OZARK, Mo. (WJW) -- Authorities say they have dropped charges against a man arrested in the slaying of his wife after another suspect admitted to the 1990 killing on the eve of the trial.
The surprise decision to clear Carl Harris Jr., 55, in the death of Tracy Harris and arrest Jeff Beasley, 54, came after the defense raised questions about Harris’ guilt and authorities took another look at the case. The Dothan Eagle reports that the murder trial for Carl Harris Jr. was to begin Monday.
Tracy Harris went missing in March 1990. Her body was found about a week later in the Choctawhatchee River. An autopsy determined she’d been drowned, and her neck showed signs of strangulation.
The case went unsolved until 2016, when Harris was arrested in South Carolina after police in Ozark reopened the investigation. The Dothan Eagle reports Beasley was a friend of the couple’s when the woman was murdered.
Ozark Police Chief Marlos Walker confirmed Beasley lived in Ozark at the time of the murder, and still resided in Ozark at the time he was arrested this weekend.
Police said Beasley has admitted to killing her, and he has been charged with murder.
The charges against Harris were dropped on his 55th birthday.