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Harris Family Opens Tip Line For Answers
OWEGO---(WENY) It has been over a decade since the disappearance of Michele Harris, and now her family wants answers.
Cayla Harris and her three siblings, along with their father, a visibly emotional Calvin Harris, held a press conference at the Treadway Inn in Owego. They say it's time for the truth about what happened to their mother 13 years ago.
During the conference, Cayla Harris said, "We need to know what happened to our mother. We know our dad had nothing to do with her disappearance. We also know there are people out there with information that can help us get answers."
No trace of Michele Harris has been seen since she went missing the morning of September 12, 2001.
Her husband, Calvin Harris has already been convicted twice for her murder in 2007 and 2009. Both convictions were overturned, and Calvin Harris maintains his innocence saying, "I did not have any involvement in Michele's disappearance. I would never hurt the mother of my children, and I would never do anything to hurt them."
Now, facing a third trial, Harris has hired his own team of attorneys and private investigators, including Bruce Barket, former New York City homicide detective Jay Salpeter and former prosecutor Peter Smith, to solve this case once and for all. That's something Harris' aunt says the police failed to do.
Mary Harris says, "We relied on the police investigation, but it's become clear that there were a lot of leads and clues overlooked, that were neglected."
Investigators say they have already gotten several calls to the tip line, prior to Wednesday's press conference- with new information and leads to hopefully put this cold case to rest.
Defense Attorney Bruce Burket says, "We have focused in on a few individuals that we are interested in, in terms of what actually happened to Michele. And we're hoping the tip line will further that investigation."
Calvin Harris' new trial is set for September in Schoharie County. Barket says the motion was granted to keep the jury from becoming tainted due to the excessive media coverage the case has seen here in the Southern Tier.