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NC officials return Zahra Baker remains to father

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HICKORY, NC (AP) -- The remains of a 10-year-old disabled girl killed in North Carolina last year have been released to her father.

The North Carolina Medical Examiner's office in Chapel Hill released the remains of Zahra Baker last month to a Hickory funeral home, where they were cremated and given to her father.

Adam Baker says he wants to return to Australia and give Zahra a proper service and burial there. Baker can't leave the country until he resolves criminal charges alleging several misdemeanors and two felonies unrelated to the girl's slaying.

Her stepmother, Elisa Baker, pleaded guilty in September to second-degree murder in Zahra's death and was sentenced to 15 to 18 years in prison. Prosecutors said they don't think Adam Baker was involved in his daughter's death.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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