Aaron Fraser was excavating in his backyard when he found bones that turned out to be his mother’s who disappeared when he was only a child. The disappearance of Bonnie Haim is now solved.
When Aaron Fraser and his brother-in-law were digging at the backyard of his childhood home, they unexpectedly found the remains of Fraser’s biological mother.
“I accidentally busted the bag and saw something I describe as a coconut,” Fraser testified, 26 years later.
“I picked up the coconut object, and it ended up being the top portion of her skull. I had it in my hand… Looked back in the hole and you could see teeth. At that point in time, you could see the top portion of her eye sockets.”
Fraser tried to hold the tears as he stood in the courtroom, trying to describe the heartbreaking moment he finally found his mother.
The investigation about Bonnie Haim that had died down in 1993 is once again open and led to the arrest of her husband, Michael Hiam, who is accused of second-degree murder.
“The truth was always out there, buried in their backyard,” said Assistant State Attorney Alan Mizrahi.
What started as a romance between Michael and Bonnie, ended up to be a marriage on the brink of falling apart. They were having problems, and she wanted out of their relationship, which is why she left their home on the night of January 6; or so Michael said.
“Basically she just wasn’t happy and she wanted to leave, and I couldn’t stop her from leaving,” he told WJXT.
Assistant State Attorney Alan Mizrahi described their romance:
“The fairy tale turned into a nightmare because this husband could do absolutely nothing in this world to stop his wife from taking his son and leaving. So he killed her. While some sins can be buried away… the truth is always out there.”
Michael’s defense attorney Janis Warren said that the investigation conducted then was nothing short of a mess. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office did not document their search of the property and ignored other potential evidence and suspects aside from Michael. She said:
“Nobody has notes. Nobody writes reports. Very few officers ever write a report. As a matter of fact (lead homicide) Detective Hinson’s massive reports… weren’t written for almost four years. Four years later he goes back and writes down what he remembers and what everybody told him. Is that the type of police work we had in ‘93? Or was that detective Hinson’s police work in ‘93?”
“We agree she’s dead. We agree that’s her body in the backyard. But they have to prove to you that he did it,” she continued.
“When you listen to the evidence, ladies and gentlemen, and when you’re finished, you’re gonna see the lack of evidence this case far outweighs any evidence they brought you.”
Court documents reveal that Fraser told detectives he saw “Daddy hurt Mommy,” during the case in ‘93.
A 2015 arrest affidavit also said:
“Aaron also stated that ‘Daddy shot Mommy’ and ‘My daddy could not wake her up.’”
The caseworker in-charge of the disappearance in ‘93, Brenda Medders recalled her conversation with young Fraser, testifying that he knew his mother was hurt and he knew his father hurt her.
Medders has a bachelor’s degree in social work and worked in the field for a year before she interviewed Fraser. She also stated that she did not ask young Fraser further is he was coached, or if he knew right from wrong then, because of his young age.
“What I was trying to do is gather as many facts as I could, which he gave me many,” Medders added.
Michael Haim was a prime suspect for 20 years, but no hard evidence was shown to prove his guilt. Years later, remains were found and DNA tests confirmed them to be Bonnie Haims. A medical examiner revealed that she died “by unspecified means” from a homicide. The examiner also disclosed that there was a gunshot wound in her pelvis.
“She examined the bone, essentially the pelvis bone, which she noticed there was a circular defect that was consistent with an injury that took place during life or right at death,” said Assistant State Attorney Alan Mizrahi.
Consistently, a .22-caliber casing was near the remains of Bonnie Haim which matched the caliber as a rifle that was owned by Haim. Mizrahi also revealed that Michael Hiam banned renters of the property from doing any landscaping or digging in the backyard, nor were they allowed to have a dog.
A similar case happened in Lake Grove, N.Y. when Michael Carroll’s father, George Carroll disappeared in ‘61. His late mother claimed that his father “went out and just never came back.”
Shortly after his disappearance, Michael started feeling the house was haunted, which he called “funky stuff” to be happening. He hired a ground penetrating radar expert to check his home, and later found the remains of his father, five hear under their concrete basement.