NEWTON, N.C. (CBS/AP) The stepmother of missing 10-year-old North Carolina girl Zahra Clare Baker had her bond increased Wednesday after a judge decided she was a flight risk.
Catawba County District Judge Robert Mullinax Jr. listened intently as Elisa Baker's grown daughter testified against her mother, claiming she has been carrying on an online relationship with a man in England who was sending her thousands of dollars despite her marriage to Zahra's father Adam Baker.
Amber Fairchild testified that her mother rarely worked and had even said she wanted to leave North Carolina the day before she was arrested.
After a childhood spent moving from house to house, Fairchild says she fears that her mother will continue her nomadic ways.
While the bond hearing unfolded, investigating were combing through a landfill for the body of Zahra Claire Baker who was reported missing by her father on Oct. 9.
Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said investigators did not expect to
find a body there, but would not elaborate on what they were hoping to
Investigators said Wednesday that they were seeking a serial number and other details about the artificial leg the little girl wore after surviving her bout with bone cancer.
During the bond hearing, prosecutor Eric Ballas hammered forward citing Elisa Baker's tendency to miss court appearances.
Over the last 20 years, she failed to appear on previous charges ranging from traffic offenses to communicating threats.
"The only time this defendant comes to court is when the sheriff's office brings her to court," Bellas said.
Ultimately, the judge decided to increase the bond from $40,000 to $65,000 because of the "disturbing and unsettling allegations" levied against Elisa Baker who appeared in the courtroom via video camera.
However, Defense Attorney Scott Reilly found it unsettling that the judge increased what he believed was an already excessive bail.
Reilly believes that if the judge paid attention to the standard guidelines for those charged with obstruction of justice instead of the media attention surrounding the case, Elisa Baker's bail would be set at $10,000.Zahra was last seen in public Sept. 25 and investigators have asked anyone who may have information to fill in the case's timeline to contact the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.