HICKORY, N.C. -- The remains of 10-year-old Zahra Baker have been released to her father Adam Baker.

The North Carolina Medical Examiner's office in Chapel Hill released the remains of Zahra Baker last month to a Hickory funeral home, where they were cremated and given to her father.

Adam Baker says he wants to return to Australia and give Zahra a proper service and burial there. Baker can't leave the country until he resolves criminal charges alleging several misdemeanors and two felonies unrelated to the girl's slaying.

Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, has been sentenced to up to 18 years in prison for the murder of her disabled 10-year-old stepdaughter.

Parts of Zahra's remains were found in multiple sites around Hickory shortly after her reported disappearance.

The case captivated the attention of communities here and in Australia. Her father moved to the United States from Australia to marry Elisa after the two met online.

Prosecutors said they don't think Adam Baker was involved in his daughter's death.

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