HICKORY, N.C. (CBS/WBTV) The stepmother of Zahra Baker, the 10-year-old North Carolina girl whose body was found dismembered and scattered in Caldwell County, has struck a deal with prosecutors for providing information that led to the discovery of her remains, according to reports.
However, the terms of the deal remain unknown and could hinge on further developments regarding Zahra's death and disappearance.
Although Elisa Baker has not yet been charged with the death of the 10-year-old girl, Regional District Attorney, James Gaithner, Jr., has confirmed that Baker will be cut a deal if she is ever charged with Zahra's murder and maintains that the death penalty has not been ruled out as an option, reports The Charlotte Observer.
"We're under no obligation not to pursue capital murder charges or first-degree murder charges against any individual if there is sufficient and credible evidence to prove that Zahra Baker was murdered by that individual," Gaither Jr. told the Observer on Saturday.
Several media outlets have reported that Gaithner signed an agreement with Baker that would take the death penalty and life in prison off the table if she could provide investigators with information regarding the young girl's whereabouts, but that is not the case, according to the paper.
A source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the Observer the agreement was contingent on other things, for instance, Baker being truthful in her assistance of law enforcement in the investigation.
Elisa Baker is currently in police custody for an obstruction of justice charge relating to the Zahra's disappearance and death, but has denied any further wrongdoing.
Last week, a121 page warrant was released which contained horrifying information and evidence pertaining to the case, including the fact that Zahra's bones, blood, and bodily liquids could be found in the drains of the Baker's Hickory home, and yet no one has been charged, reports CBS affiliate WBTV.
Zahra was reported missing on Oct. 9 by her father Adam Baker who has also not been ruled out as a suspect, according to police.
Authorities are asking anyone with information on the case to contact the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.