Columbus Police Department asking community to help solve Iris Harless case

They are recirculating a 2003 suspect composite sketch.

Columbus Police Department asking community to help solve Iris Harless case

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - New details on an 18-year-old cold case that Columbus police are still trying to solve, and you can help.

Detective Stuart Carter with the Columbus Police Department has been working on solving the murder of 64-year-old Iris Harless for a couple of months. He recently released two composite sketches of the suspect to the public, in hopes that someone can put a name to the face.

Doneta Odom remembers the day her neighbor Iris Harless was murdered across the street from her in March 2003.

“My sister went by the window and saw all the lights flashing and everything and said something’s going on across the street,” said Odom.

Harless was murdered in her home on Northgate Dr. in Columbus. Detective Stuart Carter, who is actively working on the case, says Harless’ grandson came into the house to not only find Harless dead, but the murderer still inside the house.

“When he actually encounters the suspect inside the home, and there’s an actual physical struggle between the two,” said Carter.

Because of this interaction and from other witnesses’ descriptions, Carter says he is recirculating the police sketch that was made in the original investigation.

“We believe that the initial composite that was put out is the most accurate depiction of the person we’re looking for,” said Carter.

Carter says blood evidence has been linked to a male contributor, which he says he believes belongs to the suspect.

“Because we have DNA evidence, someone could call anonymously and just give us the right name to pursue,” said Carter.

And that’s exactly what Carter and the Columbus Police are asking from the public: the right name.

“They can tell us they don’t want to go on record, they don’t want to testify in court and that’s fine, I would still like to talk to them,” said Carter.

“You know, you’re in shock, right across the street from where you live, and all these years later they haven’t found nobody,” said Odom.

“There’s history here that needs to be solved, you know so, really whoever did it needs to be caught, we move on and take care of what’s happening now,” said Cathy Wise, another Northgate Drive resident.

Carter says the suspect was last seen on foot in the area of the murder on Northgate Dr. and Reese Rd. Anyone who may have a name to the face on the sketch is asked to contact detectives at 706-225-4319.

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