Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Hunt for Zahra Baker

Death Confirmed


According to Chief Adkins, the remains found at the various locations were finally positively identified as Zahra's. He said that detectives had found sufficient evidence to prove that Zahra was dead.

"It is with great regret that I stand before you today," Adkins said at a news conference. "I've been dreading this moment since early on in this investigation. As investigators we are trained to follow leads, but never give up the hope the evidence may take us in the wrong direction and the outcome may be different ... Investigators, agents and officers who worked on this case are devastated that they could not find Zahra alive and bring her home safely...we have recovered enough physical evidence to believe we have found Zahra."

Zahra Baker
Zahra Baker

Adkins said that DNA taken from the bone matched a DNA sample taken from Zahra's belongings where she lived. The additional remains were still being checked against Zahra's DNA sample, but they were consistent with those of a child, Adkins said. Police were also using DNA samples obtained from Adam Baker and Zahra's birth mother to test against the remains.

"This case isn't over and we won't rest until we have all the information we need to bring the people to justice who hurt Zahra," Adkins added.

"We're continuing to put a case together," District Attorney Gaither said. "The DA's office is working with law enforcement and hope to see some resolution in this case that will result in charges being filed in the near future."

According to ABC News, jailhouse letters allegedly written by Elisa Baker to a crime memorabilia dealer claimed that neither she nor her husband had killed Zahra. She contended, however, that Adam had done something "horrifying" to the child after she had died.

"We really didn't kill her, but what he did after the fact is kinda horrifying," she purportedly wrote. "Makes me scared of him ... he knows what happened to Zahra, and yet I'm the one in here at least for now ... the cops know where she is and what he has done ... So I probably am gonna go ahead and file [for divorce]. I have lost my whole life anyway."

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