HICKORY, N.C. -- It's been nearly seven years since 10-year-old Zahra Baker's dismembered body was found in Hickory.
Baker's stepmother, Elisa, is serving a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.
In the wake of Zahra's tragic death, a renewed awareness and effort to end child abuse has been put for by members of the community in Hickory.
Wednesday marked "Pinwheel for Prevention" day at the playground dedicated in Zahra's memory at Kiwanis Park.
People gathered to set up 2,000 pinwheels and remember Zahra. Hickory mayor Rudy Wright proclaimed April as "Child Abuse Prevention Month."
"She overcame cancer, lost a leg," recalled Wright. "She was a scrapper, a fighter, and ultimately was let down by adults."
Hickory residents had a hard time knowing a child lost their life to abuse in their own backyard.
"It really called us to work together, have multiple conversations with agencies and find out how we can provide support and information," said Adrienne Opdyke, who serves as Executive Director of the Children's Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County.
Thurman Whishnant is Hickory's Chief of Police. He says there is no forgetting darkness that clouded the community when Zahra's body was found but the town's response has been impressive.
"The awareness and positive aspect of how things come to be is encouraging," said Whishnant.
If you'd like to join Hickory in it's effort to end child abuse, call (828) 465-9296.
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