Investigators ask for help figuring out how 1994 Springboro grad died

Jerold Haas, 43, of Columbus was last seen alive on Aug. 31 at the BP station at I-71 and Ohio 73. His remains were found by hunters on Nov. 3 in Warren County.
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Jerold Haas, 43, of Columbus was last seen alive on Aug. 31 at the BP station at I-71 and Ohio 73. His remains were found by hunters on Nov. 3 in Warren County.

The Columbus man whose remains were found earlier this month in woods in rural Warren County was a 1994 graduate of Springboro High School and a founder of a Columbus-based foundation.

Jerold Haas, 43, of Columbus, graduated in June 1994 from the Springboro district, school officials said.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help from the public with its investigation of Haas’ death.

Haas, last seen on Aug. 31 at the BP station at Ohio 73 and Interstate 71, was also a founder of Tessr Foundation, a Columbus-based nonprofit developing blockchain technologies.

RELATED: Columbus man found dead in Warren County last seen in August near I-71

Bob Fitrakis, an advisory board member at Tessr, confirmed Haas was the lead developer for Tessr.

missing-persons report filed with Columbus police indicated Haas was at the gas station with a friend when he disappeared.

Fitrakis said Tessr planned to use blockchain technology for vote security and with cryptocurrency.

It also was apparently developing education applications.

RELATED: Columbus man’s remains found in Warren County

“The Tessr foundation aims to end paper-based learning, automate the award, recognition, and transfer of certifications. Our blockchain will offer the educational providers secure ownership and control over their own content, reducing institutional costs and risk,” according to the foundation web site.

The sheriff’s office issued a press release and two photographs of Haas on Thursday appealing for help from the public.

“The Warren County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance for any information in this case. We are asking anyone who possibly has seen Mr. Haas or noticed anything suspicious in the area at the time of his disappearance, to please contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office,” according to the release issued by Sgt. Brian Hounshell.

The remains were found Nov. 3 by hunters in woods off Clarksville Road.

Haas is listed at 6-feet, 1-inch tall and 170 pounds in a sheriff’s office report obtained by this newspaper.

A missing-persons report, filed Sept. 17 with Columbus police, indicates Haas was last seen at the BP station at Interstate 71 and Ohio 73, between Waynesville and Wilmington.

“The friend went into the BP to pay for gas and, when he came out, Jerold was gone,” according to the Columbus report.

“The friend was giving Jerold a ride to I-75 but no specific location was given,” the report added. The friend is not identified in the online missing person’s report.

On Thursday, Fitrakis indicated Haas was last seen with someone connected to Tessr.

In both reports, Haas is described as blue-eyed with strawberry blond hair and a beard and mustache.

According to the missing-person’s report, he was wearing black cargo pants and a gray, button-down shirt,

Haas was carrying two laptop computers and a backpack, according to the report.

MORE: Arrests in Pike County murders

“Jerold was on foot when he was last seen,” according to the comments section of the report.

Doyle Burke, chief investigator for the Warren County Coroner’s Office, said there was no sign of violence, but referred further questions to the sheriff’s office.

On Thursday, the sheriff’s office released a redacted incident report with no new information beyond the identities of the three hunters who found Haas’s body.

“We were just looking for a deer, ran through a thicket, and there it was,” William O’Bryan, one of the hunters who located the body, said Friday.

Haas also attended Hocking College from 2004-2006 and Ohio University from 1994-1996, according to his LinkedIn profile.

At Springboro High, Haas sang in the concert choir and attended an ROTC banquet with his mother, according to yearbooks.

Efforts to reach his family have been unsuccessful.

The school district declined to comment.


HOW TO HELP

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office has turned to the public for help in solving this case.

Those with information are to email crimetips@wcsooh.org or call 513-925-2525.

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