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A Missing Girl and Few Who Cared Enough to Protect Her

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Since Zahra's father and stepmother reported her missing October 9th, police officials have discovered she was likely missing much longer and many are convinced she was dead long before she was reported missing, as well. Many who knew the family have come forward to say that they saw Zahra being physically abused. Since then, her stepmother, Elisa Baker, was arrested for writing a ransom note in an effort to throw the authorities off, along with other charges that are not related to Zahra's disappearance. So far, she is being jailed only on obstruction of justice charges. Her court appointed lawyer has reiterated Baker is ''cooperating with authorities''.

Zahra, a sweet faced girl, survived a cancer diagnosis that left her partially deaf and resulted in the loss of one of her legs. Born in Wagga Wagga, Australia, she lived in New Castle for several years before her father relocated her to the U.S. She had used a prosthesis since the amputation. That prosthesis was found near one of the rental houses the family lived at. At yet another rental home, a bone was found and while DNA testing is still being conducted, at least one investigator says they're convinced it's Zahra's. Also, early on during the investigation, a mattress was found at a landfill and again, investigators insist they have reason to believe it was the mattress Zahra slept on.

As the media looked on today, officials ordered reporters out and away from the area suddenly and without explanation. They closed the road and refused to provide any kind of explanation. This, along with a comment from an unnamed person related to the case, say this could be the break everyone has waited for. Some have suggested Zahra's father could be charged in the near future, though it remains speculation.

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