HICKORY, N.C. (CBS/WBTV) The investigation into the disappearance of Zahra Baker, the missing 10-year-old hearing-impaired North Carolina girl, took a grim turn Wednesday when search teams came across what officials called "possible human remains" after searching an area reportedly suggested by Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker.
Investigators said that search teams in Caldwell County found evidence during a search of Gunpowder Creek, about 70 miles outside Charlotte, that "could provide valuable information in the Zahra Baker case." Officials said the area, which has been searched before, was one of the locations that Elisa Baker suggested search crews look, CBS affiliate WBTV reported.
The evidence has been sent to the State Medical Examiner's office in Chapel Hill. From there it will be sent to the State Bureau of Investigation's lab for DNA testing, according to the station.
Meanwhile, Zahra's father, Adam, reportedly met Thursday with investigators, along with his attorney, for about an hour. Adam Baker was arrested October 25 for assault with a deadly weapon, failure to return rental property, writing worthless checks and other charges unrelated to his daughter's case. He has since posted the $7,000 bond and been released.
Elisa Baker, Zahra's stepmother, was arrested shortly after Zahra was reported missing Oct. 9 on nearly a dozen unrelated charges including communicating threats, writing worthless checks, larceny, and driving with a revoked license. She later allegedly admitted to forging a ransom note that was found at the house, and remains in custody at the Catawba County jail.
Wednesday's grim discovery also coincided with Zahra's birth mother's arrival in the states from Australia, according to WBTV.
A source with knowledge of the investigation told the station police are conducting additional interviews on Thursday, but would not say who is being interviewed.
Anyone with information is asked to call the
Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.