police are investigating reports that Zahra Baker, the 10-year-old disabled girl who was killed in North Carolina, may have been raped prior to her death, according to police search warrants that were unsealed Tuesday.

The girl's stepmother, Elisa Baker, reported Zahra missing on October 9. Police announced that they found the girl's remains on November 11. She had been dismembered.

Search warrants obtained by the Hickory, North Carolina, police released Tuesday, give the first glimpse into the grisly events that could have led to the death of the freckled-face girl, who lost part of her left leg at age 5 to cancer.

According to one of the search warrants, a tipster told police that Zahra had been at a North Carolina home with two men and one of the men said "he had done something very bad and needed to leave town."

One of the men was associated with Zahra's stepmother but was not Zahra's father, the tipster said.

Police: Blood in Zahra Baker's home

The tipster also told police that Zahra had been raped by both men and that she had blood on her private area and legs, the search warrant said. The tipster told police that he got the information about the alleged rape from a friend who was told about it from his sister.

Police went to the home to see if they could confirm the fourth-hand information and found a mattress at the side of the house that "had a large dark stain in the middle," the search warrant said.

The tipster said the men did not admit to killing the girl but did say that they "might have hit her in the head," the search warrant said.

Police were also told by an attorney for Elisa Baker that the girl was dismembered.

In one search warrant, dated October 27, police say they were looking for "latex gloves used while the body of Zahra Baker was dismembered." They also were searching for "white trash bags used to store body parts," the warrant said.

In that warrant, police were seeking to search the Hickory home that Zahra lived in with her stepmother and father Adam Troy Baker.

No one has been charged in the girl's death.

Elisa Baker has been arrested on an obstruction charge after police said she admitted to writing a fake ransom note found at the family's home in Hickory.

Besides an obstruction of justice charge for the ransom note, she is accused of writing worthless checks. Police have said she has been cooperating with investigators, including going with them to a search site.

Adam Troy Baker was arrested in late October in nearby Catawba County on eight charges: five counts of writing bad checks and three counts of failing to appear in court. Authorities said the charges were unrelated to Zahra's disappearance, and he was later released on bail.