A Florida man made a gruesome discovery when he decided to renovate his childhood home. While excavating the backyard, he discovered human bones that belonged to his mother.
Aaron Fraser was just a little more than 3-years-old when his mother, Bonnie Haim, was killed in 1993, according to WJXT. Her husband and Fraser’s father, Michael Haim, had always been a suspect in the case, but there was never enough evidence to convict him of a crime — until Fraser made his discovery.
Now, more than 25 years after his mother died, Fraser took the stand on Tuesday and described how he discovered his mother’s skull while digging up an old swimming pool. A .22-caliber shell was also found near the remains.
The discovery led to the arrest of Haim, who officials charged with second-degree murder, according to CNN.
Haim claimed that he was innocent of the crime and said that his wife disappeared on the night of January 6 after a “relationship issue.” He said he went looking for her but did not alert authorities about her disappearance. In fact, law enforcement was not notified about the missing woman until her wallet was found in a hotel dumpster.
Prosecutors allegedly believed they did not have enough evidence to prove Haim was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the case went cold.
Assistant State Attorney Alan Mizrahi claimed that Haim owned a .22-caliber rifle, and while a medical examiner could not definitively determine how Fraser’s mother was killed, he argued that Haim shot her and buried her in the backyard.
Investigators reportedly searched the property at the time and found nothing.
Fraser allegedly told a caseworker in 1993 that his father hurt his mother, and 2015 court documents stated that Fraser said, “‘Daddy shot Mommy’ and ‘My daddy could not wake her up.'”
That caseworker testified Tuesday and said that Fraser told her he knew his mother was hurt and his father had hurt her.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Director Mike Bruno told WJXT in 2015 that the discovery was the missing piece that investigators needed to close the case.
The arrest affidavit claimed that Haim was abusive to his wife, and she was in the process of moving into her own place and taking her son with her. She had a separate, secret bank account, which Haim forced her to close when he found out about it. She then allegedly gave money to a friend to save for her.
On Tuesday, Haim’s defense attorney, Janis Warren, said prosecutors would not be able to prove that Haim killed his wife and buried her body in the yard on the night she disappeared.