UPDATE: One Year Later: Charleston Slaying Case Still Unsolved

By: Brooks Jarosz, WSAZ News Staff Email
By: Brooks Jarosz, WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 8/27/12 @ 12 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Monday marks the one-year anniversary of the only unsolved murder in Charleston in 2011.

Megan Harrison's body was found floating in the Elk River on August 27, 2011. Megan was staying at the YWCA Sojourners Shelter on the East End at the time.

Police have followed up on several tips, but still no major leads. Detectives say they weren't able to collect much DNA evidence, and the case has come to a standstill.

Megan's family believes she may have been attacked before she was dumped into the river. They have put up a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

If you have any information that can help solve the case, call Charleston Police at 304-348-6840.



UPDATE 1/27/12 @ 5:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Still unsolved, Friday marks five months since the body of a young woman was found floating in the Elk River in Charleston.

Police say Megan Harrison's case is the only unsolved murder in Charleston in 2011.

"No one should get away with murder, no one," Megan's mother, Ginger Harrison said. "It's tough. It's really tough sometimes because there's not a day that goes by that we don't miss her."

Even though her death is still a mystery, her parents aren't giving up and are offering a big reward to anyone with information that can help crack the case.

Last week, they covered the East End with pictures of their daughter where her parents say she lived the last few months of her life.

Police say they weren't able to collect much DNA evidence, and the case is now at a standstill.

Megan Harrison was a smiling teenager found half naked in the waters of the Elk River on Aug. 27, 2011.

Harrison's parents are on a tireless search to find out who killed their daughter.

Megan most recently lived at the YWCA Sojourner's Shelter along Washington Street East.

Her parents posted and passed out signs offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who can shed light on the cold case.

Megan's parents admit their daughter wasn't perfect. In her early 20s, she became depressed and started using drugs, but was constantly fight to get back on the right path.

"Even though she did make some wrong choices in her life, she did have the biggest heart and would do anything for anybody," Ginger Harrison said. "We're just praying that we'll see her in heaven with us."

Harrison added, "That's the happiest thought I can think of everyday, and that gets us though everyday."

Now, the Harrisons are holding onto hope that someone will have the heart to come forward.

They say they don't want Megan to be remembered for the way she died, instead, the way she lived in better and brighter days.

Police say they've exhausted every tip and piece of evidence they have, but they're still searching for that missing link.

If you have any information that can help solve the case, call Charleston Police at 304-348-6840.



UPDATE 1/23/12 @ 3:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- The family of a woman whose body was found in the Elk River is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Megan Harrison's death is Charleston's only 2011 unsolved slaying. The 28-year-old's body was found floating in the river last August.

Her parents, Roger and Ginger Harrison, posted reward flyers Sunday around Charleston's East End neighborhood. They tell The Associated Press that she spent the last month of her life at a shelter in the neighborhood.

Charleston police Lt. Steve Cooper says authorities have some evidence and some witnesses. But he tells the AP that they need "one more piece to the puzzle."

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 1/1/12 @ 3:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Charleston police are beginning 2012 by analyzing newly collected evidence from last year's only unsolved slaying.

Four homicide investigations were conducted in the city in 2011. In the previous year, there were 11 slayings. Two of those remain unsolved.

An investigation began after the body of 28-year-old Megan Kathleen Harrison was found floating in the Elk River on August 27.

Charleston Police Sgt. Bobby Eggleton says the investigation got off to a slow start because the river destroyed most of the DNA evidence.

Keep clicking WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 8/29/11 @ 8:15 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman's body found in a local river during the weekend has led to a homicide investigation.

Charleston Police tell WSAZ.com they received the autopsy results for Megan Harrison Monday evening.

Harrison's body was found floating in the Elk River about 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Police are not releasing the exact cause of death at this time.

Harrison was 28 years old and from Cross Lanes.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 8/29/11 @ 5:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The West Virginia Medical Examiner's office says an autopsy has yet to be completed for Megan Harrison, the woman whose body was found floating in the Elk River over the weekend.

Charleston police had hoped to learn more by Monday, but the medical examiner says they're not quite finished with the autopsy. There's no word on when details will be released.



UPDATE 8/28/11 @ 6:15 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The parents of the young woman found dead in the Elk River are preparing to bury their daughter, and they still don't know how and why she died.

Megan Harrison was just 28 years old, and her family is facing the tough reality that her death may not have been an accident.

Police are calling Harrison’s death suspicious, and told her parents, Roger and Ginger Harrison, that it looks as though she was attacked.

Her body was found Saturday morning in the Elk River in Charleston.

Harrison grew up in Cross Lanes with a brother and her parents.

After just losing their daughter, Harrison’s parents couldn't bring themselves to talk on camera, but they do ask that if anybody knows anything at all about what happened -- to please call police.

Police say Harrison's body has been sent to the medical examiner.

They're expecting to know more about the cause of death Monday.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 8/27/11 @ 9:37 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The body of a woman found in the Elk River Saturday has been identified.

Charleston Police say Megan K. Harrison from Cross Lanes was found in the Elk River about 11 a.m Saturday.

Police say her death is still being investigated and foul play is suspected.

Harrison was 28-years-old.

Keep clicking WSAZ.com for more information.



UPDATE 8/27/11 @ 5:35 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Saturday morning stroll took a traumatic turn for a man who on his way home, stumbled upon a woman's body.

Now, police are trying to figure out how she died.

Charleston police detectives are calling this a suspicious death, and say that her body had been in the river for less than 12 hours.

Mike Nichols was walking home from a city council meeting about 11:30 a.m. when he noticed the body floating in the Elk River.

He immediately called 911, and says firefighters responded quickly and got the woman out of the water.

Nichols says the woman appeared to be in her 20’s and was only clothed from the waist up.

He saw the body as he was crossing the Washington Street Bridge, which he does nearly every day. However, he says he never expected to see something like this.

“They (family members) finally calmed me down a bit and I tried to take a nap. I kept seeing that poor girl. I kept seeing them pull her out of the river. It's traumatic,” Nichols said. “I know she has family out there. There's somebody missing a daughter or a mother, and I found her. And I feel horrible about that.”

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 8/27/11
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A body has been found in a river near a local hospital.

Emergency dispatchers tell WSAZ.com the body was found in the Elk River about 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Charleston Police are on the scene.

No other information has been released.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the very latest information.


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