New autopsy report lists homicide as Zahra's cause of death

New autopsy report lists homicide as Zahra's cause of death

New autopsy report lists homicide as Zahra's cause of death

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on February 21, 2011 at 5:42 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A new autopsy report released Monday lists "homicidal violence" as 10-year-old Zahra Baker's cause of death.

The report was released Monday afternoon by the North Carolina medical examiner's office, just hours after prosecutors announced that Elisa Baker was indicted on second-degree murder charges in her stepdaughter's death.

The report says that Zahra was dismembered after she died. It shows that investigators have not located several of her bones, including her skull.

The medical examiner said several of the bones that have been located showed signs of cutting "consistent with dismemberment."

The cause of death is listed as "undetermined homicidal violence."

Elisa Baker was indicted Monday on a charge of second-degree murder. In a news conference, prosecutor James Gaither Jr. said there was no credible evidence to suggest anyone else was involved in Zahra's killing.

The 10-year-old girl was reported missing in October 2010. Police eventually found the girl's remains in different locations around western North Carolina.

The indictment against Baker cites aggravating factors, saying Baker had a history of physically, verbally and psychologically abusing Zahra. And it says she desecrated Zahra's body to hinder detection and prosecution of the killing.

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