DAVISON, Mich. - Christy Ann Thompson Harris was a mom of two young daughters.
She was just 36 years old when she was found dead in her Davison, Mich. home five years ago. She left behind a 4-year-old and a newborn baby.
Her death was first ruled an accidental overdose, but Harris' family filed a wrongful death lawsuit knowing the ruling did not make any sense. The family said the point of that lawsuit was to be able to depose certain people and obtain certain information about Harris' death, all under oath. What's in the petition filed Wednesday reveals some of what they found out about her death.
When the medical examiner ruled she died of an accidental overdose, her mother, Kathy Mays, could not believe it.
"Disbelief. How did you even get there? She had no history of drugs," said Mays. "Christy, as a daughter, she was very tenacious."
Mays is breaking her silence and now talking about her daughter's death. Her son-in-law Jason Harris is now charged with Christy's murder, but Mays knew little about problems in her daughter's marriage.
"I was aware from things she found, and conversations with her, that there were things that were upsetting her," said Mays. "She made a decision to make the marriage work, and that was probably the last time we talked about the marriage."
It was Harris' saved breast milk that would be later tested by investigators to show the mother of two did not have heroin in her system. For five years the family kept quiet on their concerns as police investigated the death. Meanwhile, Christy's family was dealing with Jason Harris.
"He is the father. We have to respect him. He has the control, and acting out on your feelings could put a barrier, so it's important to show respect," said Mays.
After three years of waiting and no charges, Christy's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
"My goal has always been for the girls. My thinking was if this is something, I don't want them to ask me why I didn't do more," said Mays.
Affair with another woman
The petition just filed reveals some new information from people who were deposed. It details "a romantic telephone relationship" with another woman. According to the petition, Jason Harris told that other woman his "divorce had been finalized" from Christy while Christy was still alive. The filing states Jason told a neighbor Christy died as a result of "eating drugs," a fact stated "before the medical examiner had completed his report."
Mays said the information the lawsuit was able to obtain was a game changer.
"To learn more about the circumstance than we thought and there were many depositions done and information gathered," she said.
Plan to have Christy killed
The petition provides a chilling admission from Jason Harris' sister stating when she talked to Jason he said he would have Christy murdered, and then outlined a plan:
He would call a neighbor's house, have them check on her and that neighbor would find her body. They would call the cops, and he would act shocked. The petition also outlines how Jason approached a coworker and "offered to pay him from life insurance proceeds if he would kill Christy." The coworker was not willing to do so.
So who really killed Christy? Officials said Jason poisoned her cereal with heroin, but did he have someone else do it? Mays knows the road is long to get that answer from the court. She just wanted to do her part in helping obtain information by filing that wrongful death lawsuit.
"My whole focus is making sure the girls never look at me and say, 'You didn't do more.' This is going to be a question for their whole life.
Jason Harris was charged with her murder. Her saved breast milk was proof that she was not a heroin addict. He will be in court Thursday for a probable cause hearing.
Meanwhile, friends of the family are organizing a fundraiser on the 5th anniversary of Christy's death. That's scheduled for Sunday -- view the event details here.
Click the links below to visit fundraisers for Christy Harris' daughters.
- Rage with a Purpose: Justice for Christy's Girls
- Justice For Christy's Girls: Fall Vendor And Craft Fair
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