How did 10-year-old Zahra Baker die? The little girl was murdered and her body was dismembered following the heinous crime that is believed to have taken place in her North Carolina home. But what was her actual cause of death?
According to a report from the Charlotte Observer, Zahra's autopsy didn't determine how the child actually died. The cause of death on her death certificate is listed as "undetermined homicidal violence."
Zahra Baker was reported missing on October 9, 2010. Her stepmother Elisa Baker was arrested a day later for obstruction of justice. She wrote a bogus ransom note in an effort to throw investigators searching for Zahra off the correct path. Elisa Baker has since been charged with Zahra's murder.
North Carolina chief medical examiner Deborah Radisch explains that a determination of "undetermined homicidal violence" is a cause of death listing that is very rarely used.
"Undetermined homicidal violence" is used in cases in which the physical autopsy can't determine a cause of death, Radisch said, "yet the circumstances surrounding the case and the finding of the body and the condition of the body would indicate the manner of death is a homicide."
Since the Zahra Baker case is still considered to be an active investigation, Radisch could not comment any further on the autopsy findings.
Is it likely that the cause of death is evading medical professionals because Zahra had been dismembered following her murder? Could the fact that her head has yet to be found have an impact on the autopsy results?
So far no one besides Elisa Baker has been implicated in Zahra Baker's murder, although many believe her father, Adam Baker, was somehow involved. Although he has denied any wrongdoing whatsoever in Zahra's death, it does seem awfully strange that he wasn't at the very least somewhat aware of the abuse she was enduring at the hands of his wife.
Hopefully one day Zahra Baker's actual cause of death with be determined, and Elisa Baker will pay the price for killing the beautiful little cancer survivor. Zahra Baker wore a prosthetic leg and two hearing aids as a result of aggressive cancer treatments.
Elisa Baker has been assured she won't face the death penalty for killing Zahra. She received this deal as a result of leading authorities to the sites where some of the child's dismembered remains were discarded. She could face life in prison, however, for the unspeakable crime.
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