Weather delays search for skeletal remains in Caldwell
Apr 18, 2012 (The Charlotte Observer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Bad weather on Wednesday has delayed the search in Caldwell County near the site where skeletal remains were discovered Tuesday in a wooded area.
A spokesman for the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office says concerns about the weather has forced a delay in the search for possible additional remains.
More than an inch of rain has fallen since Tuesday evening in parts of the county, and more heavy rain is expected Wednesday. Partial clearing and drier conditions are expected Thursday.
Hickory police officers went to Caldwell County on Tuesday after learning about the discovery, said Libby Grigg, the administrative assistant to Hickory's police chief.
When asked whether the remains belong to 10-year-old Zahra Baker -- who was killed and her remains scattered across rural Caldwell County in 2010 -- Grigg replied: "We don't know that."
Caldwell County Sheriff Alan Jones told the Observer the remains were found by a hunter in a wooded area not far from U.S. 268, about seven miles north of Lenoir.
TV stations reported a skull was found. Jones, however, would not describe the remains or say whether they included a skull. The sheriff said the remains will be analyzed by the State Bureau of Investigation.
Zahra was reported missing in 2010. Authorities later discovered some of her remains. An autopsy revealed that much of her body wasn't recovered, including her skull, right arm and most of both legs.
Last September, her stepmother, Elisa Baker, was sentenced to 15 to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in connection with Zahra's death.
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