While it is not uncommon to see horses and riders on the side of the road in this area, one particular group stood out on Tuesday. Accompanied at times by a trailer posted with signs demanding justice, this group of men riding horses and mules made its way from Fannin County through Van Alstyne, Anna and then Melissa in the midst of a planned eight-day ride to the state capital in Austin.
The group represents Riding4Justice, a Fannin County organization intent on making its message heard in Austin. That message is stated on the riding4justice.com website: "We are riding for us, for them, and for everyone to take a stand on the injustice in our state, our laws, our country in order to have a great state and country to live in again."
What spurred this group on was the tragic unsolved murder of 28-year-old Jennifer Harris, of Fannin County. Harris was last seen alive in 2002 when she left her grandparents’ house in Bonham. Harris’ body was discovered by a fisherman at the Red River near Denison six days later. There have been no arrests made and the case has gone cold. Some Fannin County residents, among them the victim’s father, Jerry Harris, have criticized the Fannin County Sheriff’s Office in regard to its handling of the case.
"We are riding to put pressure on Fannin County to let this case be solved [by] whatever means necessary to give Mr. Harris and his daughter Jennifer the justice they deserve," said event organizer Teresa Morris. "There have been several people contact the state representative and the senator’s office about corruption within Fannin county; it has to stop. The corruption causes injustices in peoples’ lives and [not everyone has] the time or means to fight.
"We are taking a stand to get attention to Jennifer Harris’ case to get justice for her father and her family."
The case seemed to get new life recently when the television show Cold Justice approached the Sheriff’s Office about working the case for an episode. The show centers around former Texas prosecutor Kelly Siegler and investigator Yolanda McClary as they bring their crew into small towns throughout the country and attempt to solve cold cases, or cases that have gone cold due to lack of leads or evidence. Fannin County Sheriff Donnie Foster originally said no to the crew but later agreed to meet with producers of the show. Whether or not the show will take a look at the case is unknown at this time.