Death certificate lists Zahra's cause of death as 'pending'

Zahra Baker
Zahra Baker
Adam Baker (left) and Elisa Baker (right).
Adam Baker (left) and Elisa Baker (right).

HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - A death certificate for Zahra Baker has been filed with the Catawba County Register of Deeds office.

The certificate sets the date of death on October 26, the date remains were found in Caldwell County. The remains of the 10-year-old girl have been found in at least two different places and her stepmother has said that the girl was dismembered after she died, according to search warrants.

The cause of death on the certificate is listed as "Pending." There is a notation that an autopsy was conducted at the state medical examiner's office and that the remains are still there.

It is not unusual, say authorities, for cause of death to be listed as "Pending" if the medical examiner is still awaiting more test results or information from investigators. Authorities would not comment whether that was the case.

The date of death can also be changed depending on test results and information obtained through an investigation.

In search warrants released earlier this month, Elisa Baker was quoted as telling police Zahra died on September 24. In other search warrants, Elisa Baker also said that Zahra's bones, blood and bodily fluids could be found in pipes at the family's home.

Elisa Baker, 42, is in the Catawba County Jail on several worthless check charges and on a charge for obstruction of justice, for allegedly writing a fake ransom note when Zahra went missing in early October, police have said.

She was scheduled to appear in court last Friday, but instead had the bigamy charge served to her while she was in jail and $10,000 more added to her bond.

The latest worthless check charge – from Catawba County – is now also added to the other 6 "simple worthless check" charges against Baker.

Last week was an active week in the Zahra Baker case: Eliza Baker was already indicted this week for bigamy after police said she was not divorced from a man before being married to Zahra's father, Adam Baker is the summer of 2008. (Read the story about the bigamy indictment)

Also, a briefcase was found in woods near where parts of Zahra's body was found, which contains a blanket that might have blood on it. (Read the story about the briefcase)

This week's worthless check charge has a $500 bond, which now brings the total bond for Elisa Baker in the Catawba County Jail to $107,700.

No one has been charged in the death of Zahra, but Elisa Baker did tell authorities that her blood, bones and bodily fluid could be found in the pipes of the Hickory house, according to warrants.

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