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Cal Harris and His Children Seek New Evidence in Disappearance of Michele Harris

Family Asks Those with Information To Contact Confidential Tip Line at 607-215-5166

Michele Harris’s four children - Cayla, Jenna, Taylor and Tanner- joined by their father Cal, attorney Bruce Barket, former NYPD homicide detective Jay Salpeter, investigator Peter Smith, friends and family, announce the launch of a confidential tip line seeking the truth about their mother’s disappearance. The press conference will be held at 12:00 pm, Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at the Owego Treadway Inn, 1100 State Route 17C, Owego, New York.

Cayla Harris appealed to the public, “We want the truth about what happened to our mother. We know there are people out there who have information about mom’s disappearance and we know that our father had nothing to do with it. We are asking that these people come forward now. Some have been contacted by our dad’s investigators, but have refused to cooperate. Others, and you know who you are, have remained hidden. To anyone with information about our mom’s disappearance, we are begging that you cooperate with the lawyers and investigators.”

Michele Harris disappeared on the morning of September 12, 2001, the day after the 9/11 attacks. She never returned to her home after spending the evening at the bar “Lefties,” where she worked. She was seen there by several employees, at least one of whom she was dating, before her disappearance. Later that same night, she went to the home of a “boyfriend,” Brian Early, who lived nearby. She stayed there late into the evening. It was the last known location where she was seen. Michele was also known to associate with men from a nearby steel factory.

Despite a lack of evidence of his involvement, police and prosecutors immediately targeted Michele’s husband, Cal Harris, and ignored credible leads that others were responsible for Michele’s disappearance.

In 2005, four years after Michele Harris’s disappearance, and despite no newly-discovered evidence connecting Mr. Harris to the crime, prosecutors charged Cal Harris with second-degree murder. Three Judges who have since examined the prosecution’s evidence, including one Appellate Division Justice and one Judge from NY’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, have offered separate opinions that the prosecution’s case against Cal Harris was legally insufficient. Nonetheless, the District Attorney has insisted on continuing to prosecute Cal, and a trial is scheduled for the fall of 2014.

WHO: Cayla, Jenna, Taylor and Tanner Harris, Cal Harris, retired NYPD detective Jay Salpeter, investigator Peter Smith, attorney Bruce Barket, of Barket, Marion, Epstein & Kearon, friends and family.

WHAT: Launch Reinvestigation of Michele Harris’s disappearance.

WHERE: Owego Treadway Inn, 1100 State Route 17C, Owego, 607.687.4500.

WHEN: 12:00 pm, Wednesday, March 5, 2014