PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Florida’s cold case detectives have identified a late former sheriff’s deputy as the only suspect involved in the rape and killing of an 11 year in 1983, stated the authorities on Thursday in the final announcement of the case closure.


Detectives have named former deputy James Howard Harrison as the only probable suspect in this case.

The sheriff’s office is unable to pursue charges against Harrison because he’s died”, Denise Sawyer of CBS12 Tweeted.

The 11-year-old victim Lora Ann Huizar disappeared in Nov 1983 while returning home from a gas station residing in a rural area of St. Lucie County. 3 days later, officials recovered her dead body.

The location where the body was found was under patrol of James Howard Harrison, late former St. Lucie Sheriff’s deputy, at that time, revealed Chief Deputy Brian Hester during a press conference.

“Witnesses reported seeing a uniformed deputy who was later confirmed to be Harrison in the area around the time of Huizar’s disappearance”, he further said.

According to Hester’s statement, “detectives had ‘established probable cause’ to identify Harrison as the person who abducted, raped and killed Huizar .Harrison later altered the crime scene by placing the victim in a drainage ditch in an attempt to destroy physical evidence.”

Harrison died of cancer at the age of 73 in 2008.

The investigators originally assigned for probing the case couldn’t find any traces for the suspect. However, people who were familiar with the case revealed that Harrison had told the two witnesses to leave before the law enforcement arrived, said Hester.

“Cold case detectives also learned that the location and position of Huizar’s body documented by initial crime scene investigators and detectives differed from initial witness accounts” Hester added.

St. Lucie County detective Paul Taylor, who is in charge of cold cases, said he had his career’s worst days when solving the case.

“Nobody dislikes a bad cop more than a good cop, and it felt bittersweet to finally provide the victim’s family with some long-awaited answers,” said Taylor.

According to officials, Harrison had worked for Florida’s different law enforcement agencies and exhibited inappropriate behavior for underage females.

Cold case detectives further believe that Harrison could be involved in other sexual assaults cases across the state.