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Harris family gathers for annual prayer vigil for justice

Pastor Willie Edwards of Star Hope Baptist Church lead the prayer during the vigil. Harris’ mother says Edwards was very influential to her son’s life.

Pastor Willie Edwards of Star Hope Baptist Church lead the prayer during the vigil. Harris’ mother says Edwards was very influential to her son’s life.

SPECIAL TO THE JOURNAL: SHAYLA TERRY

During Saturday afternoon’s vigil, Dora Harris said she hopes 2016 is the year to bring about justice.

Harris’ son, DeLange Harris, was murdered in 2011. His body was recovered from a ditch on Athens Church Road near Glenwood. He had been shot.

Every year, Harris holds a vigil in memory of her son at New Hope Valley Church. Community members gather at Harris’s gravesite, and pray for a change and justice.

“Something in my spirit is telling me that this will be our last vigil,” Dora Harris said.

“My son will see justice this year.”

Pastor Willie Edwards of Star Hope Missionary Baptist Church presided over the vigil; he was DeLange Harris’ pastor at the time of his death. Edwards says that his biggest hope this year is that whoever committed this murder will no longer be able to stay in hiding.

“My hope is through prayer, the Lord will move in the hearts of people,” Edwards said.

“Individuals will realized they need to come out so they can give some closure to this family and to the friends of the family.”

Crenshaw County Sheriff Mickey Powell says the investigation has just about been started from scratch due to the fact that no one in the Sheriff’s Office was employed there in 2011.

“The case is still active,” Powell said.

“The Sheriff’s Office is constantly working on Mr. Harris’s case. We’d like to see progress.”

DeLange Harris would’ve celebrated his 30th birthday on May 1. Vigil attendees released 30 bright blue balloons in remembrance of his life.

Dora Harris and her family extend their deepest, sincerest thanks to all who attended the vigil, and also to those who offered prayer and support throughout this time.

There is a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of DeLange Harris’ killer. If anyone has any information, call the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office at (334) 355-6568, the District Attorney’s Office at (334) 382-7444 or the Federal Bureau of Investigation Mobile office at 251-438-3674.