How Michigan mother's breast milk led to husband's arrest 5 years after her murder

Officials say husband spiked woman's cereal with heroin

DAVISON, Mich. – Officials said a murder victim's breast milk led to the arrest of her husband five years after her death when it was discovered he had spiked her cereal with heroin.

Christy Ann Thompson Harris, 36, was found dead five years ago at her Davison home. Her death was initially ruled an accidental overdose.

But in a recent development, her husband, Jason Harris, was charged with her murder. Officials said Jason Harris spiked his wife's cereal with heroin.

Davison is a small town with a few stores and family-run restaurants and a barbershop.

Christy Harris was the mother of a 4-year-old and a newborn baby. When she was found dead inside her home, the medical examiner ruled it an accidental drug overdose.

Click the links below to visit fundraisers for Christy Harris' daughters.

Stephany Arnould, Christy Harris' friend, said she remembers how she reacted to the news that her best friend was dead.

"What do you mean Christy is dead?" Arnould said. "She is a mom breastfeeding a baby. That doesn't happen."

"Did you ever know her to do drugs?" Local 4 Defender Karen Drew asked.

"No," Arnould said.

"Did Christy seem happy in her life?" Karen asked.

"With her children," Arnould said.

"You paused when you said, 'With her children,'" Karen said.

"Her relationship was rocky," Arnould said. "The fights were bad."

Christy and Jason Harris had been married for 11 years and had known each other for 16 years.

"When we found out about the overdose, that's exactly where our brain went, because she wouldn't do that herself," Arnould said. "No one believes she would do that."

"When did you start thinking about her breast milk and how that can come to play in solving her murder?" Karen asked.

"Being a mom who breastfed, it came to my mind in a couple of days," Arnould said. "I know how breast milk works, so it would be in there."

Arnould said family members told police about having Christy Harris' breast milk and asking to have it tested.

"She had a small house and a small freezer," Arnould said. "She kept backups (of breast milk) at her parents' house and at her uncle's house."

Five years passed but, recently, the Genesee County prosecutor announced charges against Jason Harris for murdering his wife.

"We believe he put heroin in her cereal and milk the night she died," Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said.

More details emerged after the charges were announced.

"Jason Harris paid a guy $5,000 to kill Christy," Leyton said. "While this particular alleged hit man was doing surveillance on her, the hit man was caught by police with a firearm on him."

Prosecutors said that's when Jason Harris took matters into his own hands.

Karen went to the Harris' home in Davison and asked if anyone had a comment about the case. She was told by a woman at the home to contact Jason Harris' lawyer.

Local 4 reached out to his attorney, but has not received any comment on the charges.

"As far as the family, they have been doing what they were asked to do by investigative team: to be quiet, to protect children and to protect justice for Christy," Arnould said.

About the Authors:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter and part of the Local 4 Defenders team.

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.