The Grand Canyon National Park said a former Major League Baseball player, wanted as a suspect for murder, was found dead on the South Rim of the canyon Saturday.
At this time, authorities suspect Charles Haeger, a 37-year-old former pro baseball pitcher, took his own life at 4 p.m. on the Rim Trail in the park. The northern Arizona agencies are working with Scottsdale Police Department, which is investigating the suspected murder of 34-year-old Danielle Breed in her apartment on Friday.
Haeger played for the White Sox, Padres and Dodgers in the big leagues spanning 2006 to 2010.
Breed and Haeger had been in a relationship before Friday's homicide, according to Brian Reynolds, spokesman for the Scottsdale Police Department.
Joelle Baird, spokeswoman for the park, said the county medical examiner drove to the scene close to the Grand Canyon Village near the Verkamp's Visitor Center to confirm Haeger's identity. The Coconino County Sheriff's Office and Grand Canyon National Park Service found a gun at the scene and believe the wound was self-inflicted.
"To our understanding, there were no eyewitness accounts to the actual incident. No public safety concerns," Baird said. "We did close the Rim Trail for an evening to assist with crime scene investigations. We reopened it once all the agencies had cleared the scene."
Police had been searching for Haeger in connection with a reported homicide at a home in Scottsdale on Friday.
The victim's roommate told police he heard multiple gunshots coming from the victim's bedroom. The roommate said Haeger walked out of the room moments later with a handgun.
Haeger pointed the firearm at the roommate before he quickly escaped out of the back of the home. Relying on a neighbor, the roommate then called the police.
Scottsdale police arrived on scene and called in the SWAT team because they expected Haeger to be barricaded in the home. Once the officers entered the home late Friday, the SWAT team found Breed dead inside and Haeger missing.
Authorities asked the public to help them find Haeger early Saturday, who was considered armed and dangerous at the time.
Police were initially tipped off to Haeger's movement through northern Arizona when the Arizona Department of Public Safety found the suspect's gray rental van abandoned on Interstate 17 at milepost 303, according to Scottsdale police. Milepost 303 is in Yavapai County a few miles past the exit connecting Sedona to the interstate.
Scottsdale police believe Haeger may have solicited a ride to the Grand Canyon after abandoning his car near Sedona. Haeger's last known purchase was made at the El Tovar Hotel near the Grand Canyon's South Rim after 2 p.m. Saturday.
Authorities identified a window between 8 a.m. Friday to 2 p.m. Saturday where Haeger's actions are unknown. The department is asking people with information on how Haeger made his way to the Grand Canyon to call (480) 312-5000.
A few hours later on Saturday afternoon, park visitors heard a gunshot at the canyon and Haeger's body was found.
Coconino County Sheriff's Office and Grand Canyon National Park are in charge of the death investigation at the park, and are working with the Scottsdale Police Department on their homicide investigation.
The Coconino County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to an attempt to comment about its role in the investigation.
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