NC stepmom pleads guilty in disabled girl's death

By MITCH WEISS | September 15, 2011 | 10:00 AM EDT

NEWTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina woman has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the death of her disabled 10-year-old daughter, Zahra Baker.

Elisa Baker entered a plea of guilty Thursday to second degree murder, nearly a year after the Australian girl was reported missing from her home in the western North Carolina town of Hickory.

Baker also pleaded guilty in Catawba County Superior Court to obstruction of justice, and to charges unrelated to Zahra.

Parts of Zahra's remains were found in multiple sites around Hickory shortly after her reported disappearance. The case captivated the attention of communities here and in Australia. Her father moved to the United States to marry Elisa after the two met online.

Zahra had a prosthetic leg and hearing aids after an early battle with bone cancer.