Image: Zahra Baker in May 2010
James Nix  /  Independent Tribune via AP file
This May 2010 photo shows Zahra Baker, 10, getting a hearing aid at an event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 11/30/2010 6:59:34 PM ET 2010-11-30T23:59:34

North Carolina police investigated a claim that a 10-year-old girl who was killed and dismembered was sexually assaulted, according to court documents released Tuesday afternoon.

The documents are 11 search warrants issued in October as police investigated the disappearance of Zahra Baker, said NBC station WCNC of Charlotte, N.C.

They include eight warrants for the Bakers' home in Hickory and three warrants to access social media accounts owned by Zahra’s stepmother, Elisa Baker, WCNC said.

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Judge Nathaniel Poovey ordered the release of the previously sealed documents. Prosecutors wanted them to remain secret, saying their release could jeopardize the investigation.

Warrants provide details
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office investigated a claim that Zahra Baker had been taken to a house in Burke County and raped by two men there in mid-October, WCNC said, noting the warrants said one of the men had a relationship with Elisa Baker.

According to the warrants Elisa Baker allegedly told police there would be latex gloves and blood splatter in the house, WCNC said. Investigators removed drain pipes and traps looking for blood, they also removed sections of the wall where they believe there were blood splatters.

The Charlotte Observer also said the warrants, while not describing how Zahra Baker died, give the first details of what happened to her body. She was dismembered, her remains were concealed in a bed comforter and car cover and discarded in a trash bin behind a grocery store, the Observer said.

The warrants also indicate Elisa Baker and her husband, Adam Baker, Zahra's father, dumped a mattress and box springs at a trash dump in Granite Falls.

No one has been charged in Zahra Baker's death. Elisa Baker is jailed on charges of obstructing the investigation. Zahra's father, Adam Baker, is free on bond after being arrested on unrelated charges.

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Service postponed
Zahra Baker's family had planned a public memorial service Thursday for Zahra Baker, but Drum Funeral Home in Hickory said the service instead would be private at a later date.

The funeral home will allow guests to stop by and sign a register book and view a tribute with photographs of the girl Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. and Friday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Burial plans for Baker have not been determined. The girl's father, Adam Baker, has said he wants to take her body home to their native Australia and bury her there.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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