HICKORY, N.C. (CBS/WBTV/AP) North Carolina authorities say search teams have recovered a bone that may be related to the case of 10-year-old Zahra Baker, who was reported missing Oct. 9.
The Hickory Police Department issued a statement Wednesday saying the bone will be sent the Medical Examiner's Office in Chapel Hill for further examination, according to CBS affiliate WBTV.
Searchers discovered the bone, believed to be human, in an area where hunters often dispose of deer carcasses, reports NBC station WCNC. If the bone is determined to be related to Zahra's case following the examination, it will then be sent to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation's lab for further testing.
Last Wednesday investigators found a prosthetic leg at a home where Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, once lived, said Hickory Police Maj. Clyde Deal. The prosthesis was used as Zahra's left leg that was reportedly amputated as a result of her struggle with bone cancer.
Nearly two dozen people returned Wednesday morning to the same area in Caldwell County where searchers found the prosthetic leg belonging to the missing girl. Authorities drained a pond and scoured the surrounding area in hopes of finding more clues related to Zahra's three week disappearance.
Police said Zahra's stepmother Elisa Baker has admitted to writing a bogus ransom note found where the fire took place in the family's backyard on the day her stepdaughter was reported missing. She is currently being held on an obstruction of justice charge.
Authorities say they believe the girl is dead. No one has been charged in her disappearance.
Anyone with information on Zahra's whereabouts is urged to contact the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.