LENIOR, NC (WBTV) - Hickory Police are looking into the possibility of bigamy charges for the stepmother of a girl who was first listed as missing in October and was reported dead last week.
Adam and Elisa Baker, the father and stepmother of Zahra Baker, may have been married before Elisa Baker's divorce from her previous husband was final, which could make their Australian marriage invalid and could lead to bigamy charges against Elisa Baker. (Click here to read the divorce paperwork)
WBTV has information that the couple, whose daughter was allegedly last seen by family members on Oct. 9 and was reported dead Friday, were married in Australia, where Adam and Zahra were originally from, in the summer of 2008.
Elisa Baker, 42, who has been married at least three times, had her divorce finalized in August 21, 2009, according to Caldwell County court records obtained by WBTV. That marriage began in 1998, according to the documents.
Elisa Baker -- along with her attorney -- spent several hours at the Hickory Police Department on Friday. It's unclear what they talked about, but it could have been about the marriage discrepancy.
Adam Baker, 33, brought 10-year-old Zahra with him when he moved to the US after meeting Elisa Baker on a website called IMVU, a social network and 3D virtual world where people create characters of themselves.
Related story: Who IS Elisa Baker?
Zahra's biological mother suffered from severe post-partum depression after giving birth and gave up custody of Zahra in 2000 when she was just 6 months old.
Zahra Baker had suffered from two battles with cancer and lost her leg and hearing in that struggle.
Related: Immigration troubles for Adam Baker?
Meanwhile on Thursday, the Bakers were appointed attorneys in a court hearing Thursday in Caldwell County. The charges in the hearings for Elisa and Adam Baker are unrelated to the investigation into the disappearance and death of Zahra.
The Baker couple did not appear in Caldwell County court on Thursday and their cases were continued to Jan. 27, 2011. They were both given attorneys for the various charges, which include communicating threats.
Adam Baker, the biological father of Zahra, already had a lawyer, but that attorney had a conflict in the case, so on Thursday he was appointed a different one for these allegations.
Elisa Baker's attorney for an obstruction of justice charge in the Zahra case was appointed to represent her on these other charges, too. Police say Elisa Baker admitted to writing a fake ransom note the day Zahra was reported missing.
The court moves come just two days after hundreds showed up for a vigil on what would have been Zahra's 11th birthday. Many people were grieving the girl's death, but some were angry no charges have been filed directly related to her death.
Adam Baker, Zahra's father, faces charges of worthless checks, communicating threats, and assault with a deadly weapon.
Elisa Baker, stepmother of Zahra, is in court on charges of communicating threats and worthless checks.
Elisa is being held in jail on the obstruction of justice charge.