Nancy Grace

Alleged killers talked about corpse on Facebook?

A young couple reportedly partied at a bar after allegedly murdering a 19-year-old girl, then argued about how to dispose of her corpse in text and Facebook messages!

A young couple reportedly partied at a bar after allegedly murdering a 19-year-old girl, then argued about how to dispose of her corpse in text and Facebook messages!

October 29th, 2010
10:45 AM ET

New Tip Leads Investigators Back To Zahra Baker’s Home

“New information” leads investigators back to the home of 10-year-old North Carolina cancer survivor, Zahra Baker, reported missing Oct. 9. As we went to air last night, we reported that FBI and cops were searching the Baker home into the night.

Zahra Baker
Zahra Baker

This after an all day backyard search with backhoes and shovels and search teams sifting through piles of mulch. Police confirm they have taken evidence from the backyard. And at this hour, investigators are back at Zahra’s Hickory home. Did they find something? While investigators remain tight-lipped about what they have found and what they are looking for now, K9’s are actively roaming several points of interest marked off with police tape. Police do have a search warrant, but of course, it’s sealed. Today’s massive search comes on the heels of investigators announcing finding what they believe to be Zahra’s prosthetic leg, laying out in the open in heavy brush, off Christie Road in Caldwell County. As authorities work to make a positive match on that prosthetic leg, we learn search teams plan to return to that area later today. While we don’t know exactly what information is leading investigators to these searches, we do know they must have credible information as they are repeatedly zeroing in on two specific areas, the Baker home and Christie Road.

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Filed under: Missing Persons
October 27th, 2010
04:41 PM ET

Catawba County Police confirm: Prosthetic leg found

Breaking news in the case of missing Hickory, North Carolina 10-year-old, Zahra Baker.

Police announced Wednesday the prosthetic leg believed to belong to Zahra Baker has been found. Investigators discovered the prosthesis yesterday afternoon in brushy area off of Christy Road in Caldwell County.

Zahra Baker
Zahra Baker

The prosthesis is being further examined to verify whether its serial number matches the serial number of the prosthesis worn by Zahra. Police say the prosthetic leg is consistent with type of prosthetic leg worn by Zahra before she vanished.

Hickory County Police also confirm that technicians working at the Baker home Wednesday are recovering additional pieces of evidence. Canines, backhoes and shovels are being used in the search launched this morning, after police say information provided to them led investigators back to the home. Search dogs were used both inside and outside of the Baker property. Heavy digging equipment and shovels excavated areas of the backyard.

On Tuesday, Hickory County Police said investigators seized a mattress from the Caldwell County Landfill. The mattress, found outside the original search grid, is being tested for DNA to determine if it is related to the homicide investigation.

Zahra’s mother Elisa Baker has been providing information to police since Sunday, according to the Hickory Police Department.

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Filed under: Missing Persons
October 26th, 2010
11:13 AM ET

Nancy Grace Cold Case

Slain teen's mom: 'How are these punks beating us?'

(CNN) - Phlisia Bunting's body was found dumped in a Colorado state park two months after she finished her freshman year in high school.

That first year of high school had been socially challenging for Phlisia, who at 16 "was quite different or unique," according to her mother, Carrelyn Bunting.

Phlisia Bunting / Family Photo
Phlisia Bunting / Family Photo

"She didn't know how to handle her uniqueness," Bunting recalled. "She was persecuted by the kids in the school."

Phlisia had won a costume contest for dressing up as her pop idol, Boy George, even painting her face white to pull off the image. It didn't help her popularity, Bunting recalled.

"That did not go over well for a black girl in an all-black school," she said.

But, despite her social difficulties, Phlisia was a good student, said Sgt. Henry Stoffel of the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

"She hit her teenage years and started hanging with some kids who were on the streets," he said.

"So many of the street kids we've seen are into drugs, and we have no history of her involved in drugs or alcohol."

Click here to read full story

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Filed under: Cold Case
October 18th, 2010
04:37 PM ET

New: Zahra Baker sighting 2 wks before she's reported missing

Furniture Store Manager Who Allegedly Saw Zahra on Nancy Grace Tonight

In a major development in the Zahra Baker case, we learn of a confirmed sighting of the little girl just two weeks before she disappears. This after police previously announced they could not find anyone besides Zahra’s father and stepmother who saw the 10-year-old in the last month before she was reported missing.

Zahra Baker
Zahra Baker

Employees at a local Hickory, North Carolina furniture store called police to report seeing the 10-year-old cancer survivor with her stepmother at In Your Home Furnishings on September 25. According to the manager, Zahra was watching cartoons on a TV in the children’s furniture section, looking happy. She was dressed neatly and smiling. Join us tonight at 8 p.m. ET, when the manager of that furniture store, Pat Adams, who could be one of the last people to see Zahra alive, joins us live to talk about the Sept. 25 sighting.

Does the sighting shed new light on the timeline and the investigation? And will it help police come one step closer to finding the body of 10-year-old Zahra? In other developments, while cops and cadaver dogs comb over every square inch of residences where the Bakers lived in North Carolina, an attorney for stepmother, Elisa Baker, still behind bars, confirms child protective services was called in to investigate claims of abuse but couldn’t substantiate the allegations.

Scott Riley says some of the people making these claims just want to appear on national television and are only discussing hearsay. Riley also tells a local television station a lot of the allegations have been “exaggerated, embellished or made up.” What happened to 10-year-old Zahra Baker?

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Filed under: Story Updates
October 13th, 2010
10:39 AM ET

Zahra Baker Disappearance Now a Homicide Investigation

Cops: Stepmom of missing 10-year-old Cancer Survivor Confesses Writing ‘Ransom’ Note

In a stunning turn of events, North Carolina police are announcing the search for 10-year-old cancer survivor, Zahra Baker, is now a homicide investigation. Zahra reported missing from her own bedroom of her Hickory, North Carolina home at 2 p.m. last Saturday. Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, claims she last saw Zahra sleeping at 2:30 a.m., according to cops. After police arrest the stepmother on unrelated charges – larceny and writing bad checks – we now learn she allegedly confesses to writing a $1 million ‘ransom’ note found one of the family cars the day Zahra reportedly goes missing.

Zahra Baker
Zahra Baker

After cops reveal Elisa Baker admits she was the author of the fake note, the stepmother lawyers up. In the last hours, police obtaining an arrest warrant for Baker on a felony charge of obstruction of justice. A search warrant reveals investigators seizing evidence from the family home, including two gas cans, burn samples from a mysterious fire erupting in the backyard hours after Zahra is reportedly last seen alive, and drug paraphernalia. K9 dogs also hit on the scent of human remains on both family cars, a Chevrolet Tahoe and a Toyota Camry. Possible blood samples were also taken from the Chevy Tahoe. As police announce they have not been able to identify anyone who has seen 10-year-old Zahra over the last month, in a shocking development, friends, neighbors and family are coming out of the woodwork alleging Zahra had an abusive, miserable home life, even saying child protective services was called in to investigate. She bravely battles bone cancer, not once, but twice, losing part of her leg and her hearing, walking with a prosthetic and requiring hearing aids. No sign of the prosthetic leg in her bedroom, her hearing aids left behind. And now 10-year-old Zahra is gone, most likely under grave circumstances as the homicide investigation begins.

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