Elder Charged With Premeditated Murder in Pastor Wife's Death

Robert Harris (JOHNSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)

Robert Lee Harris Jr., an elder at a Kansas City area church, was charged with premeditated murder in his wife's death.

His wife, Tanisha Stuart Harris, was found dead in a field last week.

The couple served at Repairers of the Breach Christian Center Kansas City, where Robert Harris was an elder and Tanisha Harris was an associate pastor.

Robert Harris is being held on $1 million bond.

"I just can't believe it," Minister Hopelizette says. "She was loving and kind, and she would do anything for you. And she was very soft-spoken and sweet but powerful, and she was a loving mother and a devoted, caring wife. She had a daughter and he had a daughter, but they were a family. They had just come back from taking his daughter home. She was with them for the whole Christmas holiday."

The couple served at Repairers of the Breach Christian Center Kansas City, Missouri, where Robert Harris was an elder and Tanisha Harris was an associate pastor.

"I've cried all that I can," senior pastor Carlton Funderburke says. He performed the couple's marriage ceremony in 2016. "They were a loving couple. ... They were a wonderful newlywed couple."

Funderburke says he saw no signs the couple was in trouble.

Police responded to a domestic disturbance call at the Harris home on Monday. They say Robert Harris was in the apartment alone but later called police back to report his missing wife. It was then he said he played a role in her disappearance.

"We're now leaning on God, trusting God, knowing that He doesn't make any mistakes," Sheila Patton says. Patton's daughter attends the Kansas City church.

"It's beyond unreal because I knew Elder Robert Harris," Hopelizzette says. "He was my spiritual counselor. He was our go-to man when we couldn't reach our pastor. He loved her."

 

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