The final mystery in the tragic US murder and dismemberment
of disabled Australian schoolgirl Zahra Baker has been
After months of analysis, a skull found in North Carolina
bushland by a hunter last April has been identified as
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation's crime lab,
the state's medical examiner and experts at Marshall
University in West Virginia used Zahra's DNA profile to make
"This information gives the members of Team Zahra mixed
emotions," Caldwell County chief of police Tom Adkins told
North Carolina TV station WCNC.
"It brings up the tragedy of Zahra's death and the life she
lived before she was killed, but it also gives us and the
community a sense of finally bringing her home."
The tests did not reveal how Zahra was killed and the
Australian Embassy will assist in Zahra's remains being taken
back to Australia for burial.
Zahra's stepmother, Elisa Baker, is serving a 15- to 18-year
sentence for the 2010 murder and dismemberment of the Wagga
Wagga-born 10-year-old, who battled bone cancer during her
short and tragic life.
Baker, a self-described gothic and pagan, scattered Zahra's
body parts and a prosthetic leg in bushland kilometres away
from their home in Hickory, North Carolina.
Zahra's father, Adam, was not charged in relation to his
daughter's murder and has returned to Australia.