DNA from Detached Foot Matches Missing St. Louis Man

Christopher Harris hasn't been seen since July 2017. - GoFundMe
Christopher Harris hasn't been seen since July 2017.

A DNA match now shows a detached foot found last year in south county belonged to a missing St. Louis man, authorities say.

In September 2017, hikers discovered a men's large right shoe with the foot inside as they walked along the edge of the Mississippi River in Bee Tree County Park.

St. Louis County police scoured the area from land, air and water, even deploying cadaver dogs. But the foot was all they found. At the time, investigators suspected it might be connected to a missing person case out of the city, but they couldn't confirm.

Christoper Harris, 27, was last seen two months before on July 9, 2017. Police officers in north county were responding to reports of a car crash when they discovered a single abandoned vehicle next to the Lewis Bridge, which carries North Highway 67 across the Missouri River near West Alton.

The 2005 Crown Victoria belonged to Harris, but there was no sign of him. Harris lived in the Dutchtown neighborhood of south city, so city police opened a missing person case. His family also looked for him. Harris' mother, Felecia Thomas-Macon created a GoFundme campaign in hopes of funding search team. Thomas-Macon told KSDK she also submitted a DNA sample.

That sample eventually proved the connection between the foot and her missing son. The rest remains a mystery. Police had previously said the foot was badly deteriorated when it was discovered. In a news release this afternoon, they said it was not "forcibly removed from the leg."

"There could be one or more factors here: the passage of time, decomposition, and/or the effects of being in water for a prolonged period," Officer Benjamin Granda wrote in a follow-up email.

Where police found Harris' car is above the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi river. The site of the foot's discovery is about 40 miles down river.

What happened to the rest of Harris is unknown. The city considers his disappearance an active missing person case. Thomas-Macon tells KSDK she learned of the DNA match last week. The news filled her with mixed emotions.

“I don't know if it's a wrongful death," she tells the station. "I don't know if he was murdered. I don't know the whole details, but I know God have given me something now, and I am grateful for that. I am not going to stop until I get a resolution concerning the missing of my son.”

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected] or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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