50ºF

Possible skull found at home where missing woman lived

23-year-old Bonnie Haim disappeared in January 1993; declared dead in 1999

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police will continue to dig up the backyard of a home on the Northside after construction workers, doing renovation work on Sunday afternoon, found what appeared to be a skull at a home where a woman who disappeared 21 years ago lived.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office detectives have been at the home on Dolphin Avenue since about 1 p.m., when the workers called 911.

Homicide Sgt. Dan Janson said forensics experts are on their way to Jacksonville to determine if the bone is human or animal. He said that process could take up to three days.

photo

Neighbors told News4Jax the house was once the home of Bonnie Haim, a 23-year-old mother last seen on Jan. 7, 1993.  Police would not confirm if it was the former Haim home, but the Duval County Property Appraiser's website shows it was owned by her husband, Michael Haim.

JSO did say Michael Haim was a person of interest in his wife's disappearance, but never charged. He no longer owns the home.

Janson said investigators would likely be at the house for the next few days.

"We don't want to miss anything," said Janson. "It takes some time. It may take us up to two or three days because we're very methodical about going across the surface of the ground. Then we'll go another inch down at another inch down just to make sure we don't miss anything if this is a burial site."

Neighbors say they've seen construction crews for a few days.

"Never know what takes place with the old homeowners. If it's a murder, police will figure it out," said Delano Brown.

Rhonda Delozier lived just four houses down from Bonnie Haim and said she remembers the day she went missing.

"(It was) very scary," she said. "They dug up the ditch behind us. (They) found some clothing."

After Bonnie Haim's disappearance, her family said she planned to leave her husband, and even opened a separate banking account. Family members say when Michael found out he was furious and forced her to close the account, which she did.

On Jan. 6, 1993, Bonnie was suppose to meet Michael's aunt at her home. She called to say she would not be coming. Neither Bonnie nor Michael showed up for work the next day. Bonnie Haim was never seen again.

Michael Haim told his wife she had driven away after the couple had an argument the previous night. He said he did not know her whereabouts, but he had searched for her in vain. 

On Jan. 7, 1993, the missing woman's purse was found behind the Red Roof Inn near Jacksonville International Airport, about 5 miles from her residence. Bonnie Haim's car was discovered in a long-term parking lot of the airport. She was declared dead in 1999.

Michael Haim has maintained his innocence. In September 2004, he was found liable for Bonnie's death in a civil suit and he was ordered to pay $15.3 million to the couple's son, Aaron, who was 3 years old at the time, and $1 million to Bonnie Haim's estate. Michael did not appear in court to defend himself against the lawsuit. He also lost custody of Aaron in 1999.

Police said State Attorney Angela Corey went by the scene Sunday afternoon. They said they will not contact Bonnie's family until they have the definite results from the forensic anthropologist.