Police seeking answers in fatal shooting-suicide involving ex-Catholic Central, MLB pitcher
Scottsdale, Ariz. – Authorities are trying to determine who drove former Major League Baseball pitcher Charles Haeger from the Flagstaff area to the Grand Canyon, where he committed suicide a day after allegedly killing his ex-girlfriend.
Haeger played baseball at Detroit Catholic Central High before being taken by the Chicago White Sox in the 2001 MLB Draft.
Scottsdale police said Haeger abandoned his van between 8:00 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday on Interstate 17 in northern Arizona and solicited a ride to the Grand Canyon.
They said Haeger was last known to have made a purchase at the El Tovar Hotel near the Grand Canyon’s South Rim just after 2 p.m. Saturday.
His body was discovered about two hours later on a trail along the South Rim.
Sgt. Brian Reynolds, a spokesman for Scottsdale police, said Monday that the department “is seeking the public’s assistance in determining how Haeger got from Mile Marker 303 on I-17 to the Grand Canyon.”
Scottsdale police were seeking the 37-year-old Haeger on suspicion of murder and aggravated assault in Friday’s fatal shooting of 34-year-old Danielle Breed, who owned a bar in Scottsdale.
Police said Breed’s roommate reported hearing gunshots and seeing Haeger exit her bedroom with a handgun.
Haeger’s unoccupied vehicle was found Saturday near Flagstaff, which is 118 miles (190 kilometers) north of Scottsdale.
Haeger, who was born in Livonia but grew up in Plymouth, made his way back into baseball in 2004 as a knuckleball pitcher after leaving the game briefly in 2003, according to a 2012 Detroit News story. He pitched two seasons (2006-07) with the White Sox before landing with the San Diego Padres in 2008.
He pitched 83 innings in the majors from 2006-10 and had a career 2-7 record and 6.40 earned run average.
Haeger signed a letter of intent to attend Central Michigan but opted to join the White Sox organization straight out of high school, making his pro debut at 17 in the Arizona Rookie League.
He was a minor league pitching coordinator for the Tampa Bay Rays organization from 2016-18 and was named pitching coach for the Chicago Cubs’ Double-A team in Tennessee for 2020, but the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.