A Delaware mother is now facing murder charges in the death of her 3-year-old daughter, whose remains were found buried in a softball field nearly two years ago.
Kristie Haas, 28, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder by abuse or neglect on Tuesday, which will be added to a litany of charges she was already facing, including assault, abusing a corpse, reckless burning and child abuse.
The remains of her 3-year-old daughter, Emma Grace Cole, were found buried in a Smyrna softball field near the family’s home in September 2019. After the remains were identified more than a year later, Haas and her husband, 39-year-old Brandon Haas, were arrested.
Brandon Haas was also indicted last month on charges of child abuse, child endangerment and hindering prosecution.
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Police allege that the Haases deprived Emma Grace of sufficient food, forced her and her siblings to exercise excessively and subjected them to inappropriate discipline.
The couple has three other children, who they were also charged with abusing.
“While Brandon and Kristie Haas’ initial arrests provided some relief, we knew that the mission was not complete until we were able to bring a homicide charge in this case,” Lt. Brian Donner of the Smyrna Police Department said Tuesday.
The FBI assisted the Smyrna Police Department and multiple other agencies in the investigation.
“When the most vulnerable of our citizens – our children – are victimized we will do everything in our power to hold the perpetrators accountable and to protect others from harm,” Rachel Byrd, acting special agent in charge of the FBI Baltimore Field Office, said Tuesday.
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Kristie Haas was already facing up to 55 years in prison, but could be sentenced to life if she is convicted of the new murder charges. Brandon Haas is facing up to 45 years in prison.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.