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NC police search for girl on wooded property

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By MITCH WEISS
Associated Press Writer

HICKORY, NC (AP) -- Officers and a police dog are searching for a missing 10-year-old North Carolina girl on a wooded lot among piles of mulch shredded by a wood chipper.

A law officer who asked not to be identified said police were looking Wednesday for the body of Zahra Clare Baker at several places familiar to her family.

The property in Morganton has a chipper and other equipment belonging to the tree services company for which her father works. Seven officers and the dog were there Wednesday.

A day earlier, police said a different dog got a "hit" at the scene but a search did not reveal anything.

The officer asked for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Police say they are treating the search as a homicide investigation. Zahra's stepmother is charged with obstruction of justice and accused of writing a fake ransom note.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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