Elisa Baker hit with new indictments, bringing total charges to 21

Zahra Baker (Source: MySpace)
Zahra Baker (Source: MySpace)
Elisa Baker (Source: Caldwell Co. Jail)
Elisa Baker (Source: Caldwell Co. Jail)

LENOIR, NC (WBTV) - Exactly a week after she was indicted on second-degree murder charges, the stepmother of a dead Hickory girl is now facing even more indictments.

Elisa Baker, 42, stepmother of Zahra Baker, was indicted Monday morning by a Caldwell County grand jury on two counts each of financial identity fraud and obtaining property by false pretenses, officials said.

Those cases, according to court papers, allegedly involved Elisa Baker using the identity of her grown daughter to obtain phone service from Centurylink and electricity service from Duke Energy. The indictments allege the offenses occurred in March and April of 2010.

These four charges will be added to 17 previous charges that include obstruction of justice, in which Baker told police she faked a ransom note for Zahra Baker, 10, who was missing for weeks before being found dismembered, police have said.

Former prosecutor Herb Pearce said the new charges do not carry lengthy jail terms,but could play a part in the Zahra Baker case down the road.

Every conviction adds to the factors that a judge may consider when sentencing someone on another charge.

If Elisa is convicted of second-degree murder, Pearce says the previous convictions will play a role.

"That's right, it enhances the time she might receive," Pearce said.

Baker's court date on the most recent indictments will be May 2.

According to investigators, Elisa Baker lead police to the remains of Zahra and told authorities that Zahra's bones, blood and bodily fluids could be found in the pipes of the family's Hickory home, search warrants said.

Baker is being held in the Caldwell County Jail on $307,700 for the 17 previous charges.

Other previous charges include bigamy -- for allegedly being married to another man and marrying Zahra's father -- communicating threats and worthless check charges.

Meanwhile, Zahra's father, Adam Baker, who has not been charged in the case, left the Hickory area last week. Sources told WBTV news that Adam and his mother have gone out of state, temporarily, because they were being harassed.

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