Retired Great-Grandfather Found Beaten to Death in Car Outside Middle School in Delaware County

Police obtained surveillance videos of two men who they say are persons of interest in Hayes’ murder.

Loved ones are mourning a retired postal worker and great-grandfather who was found beaten to death in the backseat of his car outside a middle school in Delaware County.

On Oct. 24 at 4:08 a.m., a police officer found a black Chrysler 300 parked on the 100 block of Summit Street in front of Penn Wood Middle School in Darby, Pennsylvania. The officer then discovered the body of 57-year-old Brad Hayes of Clifton Heights in the backseat of the vehicle.

Hayes was taken to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Investigators say Hayes suffered several injuries though police are waiting on the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death.

Hayes was last seen alive with his family in the early morning hours of Oct. 24 after the Eagles Monday Night Football game.

Police obtained surveillance videos of two men who they say are persons of interest in Hayes’ murder. One video shows an unidentified man beating Hayes outside his black Chrysler and then putting him in the backseat where he continues to beat him, police said.

Another video shows the two persons of interest meeting each other and fleeing the scene through streets and alleyways, according to investigators. Police have not released a description of the two men however.

"He didn't pick up strangers," Hayes' widow Vanessa Hayes told NBC10. "So I think whoever did this knew him."

Hayes' family describes him as a loving husband and father of five, grandfather of four and great-grandfather of two. He recently retired from the U.S. postal service where he met Vanessa.

Family Photo
Vanessa Hayes and her husband Brad Hayes.

"We're just distraught behind this," Vanessa Hayes said while in tears. "Totally distraught."

Vanessa and Brad bought their dream home four months ago. Yet for Vanessa, the house now feels empty with her husband no longer there and the people responsible for his death still on the loose.

"We need some closure," she said. "We need to find out who did this and bring them to justice."

If you have any information on Hayes' death, please call Darby Borough Police at 610-586-1100 or 911.

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