HICKORY, N.C. (CBS/WBTV/AP) Police have confirmed that the prosthetic leg discovered last Wednesday in western North Carolina is the one belonging to 10-year-old Zahra Baker, who has been missing for weeks.
The Hickory Police Department said on Monday that medical records obtained from Australia, where the prosthetic leg was originally fitted, matched the serial number on the leg.
According to CBS affiliate WBTV, A scanner was used to extract the serial number from a transponder placed inside the prosthesis, which was used as Zahra's left leg.
Zahra's father reported her missing Oct. 9. Authorities believe she is dead.
Searchers found the leg at a home where Zahra's stepmother once lived, Hickory Police Maj. Clyde Deal said last week. Deal said that the family lived at several locations in Catawba County and that he wasn't sure how long ago they occupied that house. Authorities have said that the stepmother, Elisa Baker, is cooperating with the investigation.
WBTV reports that the 42-year-old stepmother has been jailed on an obstruction of justice charge since the weekend Zahra disappeared. Police said she admitted to writing a bogus ransom note found at the scene of a fire in the family's backyard on the day her stepdaughter was reported missing.
Investigators continue to search the family's home in Hickory for additional evidence.
Anyone with information on Zahra's whereabouts is urged to contact the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.