The murder trial for Carl E. Harris scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 17 has been continued at the request of both the prosecution and defense attorneys.
“This case needs time to locate all witnesses,” Dale County District Attorney Kirke Adams said. “There are witnesses from all over the United States. We are hoping to work with the court in hopes of having a date set that is good for all involved.”
No continuance date has been set at this time.
Harris was arrested in 2016 for a 26-year-old cold case murder of his former wife, Tracy Harris.
In January 2016, Ozark police reopened the investigation into the 1990 death of Tracy Harris, said Ozark Police Chief Marlos Walker. Tracy Harris was initially reported missing to local law enforcement, and then some time later her body was found near Woodham’s Bridge in the Choctawhatchee River just off Dale County Road 20 in Dale County.
Walker said investigators were able to locate multiple witnesses who provided information that led to developing a person of interest in the investigation.
Police arrested Harris in September 2016 in South Carolina, where he had been living in South Carolina for the last two months prior to his arrest.
Ozark Police Investigator Lt. Jimmy “J.C.” Culbreath, supervisor of the department’s cold case unit, testified during Harris’ preliminary hearing that Tracy Harris went missing on Wednesday, March 7, 1990. Her body was later discovered in the Choctawhatchee River off County Road 20 on March 14, 1990. Culbreath said the victim was taken to Montgomery to the state Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy, which determined that Tracy Harris died by drowning, and that there was water and sand found in her lungs. But the autopsy noted bruising on the side of the victim’s neck consistent with strangulation.
Culbreath testified the victim and Carl Harris Jr. had divorced prior to her death, but they apparently stayed together after the divorce. He said when authorities found the victim in the river she was naked from the waist up. He said police found her clothes elsewhere.