Searching for Zahra: Stepmother abused her, neighbors say (part 2)

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By Monte Mitchell, Richard Gould and Sarah Newell Williamson | MEDIA GENERAL NEWS SERVICE
Published: November 01, 2010
Second of two parts
 (Part 1 -
Zahra Baker wanted a bicycle.
It was last spring when she lived with her father and stepmother, Adam and Elisa Baker, in Country Manor Estates, a trailer park in Hudson, a community in Caldwell County.
Neighbor Renee Bobbitt liked to watch her grandson and the other children play outside. Zahra, the 10-year-old girl with the Australian accent, joined right in despite the prosthetic leg she used after her left leg was amputated above the knee because of bone cancer.
“You’d see her on the one good leg, and she’d hop as fast as they could run,” Bobbitt said.
But Elisa Baker, who the neighbors knew as Lisa, didn’t think Zahra had made enough progress on her prosthetic to deserve a bicycle.
“She told her the only way she’d get a bicycle is if she learned to run,” Bobbitt said.
The Bakers’ rented single-wide trailer was on a sloped road that ends in a cul-de-sac.
The cul-de-sac is a place where everybody knows what’s going on. The trailers are close to each other, and people peer around their curtains if a strange car drives in. People step outside to smoke and talk and watch the kids play.

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