Family, Community Struggle With Children's Drownings - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

10/21/05 – San Francisco

Family, Community Struggle With Children's Drownings

One at a time, witnesses say, Lashuan Harris stripped her three children — 6-year-old Treyshun Harris, 2-year-old Taronta Greeley, and 16-month-old Joshoa Greeley — of their clothes and dropped them off a pier into the cold waters of San Francisco Bay.

The body of Taronta was recovered late Wednesday, four hours after he was thrown into the water, near a yacht club, about two miles from the pier. The U.S. Coast Guard continues to search for Treyshun and Joshoa.

Relatives say the 23-year-old Harris, who lived in a homeless shelter with her children, is a schizophrenic whose condition had been worsening in recent months. She had stopped taking her medication and was beginning to hear voices.

"She told my mama she was gonna feed them to the sharks," said Britney Fitzpatrick, Harris' 16-year-old half-sister.

Harris is charged with three counts of murder. She is being held in a hospital jail ward and is scheduled to be arraigned today.

Harris' sister, Tanisha Harris, said the children's grandmother, who nearly collapsed at the scene, had been worried when her daughter stopped taking her medication and had sought custody of the kids.

"She tried to help and they (social services officials) said 'we can't do nothing' cause it's her kids," said Tanisha Harris.

"She was not violent, she was not loud, she wasn't abusive in any way," said Kelly Gable of the Salvation Army shelter in Oakland, Calif., where Harris and her children lived.

San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong described the drownings as "an extremely tragic and senseless situation."

"Whenever there is a traumatic situation, it's important to recognize people are human beings and people have feelings," she said.

She said the search for the children's bodies has been difficult for everyone involved.

"Regardless of our emotions, we have all been serving in a professional capacity," she said.


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