Adam Baker, father of the disabled 10-year old girl Zahra Baker whose disappearance and confirmed death has shocked the people of North Carolina, has vehemently denied that he has anything to do with her death or dismemberment.
Adam, who has come under intense scrutiny over his daughter's death after her dismembered remains were found last week, told a television channel that he has never hurt his daughter and all he wants to do now is return to Australia and bring the body of his little girl home.
There is no way I would have done that to my baby, Baker told WBTV.
There is no way in the world I would have hurt my daughter, he said.
Adam refuses to say how Zahra died and whether Elisa Baker, his wife and Zahra's step-mother, is involved in her death.
Elisa, who is in jail after being indicted by a grand jury on a felony charge of obstruction of justice, also claims they didn't kill Zahra but what Adam did after that is kinda horrifying.
[Adam Baker] knows what happened to Zahra, and yet I'm the one in here at least for now, she wrote in a letter addressed to crime memorabilia dealer Eric Gein.
Elisa also told Gein that she is cooperating with the police as she wants Adam locked away for her safety.
According to court papers filed this week, Elisa had also informed the police that Zahra was dead and her body had been dismembered and that it would be recovered in different sites.
The court documents state that Elisa provided details of two specific locations that should be searched and on October 25 she also had accompanied investigators to the search areas.
Zahra's prosthetic leg was recovered at the first site and later a bone, identified as belonging to Zahra, was recovered.
Elisa Baker identified the object found as a part of a prosthetic leg and specifically identified it as a gel liner that belonged to Zahra Baker, the court documents state.
On October 26, a mattress belonging to Zahra was found at a landfill after information was provided by Elisa and later that day she told police where the girl's remains could be found.
Last week police found a bone belonging to Zahra at one location and other remains at a second site about five miles away. Both the locations were near the house where she lived with her father and step-mother.
Elisa's lawyers said she wants a reduction in bail and hence helped the police locate Zahra’s remains. Elisa has given the only credible evidence released to the public, her lawyers said.
However, the court documents do not say how Zahra died or who may be responsible for her death.
Zahra, who moved from Townsville in north Queensland to North Carolina two years back with her father, was reported missing on October 9 by Adam. Police doubt the Bakers' story that they last saw the girl that day sleeping in her bed and suspect she was missing longer than that because they can't find anyone other than the Bakers who had seen her alive in the weeks before her disappearance.
Zahra, who was hearing-impaired and walked with the help of a prosthesis after losing her left leg to bone cancer, was being home-schooled. Neighbors claim Elisa often tormented Zahra physically and mentally and that Adam had neglected her.
While Adam, who was arrested on a host of charges unrelated to Zahra's disappearance, is free on bail, Elisa is in prison for trying to throw off investigators by writing a bogus $1 million ransom note for another child.
Both have not been charged in relation to Zahra's disappearance or her death.
Meanwhile, Zahra's biological mother Emily Dietrich, who has not seen Zahra since she was eight months old, is devastated. Emily had suffered post natal depression after the birth of Zahra and had handed her custody to Adam.
I feel sick, Emily said. I feel sick that in that house she was hurt.
I never got to say goodbye. I never even got to say hello, she said.
Emily said she hopes that Adam is not involved in Zahra's death. I have to take a step back and think of the possibility that maybe Adam wasn't involved and maybe he is hurting as well, she told a television channel.
Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins said investigations will continue and they won't rest until we have all the information we need to bring the people to justice who hurt Zahra.