BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A man pleaded guilty Wednesday to killing a woman who went missing from Battle Creek in 2005, agreeing as part of a deal to help investigators find her body.
The family of victim Ashley Parlier isn’t counting on that.
“We obviously want closure for her remains,” Parlier’s sister, Nicole Campen, told News 8. “But I try not to put my hopes in that with him because, to me, it’s more of a power thing for him. It’s one more thing he gets to have over us as a family.”
During a preliminary hearing, Harold David Haulman III pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Parlier’s death, the Calhoun County prosecutor said.
Parlier was 21 and, her family believes, pregnant when she left her Battle Creek home on June 12, 2005, and never returned.
“One of the biggest things I remember about her is she was so trusting and she really just saw good in people,” her sister said. “She wanted people to be what she thought the world should be, and that was good. Unfortunately, that naive standpoint is what made her a victim to him.”
Haulman previously pleaded guilty to killing two women in Pennsylvania — Tianna Phillips in 2018 and Erica Schultz in 2020 — and was sentenced to two life terms. When police were interviewing him about those killings, he admitted to killing Parlier. He told a reporter in Pennsylvania he beat her to death with a log and left her body in a field. He told police her body might be in a remote area in Newton Township, south of Battle Creek, leading to a fruitless search in March 2021.
“The hard part is my parents didn’t get to hear this,” her sister said. “There was always a cloud of suspicion over them being the last two to see her.”
Their parents died in 2020, the year before the answers finally came.
“They died without knowing,” Campen said.
Campen, Parlier’s older sister, has met and talks often with the older sisters of the Pennsylvania victims. They’ve formed a bond.
“We’ve kind of coined the term ‘bonded by sadness,'” she said.
She said they plan to join her when she stands in front of the killer at his sentencing in April to give a victim impact statement. Campen will be speaking for herself, she said, and her parents.
“It’s going to be hard to stand in that room with him, but at the same time, he’s not going to have the power; we’re not going to allow it,” she said. “I have to control how much space he has in my life, in my home, and he gets very little. We’re going to remember our sisters. We’re going to remember Ashley and Tianna and Erica, and not him. We’re going to remember how they were good people who loved and were caring, and he’s just going to rot.”
Haulman faces up to life in prison.
The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office told News 8 that detectives were working with Haulman to pinpoint where to look for Parlier’s body. The actual search would be in the “very early spring,” when ground conditions are better.