After she went missing weeks ago, the investigation into the disappearance of Erica Schultz, 26, was closed when the prime suspect led authorities to her body. Using phone records, authorities were able to link Schultz’s communication with Harold D. Haulman III, 42. They were able to track Haulman to Michigan, where they confirmed that he had met Schultz via a dating app call “MeetMe.”
After Schultz failed to appear for work on December 8, she was declared officially missing by authorities. Her body was recovered on Sunday after Haulman showed police where he dumped her remains after brutally murdering her.
Schultz’s murderer was located by authorities using robust digital tracking. Using Schultz’s phone records, they were able to determine she had recently met Haulman, who is married, via a dating app. The two arranged to meet in person in Butler Township, in Luzerne County, PA. After interviewing Haulman about the meeting, authorities put a GPS tracker on his vehicle.
When Haulman failed to appear for a second interview, they used the GPS tracker to locate him in the wilderness of the Duncannon region. He had apparently tried to take his own life as he was walking along the train tracks with lacerations on his arms. He then admitted to having cut himself with a box cutter and allegedly said he felt he “deserved to die” for his actions.
According to authorities, after being brought to the hospital to recover, Haulman confessed to the murder of Schultz. He confessed to traveling with her into the woods in Butler Township and then attacking her with a hammer. Authorities allege that he struck her nearly a dozen times with the blunt weapon. Then, he produced a kitchen knife, which he used to stab her numerous times.
Haulman then showed authorities where they could find Schultz’s body by pointing to the location they were walking on Google Maps.
Schultz, who was autistic, was likely not suspicious of a 42-year-old transient man who wanted to walk with her in the woods. However, this crime should be a warning to people using dating apps: Do not agree to meet with people you do not know in remote areas. If you’re planning to meet someone you met online, do so in public, in a crowded area, where you are unlikely to fall to harm without someone noticing.