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“We want answers”: remembering Jennifer Harris 20 years after her unsolved murder

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 6:12 PM CDT
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BONHAM, Texas (KXII) - On the banks of the Red River in 2002, Jennifer Harris’ body washed ashore after she had been missing for six days.

Twenty years later, her family is still waiting for answers.

“She was a cheerleader,” said Alyssa Wernick, Jennifer Harris’ younger sister. “She was involved in student council, she was very popular among her peers, just a very bright person with a lot of spirit. She just loved family.”

A fisherman found her floating naked and without her uterus.

“For the person that lived for twenty years now with knowing that he killed someone and disposed of that body like a piece of trash in the water, it’s sad,” said Fannin County Sheriff Mark Johnson.

Any clues or evidence did not surface with her.

“I would describe it as just torture,” said Wernick. “Not a day goes by. We want answers.”

Johnson said there is simply not enough evidence to convict someone yet.

“There’s not anything to directly connect someone to that murder,” said Johnson. “We all have our suspicions and beliefs to who it is, but without facts, you can’t say, ‘you’re the one.’”

Still, the case remains open, even if it’s cold.

“Anything that anyone might know, I encourage you to come forward,” said Wernick. “Just any bit of information.”

It may have been two decades, but no one is giving up.

“I’m very optimistic that someday it will be solved and that person will stand justice,” said Johnson. “Justice will prevail.”

“There’s a lot of heartache in our family,” said Wernick. “We try to stay optimistic that someone will be brought to justice, and that’s our hope.”

The search for evidence will continue, whether it is twenty years or forty years until Jennifer gets justice.

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