HICKORY, N.C. -- Adam Baker, father to missing 10-year-old Zahra Baker, left jail at 5 p.m. Wednesday night after a bond agency posted his $5,000 bond.

Baker had been in jail on several charges of passing bad checks. He was not accused in his daughter's disappearance--a search police call a homicide investigation.

Also Wednesday, investigators announced they found a prosthetic leg they believe could be Zahra's. Crews found the child-size prosthesis during a search of a wooded area off Christie Road in Caldwell County on Tuesday afternoon. They say they do not know for certain if it was the little girl's and they are working to get a serial number from the manufacturer.

Police say the prosthetic leg was not buried but was found in some brush.

Also on Tuesday, Hickory police confirmed that they had seized a mattress found at the Caldwell County landfill that fits the description of one they were looking for in connection with Zahra's disappearance. Police say employees at the landfill discovered the mattress in the area that was searched by officials last week. Police are now testing it for DNA.

Wednesday, investigators armed with shovels and a backhoe returned to the small house in Hickory where the search first began for 10-year-old Zahra Baker.

As many as a dozen officers and crime scene technicians roped off the front and back yards of the house.

They began digging near a wood pile just off the driveway, then dug at least two other holes with the backhoe in the back yard. Investigators using rakes carefully combed through the dirt as it was turned over.

At one point the digging stopped and everyone stood back while one investigator retrieved a small object from one of the holes. That item was placed in an evidence bag the size of a grocery bag and was placed in a crime scone van.

During a news conference, Hickory police would only say that they had new information that took them back to the house.

They would not say where the information came from but police have confirmed that Elisa Baker, Zahra's stepmother, is now cooperating in the investigation.

Elisa Baker was arrested on charges unrelated to the 10-year-old's disappearance on Oct. 10. The following day she was charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly writing a fake ransom note to confuse investigators. She is still in jail.

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