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HICKORY, NC (AP) — Leaders in Hickory will break ground on a playground being built in memory of the disabled girl whose stepmother pleaded guilty to killing her.

The ceremony will be held at Kiwanis Park on Wednesday, which would have been Zahra’s 12th birthday. The playground is expected to open next year.

More than $170,000 has been raised for the project.

Zahra was reported missing in October 2010. Parts of the girl’s body were found weeks later. Elisa Baker was sentenced to 15 to 18 years in prison in September after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and other charges.

Zahra wore a prosthetic leg, a result of her fight with two bouts of cancer. She also had a hearing impairment.

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


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