Man held in Smyrna child’s 2019 death released on bond

SMYRNA — Brandon Haas, 38, held for questioning in connection to his stepdaughter’s death last year, posted bond Friday morning and awaits a preliminary hearing in January, according to an online inmate database.

Vinelink Delaware showed that Mr. Haas was released from Delaware Department of Correction custody at 1:55 a.m. after bond was posted. The website lists a Jan. 22 preliminary hearing in the Kent County Court of Common Pleas.

Details on Mr. Haas’s arraignment and charges were not available Friday night. A clerk at Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover said a judge there said the records were sealed.

Mr. Haas was taken into custody Oct. 6 by Newtown Township, Pa. Police for arrest prior to requisition due to being wanted in Delaware.

Emma Cole’s remains were found September 2019 at the Little Lass softballs field in Smyrna by a man walking his dog. She was 3 years old.

Kristie Lynn Haas, 28, was taken into custody by Pennsylvania State Police on the same charge. Vinelink records show she remains in custody at the George Hill Correctional Facility in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.

A Pennsylvania judge had set a $1 million bail for each of the Haas individuals.

Indiana court records show that Emma’s mother is Kristie L. Cole.

Those records also show that paternity for Emma was established in 2016 and a guardian was appointed for a period of time from September 2016 to September 2017.

Kristie Cole filed a notice in August 2017 to relocate that was unopposed.

On Friday afternoon, there were no flowers or memorials placed on the ground at the rear of Smyrna’s Little Lass softball complex, where the remains of Emma’s body were discovered Sept. 13, 2019.

A half dozen people in Smyrna declined to comment when asked Friday what they thought about the arrests.

Three people walking to shops on Commerce Street said they did not know either Kristie Lynn Haas or Brandon Haas, adding that they moved to the area just in the past couple of years.

Social media provided some information on Brandon and Kristie Haas.

The Facebook page of Kristie Haas listed the woman as marrying Brandon Haas on May 10, 2017. The page shows Middletown as the woman’s residence and a hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. Three children were shown in a picture at the top of that page. The top of a Facebook page for KB Haas carried the words: “wife. mother of 4. blessed” and similar connections to Brandon Haas. Both pages feature images of the same young children.

The Facebook page of Brandon Haas describes a man who works as a Journeyman at Ironworkers Local 451, who lives in Newark, graduated from Middletown High and is married to KB Haas. A photo of four young children in front of a Christmas tree is at the top of that page.

In November 2019, authorities publicly released facial reconstruction images to assist Smyrna Police Department’s investigation. Forensic artists with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children created images that were released and the organization also examined a CT scan of the child’s skull.

At that time, police said information from the public had waned after an initial flurry of tips both locally and regionally in the early investigation.

Smithsonian Institution forensic anthropologist Dr. David Hunt had also issued a report after examining the remains, while working in concert with the Delaware Division of Forensic Science. That report pointed to the remains being of a Caucasian or Hispanic female, likely between 2 and 5 years old, police said at the time, and an anthropological exam indicated that the child may have suffered from chronic illness or illnesses.