North Dakota, Where Is The Justice For Eric Haider?
I watched the episode of "Still a Mystery" about Eric Haider, a man who went missing while working on a water pipeline in Dickinson in 2012. I am from North Dakota and lived here at the time this all happened. Why was news like this not news across the entire state?
I got information on Eric Haider from the television episode that recently aired on Investigation Discovery, but I also tried to read up a little on the story. Let me tell you, I did not find much information. I found an article from the Williston Herald from just after the time he went missing in 2012. I found a New York Times article from 2013 that mentioned Eric's disappearance, and then I found a couple of local follow-up stories from 2016, a while after his body was found. That is it.
There may not be a lot of information, but the information I found is detailed. I'll break most of it down into bullet points:
May 24, 2012
- Eric Haider was working with a Cofell plumbing and heating crew of six on a water pipeline at a site north of Dickinson when he went missing.
- Police interview finds that Eric was asked to seal a leak in a pipe shortly after lunch (KFYR-TV)
- 12:04 PM - Eric checks his voicemail (KFYR-TV)
- 12:14 PM - One coworker who was assigned to back filling had a call on his phone.
- The coworker told police that he was in the loader, moving dirt at the time. It lasted five minutes (KFYR-TV)
- 12:15 PM - Crew started back filling holes (KFYR-TV)
- 1:13 PM - Crew realizes that Eric is missing and the foreman tries to call Eric (KFYR-TV).
- Eric's fiance tries to pick him up from the carpool spot where he should have been with his coworkers - no person or vehicle is around. A missing person report is filed shortly after ("Still a Mystery").
The Investigation Discovery show reports that coworkers say they last saw Eric when they went to lunch. Eric left to cash his paycheck. Cameras were checked at banks in the area and there is no video evidence of Eric going to a bank. Also, his paycheck was still in his lunchbox when his personal items were returned to his family .
May 29, 2012
- Police dig up and search the trench and grounds at the Cofell site that Eric and the crew had worked on the day he went missing. Nothing is found. ("Still a Mystery").
Cofell assisted the dig - the site's foreman controlled where the digging was done. The dog brought to sniff out the site was not a cadaver dog. Witnesses from a nearby construction site say that police were not digging in the right direction, they were digging away from where they might find something. After a water pipe was hit, the search stopped ("Still a Mystery").
- Eric's disappearance is considered a cold case by Dickinson Police, and they sent Eric's mother's information to an organization that deals with missing people - "The Missing" ("Still a Mystery")
- Eric's family contacts States Attorney's office and FBI - no one wants to help ("Still a Mystery")
- Eric's mom hires a private investigator who (with the help of other construction workers) digs at the site where Eric was working ("Still a Mystery").
- Eric was found less than 10-feet away from where the original dig was done ("Still a Mystery").
- A criminal investigation is opened and the police talked to the back fillers on the site the day of Eric's disappearance. One cooperated, the other got a lawyer and kept quiet (KFYR-TV).
Eric was found in a crouched position, facing the water pipeline he was working on. He was wearing his helmet and other gear. He had a pace maker in his heart that stopped working, showing he died around 12:19 PM. He inhaled no dirt, and the cause of death is undetermined. A cadaver dog was used to locate Eric ("Still a Mystery").
After he was found, Dickinson Police turned over the case to the State's Attorney rather than investigating the case as a murder. The State's Attorney doesn't file charges because there was not enough evidence against anyone in particular. And OSHA said they couldn't do anything because the case happened past the statute of limitations - 3 years ("Still a Mystery").
So, to this day, the family has no answers and the investigating they're doing is at their own time and expense. What we can do to help, is donate to the gofundme account to help find justice for Eric. Click here for information and to donate.
I am not expert, but I would consider myself a "Crime Junkie." Here are some of my questions:
The KFYR-TV story from 2016 says that Eric was asked to seal a leaky pipe, shortly after lunch. But the Investigation Discovery video says that coworkers saw him leave to cash a paycheck. So, what was he doing between getting back from lunch to the time they last saw him - fixing a leaky pipe or leaving to cash the paycheck?
If he was going to cash his paycheck, how come it was in his lunchbox that was returned to his family?
Was the supposed disagreement between Eric and the company confirmed by investigators?
Did anyone besides the people he was with ACTUALLY see him leave?
Why would he leave for good without his belongings and paycheck (especially if he was going to cash his check)?
Why was Cofell helping with the dig on their own work site to search for Eric? Is that not some kind of conflict of interest?
Why wasn't a cadaver dog used in the first search?
Why were no steps taken to look for Eric or inform his family that he was missing when nobody knew where he went and no one heard from him?
Why wasn't Cofell investigated after one of the company's employees was found dead and buried on the company's job site? I mean, it's new evidence!