Mother pleads guilty to killing 3-year-old daughter and dumping her body on softball field


A mother in Delaware pleaded guilty to murdering her 3-year-old daughter before burning her body and dumping it on a softball field.

Kristie Haas, 31, pleaded guilty on Thursday to murder by abuse or neglect, abuse of a corpse, and three counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of 50 years in prison on the murder charge, suspended for non-custodial supervision after 30 years behind bars.

The murder charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. Prosecutors are recommending probation for the other counts and will drop several other felony and misdemeanor charges.

Haas’s daughter, Emma Grace Cole, was found dead in September 2019. All that remained of the 3-year-old was her burnt skeleton, making it difficult for investigators to identify her.

She was found by a dog walker in a softball field in Smyrna. The field was near a local middle school, and less than a mile from where Kristie lived with her other children.

Investigators determined that Cole had been dead for several weeks before she was found.

For over a year, investigators were unable to identify Emma’s remains.

Meanwhile, Kristie and her husband, Brandon Haas, moved their family to a motel in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.

In 2020, Kristie’s sister, Kelsey Cole Navarro, called their father James Cole to tell him about a ‘strange’ conversation she had with her, the Delaware News Journal reported.

James then began searching for his granddaughter in local obituaries, fearing she Emma had died and Kristie had neglected to tell him.

When his search yielded no results, he began searching for Emma in missing persons reports.

That’s where he came upon a composite sketch of the victim found burned in the Smyrna softball field.

Investigators were able to match Kristie’s DNA with the remains found in Smyrna.

Kristie and Brandon were arrested in October 2020 and charged with child abuse and endangerment. Kristie’s charges were later upgraded murder in May 2021.

According to the Delaware Attorney General’s Office, both Kristie and Brandon ‘deprived Emma of sufficient food and needed medical attention and subjected Emma and her siblings to excessive forced exercise and inappropriate physical discipline.’

‘Emma never had a chance, given the abuse she endured over a very long period of time,’ Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings said after announcing the upgraded charges.

Kristie’s sentencing has been scheduled for July 10.

The field where Emma was first found has since been renamed Emma Grace Memorial Field in her honor.

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Ola Alabi
Ola Moses is a certified writer, He writes technically and creatively. He is the CEO of WORDSWORTH, a house where writing is made easier for all. He is a content creator at EsB TV, since 2019. He is a young man that showcases professionalism in all that he does, he was announced as Child and Green Foundation Person of the Year 2018, one of his many lists of honours.


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