Jury selection for a Florida murder trial starts Monday, in connection with a case that went unsolved for 20 years until a man dug up his own mother’s skull in his childhood backyard.
When 29-year-old Aaron Fraser was an almost 4-year-old boy who went by the name Aaron Haim, he told a child social services employee that his dad hurt his mom, according to The Florida Times-Union. That statement came within 48 hours after his mother, 23-year-old Bonnie Haim, disappeared from her Jacksonville home on January 7, 1993.
Police found Bonnie’s identification card, credit cards, and a large amount of cash thrown into the trash at a Red Roof Inn close to the Jacksonville airport, after a hotel employee found her purse and contacted the authorities.
Later on that same evening, investigators found Bonnie’s Toyota Camry parked in the long-term parking lot at the airport. The seat had been pushed back to accomodate a driver much taller than Bonnie, and her husband’s fresh shoeprint was found on the floorboard of the driver’s side.
Bonnie was nowhere to be found.
Bonnie and Aaron all dressed up for Easter – 1992
Bonnie’s husband and Aaron’s biological father, Michael Haim, told investigators his wife fled their home after they had an argument and he had not seen her since. Her friends and loved ones were skeptical of the man’s story from the beginning, stating that Bonnie would never leave without her son.
Although Haim was the primary suspect in the woman’s disappearance, police said at the time there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest him.
Accused of killing his wife, Bonnie, more than a quarter century ago, Michael Haim will be in a Duval County Courthouse courtroom today. https://t.co/ZQ0Pgosqx9
— Florida Times-Union (@jaxdotcom) April 8, 2019
Aaron was taken from the home and later adopted by Jeanie and Ronnie Fraser. He took their last name and as the years passed by, the memories of his early childhood faded. When he got married, he asked his wife not to ask him questions about his early childhood. That all changed when Aaron and his adoptive mother filed and won a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against Haim in April 2005, according to News4Jax.
Aaron also won the deed to his early childhood home, a three-bedroom ranch-style home that sits on a quiet street in the northern part of Jacksonville, off of Dolphin Avenue.
In 2014, Aaron began renovating the home. He rented an excavator, and with the help of his brother-in-law, began demolishing the backyard swimming pool. A slab of concrete began cracking near the outdoor shower, close to the pool.
Curious, Aaron broke up the concrete slab up with a sledgehammer. He accidently broke a water pipe in the process, and while digging in the dirt for the broken pipe, he discovered a human skull in a plastic bag, buried around six inches under the concrete slab.
“At that point in time, you could actually see, like, the top of the eye socket. And it was like this part of the head, the top-half of the head. I set it back in the hole,” Aaron told News4Jax. “I had it in my hand. We looked back in the hole and seen teeth.”
Authorities later confirmed that the skull was of Aaron’s mother, Bonnie. Investigators also found .22 caliber casings buried close to the skull. Haim owned a .22-caliber Marlin Model 60 at the time, which police confiscated and took into evidence.
According to court documents, Bonnie had been planning to leave Haim, who was allegedly both emotionally and physically abusive. After the suspect found out about Bonnie’s secret bank account, she began giving cash to a trusted friend, eagerly planning her escape.
In early January 1993, Bonnie had $1,250 in cash and put deposits down on two apartments. She enrolled her son in a new preschool and was in the process of choosing the apartment she would flee to with her son, when she disappeared.
Haim was subsequently arrested and charged with murder in 2015. Police found him living in Waynesville, North Carolina. After his arrest, he posted bail and has been back in North Carolina, but is scheduled to appear in his upcoming murder trial in a Duval County, Florida, courtroom.
For the first time in close to 26 years, Aaron will see his birth father again and face him in court. Aaron is expected to testify against the man and what he remembers about the day his mom vanished. He’ll also testify about how he stumbled across his mother’s skull.
Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.
[Feature Photo: Bonnie Haim & Aaron/Facebook]