Houma man arrested in 22-year-old homicide case
HOUMA, La. (AP) — A man is in custody after confessing to killing a man who disappeared 22 years ago in Louisiana, authorities said.
Houma Police have charged Stanley Briggs, 47 of Houma with second-degree murder in the death of Shannon Harris, 30, who was last seen in 1998.
Police said Briggs was arrested on Sept. 19 after officers responded to a medical emergency to help him with an apparent drug reaction. They said Briggs confessed to the murder of Harris while talking to officers.
The sheriff’s office said they found Harris’ body on Thursday in an area they had searched before. Louisiana State University archeologists will be investigating the site.
Standing next to Harris’ family, Houma Police Chief Dana Coleman told news outlets he hoped the latest development in the case would begin a healing process.
“I just want to thank everyone assembled here for their efforts,” Coleman said. “Most of all I want to thank this family that’s standing to my right for their patience. For 22 years this family has been wondering where their loved one was. This has been a team effort. We all worked together. Hopefully, the remains that we found here on Hollywood Road are those of Shannon Harris.”
Briggs also faces a failure to appear charge and is being held on a $500,000 bond. It was unknown if Briggs has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Though Coleman declined to provide details about the investigation, he said Briggs and Harris knew each other.
“They were close friends,” he said. “I don’t want to go too much into the case but there was an incident that occurred that fractured the friendship. We still have a lot of I’s to dot and T’s to cross. We’re still scratching the surface.”
The suspect has thus far cooperated with the investigation, Coleman said.
Harris’ brother-in-law, Andre Lyons, thanked investigators for never giving up on the case.
“It’s been a long 22 years since the last time we saw Shannon,” Lyons said. “Shannon was a kind person. As a family we loved him. There have been two losses. We have our loss of course, and the Briggs family has a loss. We ask that everybody prays for both families. There’s no winner in this case.”