KEY POINTS

  • The police found the body of Emma Cole on Sept.13, 2019
  • Kristie Haas and Brandon Haas were first indicted in April 2020
  • The new charges were announced Tuesday

A Delaware mother is facing murder charges over the death of her 3-year-old daughter whose body was discovered from a softball field, State Attorney announced Tuesday.

Kristie Haas and husband Brandon Haas were previously indicted in April 2020 on charges including first-degree child abuse and endangering the welfare of the child.

In addition to these charges, Kristie now faces two counts of murder by abuse or neglect first degree under a superseding indictment, Kathy Jennings, Delaware Attorney General said in a news release.

The police discovered the body of the 3-year-old girl from a softball field in Smyrna on Sept. 13, 2019. After more than a year of investigation, the deceased child was identified as Emma Cole, Kristie’s 3-year-old daughter. Cole, along with her siblings, lived with the couple at the time of her death.

“While Brandon and Kristie Haas’ initial arrests provided some relief, we knew that the mission was not complete until we were able to bring a homicide charge in this case,” Lt. Brian Donner of the Smyrna Police Department said.

“Today we are closer to justice for Emma,”  Jennings said in the news release.

According to the original indictment, Cole was allegedly abused before her death. The couple reportedly deprived her of sufficient food and medical attention. The indictment alleged that the toddler was subjected to “torture or maltreatment.”

The couple also reportedly abused Cole and her siblings with excessive forced exercise and inappropriate physical discipline, WBOC reported.

“Emma Grace had a full life left to live and that life was taken. At just three years old she was taken from her friends, her loved ones and her sisters and brother,” Rachel Byrd, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, Baltimore Field Office, said. “When the most vulnerable of our citizens – our children – are victimized we will do everything in our power to hold the perpetrators accountable and to protect others from harm,” Byrd added.

Brandon was recently held again for violating the condition of his bond. Kristie who still remains jailed has pleaded not guilty to the first indictment last week. She was facing 55 years in prison on the initial charges against her but could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of murder.  Brandon faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

gavel-3577254_640 Gavel Photo: Pixabay