Investigators reopen Haradine case

The Cass County Sheriff's Office and Michigan State Police will assist Elkhart County law enforcement in re-examining a 1985 cold case.

Posted on May 13, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on May 14, 2013 at 8:36 a.m.

ELKHART — Michigan and Indiana law enforcement officials have reopened a decades-old cold case.

The Cass County (Mich.) Sheriff’s Office, Elkhart County Prosecutor’s office, Elkhart Police Department and the Indiana State Police have agreed to resume its investigation of the 1985 disappearance and death of Ada Haradine of Elkhart.

Investigators have resubmitted evidence to the Michigan State Police Crime Laboratory for examination.

Haradine, 39, was last seen by neighbors working in the yard of her home on Crabtree Lane around 3 p.m. May 8, 1985.

When her son arrived home from school around 3:20 p.m., his mother was nowhere to be found.

Investigators found no signs of struggle or forced entry to the home.

A witness said he had seen Haradine talking to a man with a dark-colored four-door car outside the house shortly before she disappeared.

Haradine’s remains were discovered three years later on May 12, 1988, just north of Union, Mich., in Cass County by a group of mushroom hunters.

She was identified by her wedding ring and dental records. A forensic pathologist determined that she died from a massive skull fracture caused by a blow to the head.

Her husband, Edwin, was eliminated as a suspect in the investigation. He was part-owner of Carlton Manufacturing, a furniture company with ties to the RV industry. He died in 1993 from a brain aneurysm.

After her disappearance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted local law enforcement in an extensive search for Haradine and the man with the dark car.

A hypnotist came to Elkhart from Cincinnati to interview witnesses who had seen Haradine the afternoon she disappeared.

One of the hundreds of tips police received sent two police officers to Puerto Rico to question a person of interest in the case.

Investigators told The Elkhart Truth in 1988 that they had identified a “prime suspect” in the case but were unable to gather enough evidence for an arrest warrant. The suspect was never identified by name.

A lack of new leads and budget cuts brought the investigation to a standstill in 1989.

Haradine was born in West Germany in 1944. She graduated from Portage (Mich.) Central High School in 1963 and attended the Nazareth School of Nursing in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Her two sons, Jeff and Greg, were 8 and 19 years old at the time of her disappearance.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to called Crime Stoppers at 288-7867 or 800-342-7967.

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