BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A suspected serial killer has emerged as a person of interest in the 2005 disappearance of a Battle Creek-area woman, investigators say.
Ashley Parlier was 21 years old and pregnant when she left her home near Battle Creek in June 2005. That was the last anyone ever saw of her.
Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office Detective Dave Homminga said Harold David Haulman III has recently been identified as a person of interest in the disappearance.
Pennsylvania authorities contacted West Michigan investigators in January after they arrested Haulman and he apparently mentioned Parlier’s name.
“A name came up in some statements (made by Haulman) that was Ashley’s name and we followed up with that from there,” Homminga said.
As they tracked down leads, West Michigan detectives gathered information that prompted them to search some woods south of Battle Creek March 31. That search yielded nothing, Homminga said.
The detectives also traveled to California, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Illinois — places Haulman was believed to have lived over the years, Homminga explained. Haulman also lived in Battle Creek between 2002 and 2009, working as a truck driver.
According to investigators, Haulman has not been a resident of Battle Creek since 2009 but does have extended family still living in the area.
When asked whether Parlier knew Haulman, Homminga said, “there was a possible dating relationship there, but that’s about as far as I can go.”
Homminga was unable to confirm or deny whether investigators have reason to believe Haulman may have been the father of Parlier’s unborn baby.
A district attorney in central Pennsylvania has accused Haulman of being a serial killer. Authorities there say he confessed to murdering two women — Tianna Phillips in 2018 and Erica Schultz in 2020.
“He meets the definition of a serial killer, based on previous instances,” Homminga said. “He’s just a person of interest for us right now.”
Battle Creek-area detectives will have to investigate more before they’re prepared to send their case to the prosecutor for a decision on charges in the Parlier case.
Homminga said there’s no evidence right now to suggest Haulman was involved in any other unsolved cases that happened in West Michigan during the time he lived here, but also didn’t rule out the possibility.
“We’ve been working with (Michigan State Police’s) missing persons task force in an attempt to identify any other victims that may have been associated with the same M.O. as the Pennsylvania cases,” Homminga said. “So we’ve been working with them to identify the same sort of killing, if you will, that would match up with these types of killings.”
ASHLEY’S SISTER: ‘HE OBVIOUSLY HAD A TYPE’
After years of not knowing, Parlier’s sister, Nicole Campen, is relieved to finally have answers.
“It was a little daunting to hear that it was a multiple-victim situation, that this has been going on for many years … but good to see a face and have a name and a face to go with what happened,” Campen told News 8.
Campen doesn’t remember hearing or seeing Haulman around the time of her sister’s disappearance but said there is something about him that struck a chord.
According to Campen, Parlier had the mental capacity of a 12- to 14-year-old, saying she could be easily manipulated. This was also true of one of Haulman’s alleged victims in Pennsylvania.
“He obviously had a type,” Campen said. “He was taking advantage of women who didn’t know any better. Ashley didn’t know to be aware of that much evil.”
One step closer to justice, Campen said she is comforted in knowing the other families will also have a chance to get closure.
“I’m very happy we have answers and I’m very happy these other families have answers and didn’t have to wait 10, 15, 16 years,” Campen said.