SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — 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.
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, a knuckleball pitcher, was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2001. He pitched 83 innings in the majors from 2006-10 for the White Sox, San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers and had a career 2-7 record and 6.40 earned run average.
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.