Body of man missing since 1998 discovered; Suspect in custody
In October of 1998 the family of a 30-year-old Houma art student, Shannon Harris, reported him missing to the Houma Police Department after he did not arrive back at the school he was attending in Dallas following a visit.
“An investigation started at that time but despite everyone’s best efforts no headway was made in locating Shannon Harris,” said Houma Police Chief Dana Coleman. “Our detectives continued to follow up leads and in 2002 explored a field near Hollywood Road and 9th Street with no results.”
On Sept. 19, 2020, Houma police officers made contact with 47-year-old Stanley Briggs regarding a medical emergency call. During conversation with officers Stanley Briggs provided information related to the disappearance of Shannon Harris. Further investigation revealed that Mr. Harris was the victim of a homicide, and that his body could be found in the vicinity of 9th Street and Hollywood Road, resulting in organization of a search. Members of Shannon Harris’ family were kept advised of the search efforts at all times.
On Monday, Sept. 28, Stanley Briggs was arrested on a charge of 2nd Degree Murder and the search efforts continued. On Thursday, Oct. 1, human remains were located in the field at Hollywood and 9th Street.
“I wish to thank everyone who assisted us in this effort,” Chief Coleman said. “Although this is a very sad outcome, we find solace in the knowledge that these combined efforts might bring some closure.”
Chief Coleman expressed thanks to Sheriff Tim Soignet, whose personnel assisted, the Patterson La. Police Department, which provided a specially-trained canine, the Louisiana State Police and also Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove, for committing personnel and equipment from the Parish’s Public Work’s Department.
“Additionally, I wish to thank the Louisiana State University Department of Archaeology, whose members are assisting us greatly.”
Parish President Gordon Dove expressed his thanks to Chief Coleman and everyone else who worked on the case.
“I’m very proud of the work our Police Chief and his officers have done, and thankful to our Public Works Director David Rome,” President Dove said. “This is a case where many local agencies worked closely together to achieve these results, and I am grateful to all of them for their aid and cooperation.”
Sheriff Tim Soignet said he is please that members of his staff were able to assist Chief Coleman, and that it is indicative of the close working relationships local law enforcement agencies have with each other.
“They asked us to help and we did, in what ways we could,” Sheriff Soignet said. “It’s what the people of Terrebonne Parish can and should expect from all of us.”
Chief Coleman said the work done by detectives, crime scene personnel and uniformed officers of all departments involved was outstanding.
“This case is still under investigation,” Chief Coleman said. “But key evidence for making sure the person charged with this is held accountable was what we found today, and without that hard work it would not have happened.”