Zahra Baker: Mattress Found in Landfill, Crews Digging at House

Zahra Baker: Mattress Found in Landfill, Crews Digging at House
Zahra Clare Baker (Personal Photo)

HICKORY, N.C. (CBS/AP/WBTV) Crews dug with a tractor and rummaged through mulch piles at missing girl Zahra Baker's house today, just a day after police announced that they had located a mattress in a landfill that matched the description of Zahra Baker's mattress.

PICTURES: Zahra Baker Missing

Authorities have also called for a press conference for this afternoon, reports CBS affiliate WBTV.

In addition to announcing that they had located Zahra's mattress, police also said Tuesday that Zahra's stepmother was now cooperating in the investigation.

Elisa Baker began talking with investigators after her lawyer approached police offering her assistance, said Maj. Clyde Deal. She had been charged with obstruction of justice after police say she admitted to writing a bogus ransom note which was found at the scene of a fire in the backyard on the day Zahra was reported missing.

Deal said Tuesday that Elisa Baker, 42, was taken to her home earlier this week; however, he declined to elaborate on the purpose of the visit.

Police believe the young girl who was reported missing Oct. 9 is no longer alive.

The mattress was found in a landfill that was searched for 4 days last week. DNA was found on the mattress, police said.

The girl's father, Adam Baker, was arrested Monday on unrelated charges.

He and Zahra, who uses hearing aids and a prosthetic leg as a result of bone cancer, moved from Australia to North Carolina in 2008 after he married Elisa Baker, whom he met online.

Although both Adam and Elisa Baker remain persons of interest, no one has been charged with the little girl's killing, nor have police found her body.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.