Zahra Baker's Father Calls Murder Charge Against Wife 'Justice'

Adam Baker maintains innocence that he didn't murder and dismember Zahra.

Feb. 22, 2011 — -- Zahra Baker's father has maintained his innocence in the death and dismemberment of his daughter after prosecutors Monday charged his wife, Elisa Baker, with the girl's death.

"I had no involvement with Zahra's death or dismemberment ...," Adam Baker told CBS News' North Carolina affiliate WBTV. "Elisa's very manipulative, abusive ... very controlling.

"I would have never gotten her involved in Zahra and my life. That's the biggest mistake I've ever made. I'll regret that for the rest of my life."

After the initial report of Zahra's disappearance in October, Elisa Baker wrote in jailhouse letters that her husband did something "horrifying" to Zahra after she was dead.

Catawba County District Attorney James Gaither Jr. Monday said "the state has no credible evidence to suggest anyone other than Elisa Baker was involved," apparently ruling out possible charges against the girl's father.

Elisa Baker, 42, is accused of abusing, murdering and desecrating the body of stepdaughter Zahra, Gaither said.

The head of Zahra has never been recovered. Gaither declined to discuss the cause of death and the coroner's report stated only that Zahra died as a result of "undetermined homicidal violence."

Adam Baker said that he didn't know Zahra was missing initially because he thought she was sleeping whenever he got home from work. A walk to her bedroom revealed what looked like a sleeping body, he said.

"I was gone first thing in the morning, didn't get home until late, was told that Zahra was in bed because Zahra normally went to bed early," he told WBTV Monday. "I checked every night, from what I could tell she was in bed. It looked like she was in bed, there was something in bed."

That "something" was not the 10-year-old, disabled girl. Adam Baker said he cried when he heard about the indictment.

"Justice, finally. She [Zahra] will finally get the justice that everyone's been waiting for. ... It's been a long time coming and I hope that Elisa gets everything she deserves," he said.

Zahra Baker's Head Still Missing

Adam Baker hopes to return to Australia after police have all the information they need from him.

"Hopefully, I'll be going back to Australia to try and pick up a few pieces of my life and save some money so I can come back here when the trial starts," Baker told WBTV.

According to the coroner's report, much of Zahra's skeletal remains were found scattered over two different sites. Police did not find, however, the girl's head and several other bones.

Two different kinds of tool marks were found on many of the bones, indicating that she was dismembered after she died. The bones also indicate her flesh was scavenged by animals.

The missing head may account for the lengthy delay in charging Elisa Baker with murder.

Gaither, Catawba County's district attorney, said Elisa Baker had demonstrated a "history and pattern of physical, verbal and psychological abuse" against Zahra.

He accused the woman of taking "advantage of a position of trust and confidence" in order to kill Zahra and then "desecrated her body to hinder detection and prosecution."

Police did not reveal the way Elisa Baker allegedly was killed and dismembered Zahra, saying the details must be "kept close to the investigation and not be discussed in order to protect this case."

Zahra, who lost a leg and much of her hearing in a childhood battle with bone cancer, was reported missing Oct. 9, but police believe she had disappeared weeks before that date.

On Oct. 27, police found a prosthetic leg and matched the serial number to the one she used.

Elisa Baker Also Accused of Bigamy

Abandoned by her biological mother in Australia when Zahra was an infant, her father later married Elisa Baker and moved to United States.

Relatives and neighbors said that Elisa Baker was abusive to Zahra, who was often bruised.

Police allege that in the hours after Zahra's parents reported her missing, Elisa Baker allegedly penned a bogus $1 million ransom note.

Before Zahra's body was found, Elisa Baker was indicted for obstructing justice, a charge stemming from the ransom note. She is in jail awaiting trial.

Two weeks before police found the girl's remains, Elisa Baker indicated in a jailhouse letter that the child was dead, but expressed no remorse or guilt.

In November, during the course of the investigation, police learned Elisa Baker was still married to another man when she married Adam Baker.

"In Australia when you get married, you have to provide proof of divorce and stuff and she showed some divorce papers from a previous marriage. So as far as I knew, she'd only been married that one time before," Adam Baker told WBTV. "I've come to find out I was the seventh. That's a bit of a shock…she has a history of doing this kind of stuff, manipulating everybody in her life."

Elisa Baker's first husband reportedly lived across the street from the couple.

"She always told us it was her brother and then, after they moved out, I found out it was her old man," neighbor Bobby Green told ABC affiliate WSOC.

ABC News' Lee Ferran contributed to this report.