HICKORY, N.C. (WBTV) - An advocacy group plans a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening on the birthday of a Hickory girl who police say is dead.
The Children Protection Council of Catawba County says Tuesday's vigil in Hickory will honor Zahra Baker, would have turned 11 that day.
The vigil will be held at from 6 to 7 pm at Union Square. (Click here for a map)
Speakers include the mayor of Hickory, the police chief and a child advocate. There will also be a prayer led by a local pastor. (Click here for the program).
Students at Hickory High School are showed their support for the little girl by wearing something white to school on Tuesday.
The case around the little girl's disappearance is offering a new kind of learning for many of these students. Life's lessons, in this instance, are not coming from the text books.
"It feels go to know that you can support someone by doing something so little," senior Tae Bonds said.
Aaron Schmidt is a junior at the school, and wanted to do something to draw more attention to the case and cause.
"Her death had a great impact on the community," Schmidt said. "I thought I would show support and concern by wearing white."
At Zahra's home, the memorial continued to grow. Plastic now acts as protection for the many trinkets and toys as the rain moved into the area. A large plastic cover was placed over the gifts that have been left behind. Stuffed animals have become a symbolic in remembering this little girl.
Just around the corner from the front yard memorial, Tina Bradshaw runs a specialty shop.
"We're more or less heartbroken," Bradshaw said. "I can't believe that this has happened so close to my business."
On Friday, Hickory police revealed that Zahra was dead and that they had found one of her bones in a search.
In the last month, they have looked at several locations and found the artificial left leg that belonged to the girl, who lost her own leg to bone cancer. They also have found other "possible human remains" that are being tested to see if they are Zahra.
Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, has been charged with obstruction of justice. Police say she admitted writing a bogus ransom note.
The girl's father, 33-year-old Adam Baker, was arrested on unrelated charges a couple of weeks ago. He has since made bail, but met with police on Thursday.
Speaker Mayor Rudy Wright
City of Hickory
Music NCHS Choral Ensemble
Directed by Frances Whitener
Speaker Chief Tom Adkins
Hickory Police Department
Speaker Adrienne Opdyke, Vice-Chair
Children's Protection Council
Lighting of the Candles
Prayer Rev. Pat Jones,
Episcopal Church of the Ascension
Please extinguish your candle before leaving Union Square
Vigil sponsored by Children's Protection Council
Special Thanks To:
Jessica King, Deluxe Printing Group, Hobby Lobby, Kohl's, and Ms. Whitener and the Newton-Conover High School Choral Ensemble