Jury seated for trial of accused of killing wife in 1993
Son who was 3 when mom was killed found her body buried decades later
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The facts behind the disappearance and presumed death of a Bonnie Haim more than 20 years ago will become know this week as her husband goes on trial for murder.
Michael Haim never reporting his 23-year-old wife missing. When police were contacted by co-workers about her not showing up for work, the young mother's car was found in a parking lot at Jacksonville International Airport and her purse containing $1,250, credit cards and medications was found in a dumpster nearby.
Michael Haim told police he had fought with his wife the night before she disappeared and that she left the house alone around 11 p.m. He told police he asked his mother, Carol, to come over to watch his son while he went looking for Bonnie.
But the couple's 3½-year-old son, Aaron, told investigators he saw his mother on the floor bleeding after "daddy shot Mommy."
Michael was always a suspect in the 1993 case, but without the young mother's body, police didn't have enough proof to bring charges.
Aaron was later adopted by another family. In 2014, after taking possession of the Northside home where he lived with his birth parents, the now 24-year-old was digging in the back yard when he came across something covered in black plastic.
"I ripped the bag. And it was like, the words I said to Thad was like, 'Why would somebody bury a coconut in a bag?' It looked like a coconut shell. I had it in my hand. We looked back in the hole and seen teeth," Aaron Fasier (his adopted name) told police in an interview.
"At that point in time, you could actually see 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," said Fraser.
The discovery immediately attracted dozens of officers to the home and the criminal investigation was reignited. The skull was identified as that of Bonnie Haime. According to the arrest report, police excavating the site also found a .22-caliber bullet that later was ballistically matched to a rifle Michael Haim owned.
Michael Haim was arrested at his home in North Carolina, where he has been allowed to live while awaiting trial.
"This case just involves hundreds of individual circumstances spanning over the last 20-something years that we will put it together, and put it in front of a jury to seek justice for Bonnie Haim and her son Aaron," said former State Attorney Angela Corey.
While Bonnie Haim was still missing, her loved ones created a Facebook page in her name in hopes of gathering more information about her disappearance. Since she has been found, the page has been used to update the public on the status of Michael Haim's trial.
“Next month is going to hurt,” said a post on that Facebook page. “It is going to rip off bandages and expose us to things we had long ago pushed to the back of our memories. But sometimes we have to rip off bandages to really begin to heal.”
FROM WJXT'S ARCHIVES: 1993 report on Bonnie Haim's disappearance
Jury selection for the case began at 9 a.m. Monday. About 100 candidates were asked several questions, including how much they were aware of and might be influenced by what they had heard about the case from media reports over the years.
A jury of four men and four women was seated just after 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Michael Haim, who remains free on trial during the trial, refused to answer questions as he left the courthouse.
A post on the Bonnie Pasciuto Haim Facebook page urged addressed the potential jurors:
Out of respect for the potential jury, we are not going to be in the courtroom during their selection, but our thoughts and prayers will be with them. We understand that they will be giving up a week of their life to try to honor Bonnie's life."
Attorney Gene Nichols, who is not affiliated with the case, said that while finding the body buried in the yard would seem to implicate the husband, the fact that the case went unsolved for 21 years will make it harder for prosecutors to get a conviction.
"It makes us want to presume that he committed the crime but the government is going to be forced to show that he committed the crime," Nichols said.
Opening statements in the case are expected Tuesday morning.
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