UPDATE: Two ex-Smyrna residents in custody in connection with case of child remains

This article contains new information.

SMYRNA — Two former Smyrna residents were taken into custody in Pennsylvania, the latest development in an investigation that began last September when a child’s remains were found at a softball field in Smyrna.

Smyrna police spokesman Sgt. Brian Donner identified the persons being held as Kristie Lynn Haas, 28, and Brandon Haas, 38.

The child victim preliminarily was identified as Emma Cole, age 3 at the time of her passing, police said.

Kristie L. Cole is Emma’s mother, according to Indiana court records.

Online records show her paternity was established in 2016 and a guardian was appointed for a period of time from September 2016 to September 2017, both issues through Monroe Circuit Court 7.

Court records then show that Kristie Cole filed a notice to relocate in August 2017 that was unopposed.

According to Pennsylvania court records, Mr. Haas was arrested by Newtown Township Police, and Ms. Haas was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police.

Both were held on a charge of arrest prior to requisition in Pennsylvania due to being wanted in Delaware.

In November, authorities publicly released facial reconstruction images to assist investigation into a child’s remains located near the Little Lass softball fields on Sept. 13.

On Oct. 3, a Pennsylvania judge ordered a $1 million bail for both individuals.

Ms. Haas was listed as confined at Delaware County Prison on Oct. 3, according to documents. No confinement information was listed for Mr. Haas.

Court records show both received an order in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas granting extradition to Delaware and an extradition hearing was set for Nov. 4.

Sgt. Donner said Thursday the investigation continued and police would not answer follow-up questions regarding the couple identified.

“This remains a very, very active investigation, and we cannot compromise it at this moment,” he said, adding there was no active threat to public safety.

In November 2019, authorities publicly released facial reconstruction images to assist the investigation after the child’s remains were discovered by a man walking his dog near the Little Lass softball fields on Duck Creek Parkway on Sept. 13, 2019.

Social media provided some information on the individuals identified by police Thursday. 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 another 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.
Forensic artists with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children created the images that were released last year, 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 investigation pointed to the remains being of a Caucasian or Hispanic female, likely between 2 and 5 years old, police said at the time.

Also, police said an anthropological exam indicated that the child may have suffered from chronic illness or illnesses.

Earlier this week, Sgt. Donner said search warrants were being executed in the case, evidence was being processed and interviews were ongoing. The FBI was assisting in the investigation, police said.

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