Hayden Harris Wiki, Biography
Hayden Harris died, he was originally from Tennessee, had been stationed at the Fort Drum base in upstate New York since July 2019, according to the Associated Press, and his friends said it was his lifelong dream to join the military.
Harris’s last known activity on the night of Dec. 17 was traveling from Fort Drum to Glen Park (about 20 minutes away) to meet with Mellish for a vehicle swap, according to authorities. They intended to swap Mellish’s Ford Mustang for Harris’s white Chevrolet Silverado, Sussex County Deputy District Attorney Gregory Mueller previously told the New Jersey Herald.
But authorities believe the car swap went wrong and that Mellish, with the teenager in the truck, kidnapped Harris, took him nearly 300 miles away, to Byram Township, and then fatally shot him.
Hayden Harris Age
Hayden Harris was 20 years old.
A soldier and an unidentified 16-year-old boy have been charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the death of a 20-year-old soldier whose body was found partially buried in the snow in Sussex County, NJ, on Dec. 19.
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Pvt. Jamaal Mellish, 23, and the unidentified teenager were charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and second-degree weapons charges in the death of Cpl. Hayden Harris, 20, according to the New Jersey Herald, the Army Times and Syracuse.com.
The charges were announced Monday in a news release from Sussex County Prosecutor Francis A. Koch.
Cause of Death
Harris’s body was found there on December 19 with a gunshot wound to the head after local firefighters allegedly discovered him in a wooded area near a cul-de-sac during Santa’s “annual walk through the township.” according to Associated Press. .
“The death [of Harris] is a tremendous loss to his loved ones, this division and our nation,” Brigadier General Brett Funck, acting commander of Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division, previously said in a statement.
Mellish is now in military custody in Oneida County, New York, while the suspected teen is in a juvenile detention center, according to the Sussex County news release.
It is unclear if Mellish has an attorney who can speak on her behalf.
Anyone with information on this case can contact Lt. Nicholas Elmo at the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office 973-383-1570 or Det. Robert Tierney of the Byram Township Police Department at 973-347-4008.