Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"This was my son -"

Mother Grieves Three Years After Son's Murder
Re-printed from a story at WCPO Channel 9 by Larry Shields on Tuesday June 8th 2010

On June 7th 2007 a young man's body was found in the middle of the street in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati.

CINCINNATI - Peggy Harris is a woman that greets you with a hug and a blessing.

She's one of the first to arrive at rallies for the support group Who Killed Our Kids and is a pillar of strength for the families of murder victims.

On Monday night at a vigil marking the third anniversary of John Harris' murder, Peggy was the one who needed the support.

Overcome with emotion, Harris dropped to the ground sobbing, as the group prayed at a park.

Since January 2005 there have been 395 homicides in the City of Cincinnati. 137 of theses homocides remain unsolved.

The murder of John Harris is one of those cases.

Early on June 7th 2007, someone killed her son John outside his home in the 4500 block of Fergus Street in Northside leaving his two children, ages 2 and 3 at the time of his murder, fatherless.

It was a humid and early summer morning. Harris had just gotten off work when someone shot him, stole his car and took his gold necklace.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and police found his car abandoned near Spring Grove Cemetery.

Since that day, his mother Peggy has become very active in the community.

She hoped the 2008 round-up of the "Northside Taliband" would bring her son’s killer to justice, but that hope was lost when members didn't share information leading to his killer.

"This was my son," Harris said, clutching a wooden case containing the cremated remains of her son.

She explains she couldn't bury him because she wanted to always be near him.

Peggy Harris relies heavily on prayer and says her faith hasn't wavered.

The family distributed cards to people in the neighborhood with a verse from Proverbs: "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy."

"We're still here, they didn't kill Johnny. They killed his physical body but we still love him,” she said.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the killer of John Harris.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040 or text (513) 352-3050. You don't have to give your name and you may be eligible for a reward if your tips lead to an arrest.

WCPO Channel 9, Mother Still Grieves 3 Years After Murder
Crimestoppers, Cold Cases