RALEIGH, N.C. -- The prosecutor in the Zahra Baker case wants North Carolina lawmakers to penalize the act of dismembering a body in order to conceal a crime.
District Attorney James Gaither said Friday he's working with two state representatives to introduce a bill this session. It's already illegal to secretly bury a corpse or conceal a death in order to cover up a crime. The bill Gaither wants would add dismembering a body to the list.
Zahra Baker, a 10-year-old girl with disabilities, was reported missing from her Hickory home last October. Police eventually found some of her remains in searches around western North Carolina. Her head remains missing.
Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, has been charged with second-degree murder. Court documents say Elisa Baker told investigators Zahra was dismembered after dying.