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Ceremony marks Zahra Baker’s 13th birthday

HUDSON, NC (AP) — Friends and supporters have gathered to mark what would have been the 13th birthday of Zahra Baker, the 10-year-old disabled Australian girl killed by her stepmother in North Carolina.

The service was held Friday at the Zahra Baker Memorial, just feet away from the spot where the girl’s remains were found.

Zahra was reported missing in October 2010. Her body was found weeks later. Elisa Baker was sentenced to up to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges including second-degree murder.

In May, Hickory opened a playground built in Zahra’s honor. Zahra wore a prosthetic leg, a result of her fight with two bouts of cancer, so the playground honors her in part by having swings and other attractions that can be used by disabled children.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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