Two years have passed since Zahra Baker was first reported missing, and now, questions are swirling around the validity of a charity raising money in her honor.
People told Eyewitness News they don't know how their donations are being spent. Eyewitness News contacted the state and found out it also has questions about the online charity.
On Monday, Eyewitness News reporter Dave Faherty went to the man taking the donations to get answers.
Jim Julian showed Eyewitness News some of the artwork, wristbands and T-shirts with the Zahra Baker Memorial Foundation. He also talked about his motivation for starting the nonprofit.
“The worst thing I ever heard in my life, what happened to Zahra Baker,” Julian said. “No kid deserves that. We're her heartbeat.”
But you won't find the nonprofit listed as a charity in North Carolina.
This month, the Secretary of State's office sent a letter to Julian, requesting financial information about the organization.
Eyewitness News talked with one person by phone who donated hundreds of dollars after Zahra's death, but couldn't find out where the money ended up.
The nonprofit also has never given money to the Zahra Garden at Hudson Elementary, despite claims on their website they were invited to build it.
Jake and Pricilla Icenhour, who helped lead efforts to build a roadside memorial near where Zahra's remains were found, met Julian but said he never donated money to them.
“As far as what anyone else is doing for the foundation, I don't know what they are doing. I have no idea,” Jake Icenhour said.
“I don't know what he intended to do with the money he raised,” Pricilla Icenhour said.
Julian said he has bought a laptop for a child in Lenoir and is sending money to families trying to get to cancer treatments. Some of the money goes to the T-shirts and wristbands and the pickup truck he uses to fundraise.
He said he has heard the questions about the charity but said that won’t stop him from spending more than 40 hours a week fundraising.
"If I sit here and held onto money, how would that help people?” Julian said. “We have to build this foundation. That's what we have to do.”
Julian also said he has no problem turning over his financial records to the state and plans on complying with the Oct. 22 deadline.