• Thieves target Zahra Baker's memorial 5 years after her death

    By: Dave Faherty

    Updated:

    CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. - Thursday marks the five-year anniversary of the murder of Zahra Baker. 

    The case got nationwide attention after law enforcement found the 10-year-old girl's dismembered remains in Caldwell County.  

    Channel 9 learned thieves are targeting a roadside memorial for Zahra.  

    The memorial is feet away from where some of Zahra's remains were found near the town of Hudson.


    Read our past coverage:


    The man who owns the property hoped it would be a reminder to others of what happened to Zahra. 

    In the months after Zahra's death, Jake Icenhour began working on the memorial for the 10-year-old cancer survivor.

    "If it helps just one kid, all this is worth it. Just one kid, all of it is worth it,” Icenhour said.

    Five years later, after getting help from local businesses and others in the community, Icenhour is concerned about recent thefts.

    Gone are some of the lights placed around the memorial. Last week someone stole a statue of an angel.

    "I just get so aggravated and so disgusted. I don't understand people. I know the days we're living in, but it wouldn't do for me to catch them,” Icenhour said.

    In 2010, police arrested Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, for the murder. She led investigators to three areas of Caldwell County where they later found the 10-year-old’s remains. 

    The following year, she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. 

    Lacey Moore lives nearby and remembers leaving a stuffed animal to remember Zahra. She can't believe thieves are taking items.

    "Messing with something that is so heartfelt to so many people around here in this location. That little girl's death really touched a lot of families,” she said.

    Icenhour set up a chain link fence around a portion of the memorial to keep thieves out. His hope was that the memorial would lead others to report child abuse, not commit another crime. 

    Icenhour told Channel 9 there are other safety measures he doesn't want to reveal in hopes of catching the people responsible. Channel 9 saw deputies driving by there Wednesday.  

    Next Up: