Arizona’s History with No Body Cases
The Bradley (Brad) Hansen Story
It was Veterans day on November 10th, 1995, and Brad’s mother had no clue that he did not have school that morning as she headed out the door for work. Brad thirteen years old planned earlier that week to meet his friend Jeremy 13 at his house in Custom Estates, Phoenix, Arizona. Jeremy and Brad knowing that neither of their parents knew school was out that day decided to take advantage of that fact and planned to get ready just like they were going to school that morning but instead of heading to school they would meet up and hang out at Jeremy’s house.
Brad woke up just like any other school morning and got ready for the day. Brad hoped on the bike he had arranged to borrow from his neighbor the day before and head out towards his friend Jeremy Bach’s house. Another classmate a girl named Taylor who was 12 at the time also had planned to come over and hang out with the boys at Jeremy’s house later in the afternoon.
Jeremy’s step-father Daniel Bach saw both Brad and Jeremy in his kitchen on the Morning of the 10th before heading off to work around 7 am. Daniel was under the impression that the boys would be heading off to school shortly after he left the house.
Brad’s mother Rhonda Michie later realized around 8 am while at work that it was Veterans Day and that there was no school that day. Rhonda began paging Brad around 8 am to find out where he was. When she returned home from work around 2 pm Brad had not answered her pages and was not home. At this point knowing that Brad didn’t have school, and the fact that Rhonda had begun paging Brad so early in the morning and had not heard back from him, she felt like something was just want right.
Rhonda began calling the neighbors, Brad’s classmates, and friends to see if they had seen him.
Rhonda called the Bach home and Jeremy answered the phone and explained to her that Brad had been at Jeremy’s home earlier in the morning but that he had left.
Rhonda told Jeremy if he sees Brad tell him if he’s not home by 5 pm She’s calling the police. Rhonda then called Daniel Bach, Jeremy’s stepfather, and let him know that she believed Brad had run away and that he did not have permission to stay the night. Daniel explained to Rhonda that when he got home he would talk with Jeremy and call her back once he knew what was going on. I can not find in the documents what was said on the call in detail that would have made Rhonda at that point feel Brad had run away.
Rhonda couldn’t sit and wait. She began driving to several of Brad’s friend’s homes in hopes of finding him. It Is stated in the report that Rhonda even drove to Bach’s residence in an attempt to see if Brad had returned. However, it does not explain what happened upon Rhonda’s arrival at the Bach house. Rhonda continued to more friend’s and classmate’s homes before returning home to see if Brad had made it back to the house while she was out.
Daniel Bach never called Rhonda back after speaking with Jeremy like he had stated earlier on the phone. Shortly after 5 pm, she decided to call the Phoenix Police and report Brad Missing. I found in reports that Brad’s case was classified as a runaway at first instead of a missing person case. I can not confirm that I can just see that it is mentioned in a few reports. Brad would not come home that night.
Rhonda would continue searching for her son over the weekend talking to neighbors and classmates of Brad’s with hopes that maybe someone had seen him or had known where he was staying. After speaking with classmates and friends throughout the weekend there seemed to be a rumor surfacing over and over about a gun being fired in the Bach home.
Monday, November 13th, 1995 Rhonda phoned Daniel Bach and told him she had heard a rumor after speaking with some of their children’s classmates and friends about what had happened the day Brad disappeared. Rhonda explained to Daniel that she was told that Brad had fired a gun in Jeremy’s direction barely missing him, and the bullet hit a wall. Now Brad supposedly had the gun and was going to kill himself.
Daniel told Rhonda he was sure the guns were safely in their place at home and he did not believe any guns were missing from the home. Daniel then called home and had his girlfriend Debbie check that all the handguns were in the home. Debbie was able to confirm that no guns were missing from the home and that they were all where they always kept them.
Shortly after Rhondas call with Daniel, Jeremy called Brad’s home and asked to speak with Rhonda. Debbie had arranged the phone call so Jeremy could explain what happened that day. Jeremy told Rhonda that Brad had left the house wearing his backpack and rode off on his bike. Rhonda asked Jeremy who was the last person confirmed to have seen Brad that day, what his mental state was when he left. Jeremy said that brad said, “His life sucked”.
At school the following Monday after Brad’s disappearance November 13th Anne Schelling one of the school administrators met with Jeremy about Brad that morning to see if she could learn any new information that could help locate where Brad might have run off too.
Later in court, Mrs. Schelling would state she cannot be positive on the sequence in which she received all this information that day as she met twice with Jeremy and had spoken to many other classmates as well that day.
Schelling discovered that Taylor had been at Jeremy’s house the day that Brad had disappeared. When Schelling confronted Jeremy with that information in front of Taylor, Jeremy began to tell Schelling what had happened that Friday. Jeremy explained that Brad had come over but had left saying he would be back in 10 minutes and that he simply never came back.
Schelling heard the rumor that there had been a gun discharged at the house that Friday morning. Before talking with Jeremy again she pulled aside Taylor and asked her what happened that day when she arrived at the Bach residence.
Taylor explained to Schelling that when she arrived at the Bach residence that morning Brad’s neighbor’s bike was parked in the driveway as she entered Jeremy’s house. When she walked inside it was just Jeremy at the residence and Taylor asked where Brad was as noticed that Brad’s backpack and pager were on the kitchen table. Jeremy told Taylor that Brad had left. Taylor didn’t believe him, She thought he was playing a joke on her and Brad was hiding in the house.
Taylor stated she looked around the house shouting Brad’s name before finally believing that Brad wasn’t there. Jeremy had told Taylor that he and Brad had got in a fight while playing a video game. Jeremy said that he had called Taylor a name and that had pissed off Brad and they fought before Brad decided to leave the house.
Taylor told Schelling that she had seen some bloody clothes in the washer and that the shirt Jeremy was wearing had a hole and some blood on it. When Taylor had pointed out to Jeremy a blood spot in the kitchen and a small spot on his clothing Jeremy told Taylor that was because during the fight Brad had picked up a barstool and hit him in the face with it and that caused the blood spots on his shirt and the floor. Taylor also noted a hole in the kitchen wall which Jeremy then told her that earlier Brad and he were messing around with Jeremy’s step-father’s guns and that Brad had fired a shot at him and missed and the bullet had hit the wall.
Schelling then spoke with Jeremy and again confronts him about the rumor she had heard about a gun and her concerns. Jeremy told her that he and Brad had gotten in a fight and Brad had picked up the bar stool in the kitchen and hit Jeremy with it before just walking out. Schelling asked Jeremy one more time about the possibility of a gun being fired in the home and Jeremy told her that was just a rumor and that no gun had been shot in his home that day.
Schelling decided to reach out to Daniel, Jeremy’s step-father letting him know that there was a rumor that the boys were playing with guns the day Brad disappeared and that there was a report by some students that there was a bullet hole in the wall in the residence. Daniel stood firm and said there was no gunplay here in this house and stated that no such bullet hole existed.
Mid-November and there is still no sight of Brad. No phone calls and no news from officers. Classmates have not seen him and it seems as if Brad did not just runoff. It’s as if Brad has simply vanished. After this amount of time, Brad couldn’t survive out there on his own. He would have needed a friend, someone to help him stay hidden if he had just run away.
November during language arts class as the teacher is doing a lesson on Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Fall Of The House Of Usher”, Jeremy raised his hand and ask’s his teacher how long they thought it would take a person who had been shot to bleed to death. The days continued to weeks until December 5th when Phoenix Police officers decided that they needed to sit down and meet with the last person that had spoken to and physically seen Brad that day.
Officer Lisandro and Mrs. Schelling decided to interview Jeremy at the middle school both Jeremy and Brad had attended. Schelling had already spoken with Jeremy about that day and a fellow student named Taylor who also had been to Jeremy’s house later that day. Officer Lisandro did not go into this interview with any suspicion of a crime being committed the Officer was simply there to get information that might help them figure out where Brad had runaway too. Jeremy told the Officer that he and Brad had gotten in a fight that morning and Brad had thrown a butter knife at him and beaten him up before Brad decided to go home for 10 minutes, but then never returned.
When the Officer questioned Jeremy about the rumor about the gun, he stated he made up that story that there was never a gun. Jeremy then told the officer that he thought Brad had either run off to Tuscan Arizona with a guy named Popey or that he had run to California to be with his dad. The Officer took down Jeremy’s statements then left.
The Phoenix police would reach out to Daniel Jeremy’s step-father by telephone shortly after their interview with Jeremy at the school. Daniel spoke with Detective Stephen Lewis and explained to the detective that he had checked the .357 revolver and that it had not been fired and was still in its hiding spot in the living room under the couch cushion.
Daniel then told the detective that there was no shooting in his home and no bullet holes in the wall. The detective asked Daniel if they could interview Jeremy the following day December 14th, 1995 at the residence. Daniel agreed to allow the detectives to come to the home and speak with Jeremy about the incident that occurred on November 11th.
Detective Lewis and Dillian arranged to interview Jeremy under the supervision of Daniel Jeremy’s step-father at his home on December 14th, 1995. The detectives sat with Jeremy and began questioning him about November 11th. They asked Jeremy about the rumor that a gun had been discharged in the home. Again Jeremy stated that it was just a rumor and that no shooting had occurred in the Bach home. While in the kitchen the detectives notice a strange spot in the kitchen wall that looked out of place. There seemed to be what looked like a freshly patched hole. Daniel then brought the .357 magnum that was tucked under the couch cushions and stated that he had smelt the gun and could tell it had not been discharged.
The following day December 15th Daniel Bach called detective Lewis and requested a meeting with him at his office in the police station. Daniel told the detective shortly after they left the home Daniel and Jeremy started talking about what had just happened. Jeremy told Daniel that a gun had gone off in the residence and had struck the wall in the kitchen. Daniel had the slug Jeremy told him he dug out of the wall and brought it to detective Lewis and help arrange a second reinterview with Jeremy at the Batch residence for that day.
Detectives Dillion and Lewis met Jeremy at the Bach home on December 15th. This time Jeremy would explain to officers that yes a gun had gone off in the residence on November 10th. Jeremy tells them that Brad and he were playing with guns when Brad fired at Jeremy and that it whizzed past his shoulder barely missing him before lodging into the kitchen wall.
The bullet whole appeared much lower than Jeremy’s shoulders so the detectives asked him to demonstrate what happened. As Jeremy goes to line himself against the wall the detectives and Jeremy seem to all note at the same time that the hole is much lower than Jeremy’s shoulder blade. Jeremy seems to slide down lower and trying to align his shoulder with the hole as he continues to explain what happened. After Jeremy demonstrates the events the detectives asked Jeremy if the hole they noted last night in the kitchen is the same hole that Jeremy had dug the slug out of the wall. Jeremy stated that it was and that he had given the bullet to his step-father Daniel on the 14th after the detectives left the residence.
At this point, the Detectives decided to take a break, and from the questioning and while Jeremy sat alone with Detective Dillian Jeremy reportedly leaned over and said “You guy’s really think I did him, don’t you?” Detective Dillian replied to Jeremy that they were concerned because Jeremy had lied to them in the previous interviews and that at this point they did not know what to think. Jeremy allegedly stated, “ If I shot him, it would ruin my entire life forever”. The detectives still didn’t have enough that day to arrest Jeremy, at this point they were suspicious that something much bugger had happened here but they just didn’t have enough pieces to pursue an arrest at the time.
After the interview with Jeremy on December 15th Detectives, Dillian and Lewis knew there was something more than a kid that just up and decided to run away going on here. Something about Brad’s story wasn’t sitting right so on January 9th, 1996 Detectives had the trash bin at the Bach residence seized and taken in for testing based on a hunch. There’s no solid information as to what lead the detectives to the trash bin, however, they were on the right trail.
While the trash can was being tested for forensic evidence and DNA, Detective Dillian opened the lid himself and stated it smelt of “a very very strong Oder of purification”.However, Dillian also noted with the lid closed there was no odor. There was a dark brown substance on the bottom of the trash can that was tested as well as what looked like blood on the outside of the trash bin. The blood evidence was then compared to a blood analysis of Brad’s Mother Rhonda and the results revealed consistencies with Rhonda’s blood and the blood they found on the outside of the trash can.
There is some time between the blood analysis and Dillian and Lewis making official charges. On February 15th, 1996 Detective Lewis and Dillian discover that Jeremy is no longer residing in the Bach household in Phoenix. Jeremy and his mother moved to Las Vegas. No documents are stating why Jeremy’s mother had decided to move to Vegas. After contacting the Las Vegas Police department they were able to serve Jeremy a Physical Evidence order to obtain blood and other forensic evidence from Jeremy.
February 16th, 1996 would be a busy day in both Phoenix and across state lines in Vegas as the pieces started to fall together quickly pointing investigators in both states to Jeremy. In Phoenix that day the police department served the Bach home a warrant and the residence was searched. In the search teams recovered from the Bach home the loaded .357 magnum revolver, a Kitchen chair, tile grout, and wallboard from the kitchen where there was that hole Taylor and officers had noticed months before. A further search of the residence produced a magazine and a holster for a .38 semiautomatic pistol.
In Vegas, on the same day, Jeremy’s mother called the Vegas police department and was directed to Detective Hatch. Jeremy’s mother stated that Jeremy would like to talk to the detective about what happened to Brad that day in November. Detective Hatch met Jeremy and his mother at their residence and transported them both back to the station where Hatch could then begin his interview with Jeremy.
This was a recorded interview that would later be played for the jury during the trial.
Brad tells Hatch that on November 10th, 1995 that Brad had arrived at his house that morning as they had planned to hang out since their parent did not realize that they had no school that day. Jeremy tells the detective that yes on the day in question Brad and he were playing with Mr. Bach’s guns. Jeremy tells them that as they were playing with the loaded guns that something bumped his hand causing him to accidentally pull the trigger and Brad was killed.
Jeremy goes on to explain that after Brad was shot that Jeremy cleaned up the blood and put Brad’s body in the family trash bin. He then went into the home dug the slug out of the wall throwing it in the trash as well. Jeremy denied that there was an argument that caused this incident to occur. Detective Hatch phoned the Phoenix Police and notified them of the interview they had just conducted with Jeremy and his mother.
For unknown reasons later that evening on the 16th at some point Jeremy phoned a friend in Phoenix’s mother Erica Stehel and let her know that he was in trouble with the Phoenix Police over “the whole Brad thing.” He told Erica that he will be charged with an accidental murder. Jeremy told Erica the same story, that he and Brad were playing with the guns and the trigger accidentally went off.
February 17th Jeremy is extradited to Phoenix and met with Detective Lewis who interviewed him again about what happened that day when Brad was killed. This interview was also recorded and played for the jury during the trial. Jeremy’s story stays consistent in the begging with the same story that he and Brad were playing with guns that morning. This time Jeremy however states that Brad and he were pointing the guns at one another and pulling the triggers but that the barrels were empty at the time.
Jeremy says as he is going to reload the .357 magnum to put it away back under the couch cushion, that he has the gun low on his side next to his hip with the barrel pointing down. Jeremy says something bumps his hand as he is reloading it and it causes him to accidentally pull the trigger resulting in the uncocked gun firing.
Jeremy claims that he had his back to Brad at the time and that the gun was upside down when it fired. “If Bullets curve or something” is what Jeremy say’s before beginning his next sentence. Jeremy says that’s when Brad was hit in the chest with the bullet. Jeremy states the gun was not cocked and that
He didn’t even know how to take them back out like that. Jeremy also stated his hand was not on the trigger but resting on the trigger guard at the time the gun went off.
Jeremy told the detectives that he dug the bullet out of the wall while Taylor was there telling her that it was the bullet from when Brad shot the gun at him in the kitchen before running off. Jeremy explained that the bullet had struck Brad in the chest sending him backward into the wall. The bullet had ripped through Brad’s small frame and lodged into the kitchen wall. At that point, Jeremy states that Brad fell over on the floor on his side, his eyes were open, chest heaving, and foam coming from his mouth. Jeremy says he believes little chunks of his heart were falling from his chest as it heaved.
Jeremy explained that at first, he thought Brad was joking then he realizes “oh shit I killed him.”
Jeremy tells the detective that he kept trying to sit Brad upright and he kept falling back over again and again and that the whole time Brad was speechless. Finally, Jeremy leaned Brad against the kitchen wall lifted his shirt, and wiped away the blood on Brad’s stomach with a rag. Jeremy then turned on some music and started gathering the cigarettes they had been smoking and cleaning up the butts and threw them in the trash with the spent shell casing.
At this point, Jeremy is considered calling his step-father about the shooting, but he stated he changed his mind because he thought it would be “too stressful”. Jeremy also considered calling a buddy that had a truck and asking him to help him bury Brad but then he decided he couldn’t do that because then that friend would know that he had killed Brad and then he would tell the police and Jeremy would be in trouble.
Jeremy didn’t think to seek any aid for Brad as he died in the kitchen that day. Jeremy let his body sit for about an hour and a half while figuring out his next move. At some point, Brad had rolled over, closed his eyes, and no longer seemed to be breathing. At this point, Jeremy decided to pick up Brad’s body and place him in the trash bin. Jeremy stated that he almost folded him in so that his legs were sticking up almost out of the can. He said that he left the lid open just in case Brad wanted to get up and walk away. An hour later Jeremy did go back outside and see Brad had not walked off so he closed the lid to the trash bin.
Jeremy then came into the house and began cleaning the scene which took him about two hours. He cleaned the blood off the wall and scrubbed the blood out of the grout in the kitchen. He washed his clothes and changed as well as made a note to throw Brad’s backpack out in the trash.
Taylor arrived very shortly after Jeremy had finished cleaning up which is why the bike Brad had ridden to his house was still in the driveway as Taylor entered the house and Brad’s backpack was still on the kitchen table. Jeremy even tells the detective that the following Tuesday was trash day and he had forgotten to take the bin to the curb that day, so Brad sat in the family trash bin an additional week before being picked up and taken to the dump.
Phoenix police charged Jeremy with Brad’s murder and the prosecution sought second-degree murder charges and that Jeremy is tried as an adult. Jeremy was the first person under 18 in Arizona to be tried as an adult and there were many factors of the case that made them choose to pursue the second-degree charge, but two stuck out to jurors and the prosecution most and those were that a weapons expert testified that the amount of force needed to pull the trigger couldn’t have been caused by a simple bump, rather an intentional squeeze of the trigger. Secondly and most damning to Jeremy’s character was how much trouble he went to, to conceal what had happened and that he allowed his friend to suffer instead of seeking medical attention that may have possibly saved Brad’s life.
There is no way we can sit back and say had Jeremy sought medical help right away that Brad would have survived as Jeremy dumped his body and the Phoenix police spent a record amount searching the landfill and Brad’s body was never found. We cannot determine the chance of Brad’s survival without his body but we can show a lack of concern for the victim, and watch Jeremy snap into self-preservation.
There were so many opportunities that Jeremy could have come forward and told the truth. Instead, he lied over and over his stories changed depending on which person he was speaking with and all the while Brad’s family searched for months in hopes they’d find Brad safe and Jeremy knew the whole time what had happened that day. I did find some articles that stated that Brad’s parents additionally sued Jeremy’s parents for improper storage of a handgun and possibly helping Jeremy dispose of Brad’s body, I don’t know the outcome of that case. Jeremy was sentenced to 22 years in an Arizona prison in January 1998 and the release date set on the record is December 1st, 2021.
Phoenix Police spent nearly $100,000 funding the two-month search at Butterfield Station Landfill looking for Brad’s remains. To this day Brad’s body has never been found.
Sipping On Some Crime Reports
Recommendation Report For Appeal Denial written by Michelle H. Burns
To the Honorable James A. Teilborg, United States District Judge
Arizona Central Daily News