MILWAUKEE On Thursday, Major Harris, a 3-year-old boy, was tragically lost in the search.
Milwaukee police discovered the body of the child in a storage container.
Acting Chief Jeffrey Norman stated that "This is an ongoing probe, it is something that is very fluid right now." "My condolences and heartfelt sympathies go out to the entire family."
Major was missing for over a week since Mallery Muenzenberger (25), his mother, was shot to death at her Milwaukee home on Oct. 14.
Muenzenberger lived with her son in Onalaska in Wisconsin. Police said that she and her son were last seen alive in Milwaukee on Oct. 9.
Authorities struggled initially to identify Muenzenberger or notify her family. This was partly because she wasn't a local resident. However, when they finally made contact with relatives last Saturday they discovered her son was missing and issued an Amber Alert.
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On Saturday, October 16, police issued an Amber Alert to Major P. Harris, a 3-year-old boy. Major, the son of a Milwaukee victim of homicide, has been missing since October 14.
Jaheem Clark (20), was quickly identified as a suspect by police. However, he committed suicide on Sunday after officers approached his home.
Police found Muenzenberger's black SUV next to a laundromat the next day. The car was also found with blood.
In the days that followed, Milwaukee police officers and volunteers searched parks, neighborhoods, and rural areas throughout Dodge and Washington counties. The Muenzenbergers and their families have asked for assistance in finding the child.
Police confirmed Wednesday that they had taken two people into custody, believing they may have information about what happened.
Police spokesperson Sgt. Efrain Cornejo said.
He said that four other people had been detained but were released.
In the midst of a drizzle, officers and volunteers spread out to look in garbage cans, abandoned cars, and bushes. Officers knocked at doors to ask residents if they'd heard or seen anything about the boy.
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Many volunteers were mothers who felt compelled by their children to help others.
Tabitha Mortenson said, "I would like somebody else to do that for me." She drove from Waukesha, Wisconsin on Tabitha Mortenson's day off.
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Trinika Walker, a mother who lost her son in gun violence in 2018, said that the pain of Major's disappearance was collective tragedy.
She said, "Hearts are crying out." "You can feel the hurt and feel the strength in the hurt."
Police taped multiple streets several hours after the start of the search. Major's father, Carlton Harris and others huddled together in an alleyway.
According to a law enforcement source, Major's body was found in a storage container by police.
Sabrina Henry, a local reporter, said, "I can't believe it, that boy died," she told a Journal Sentinel.
Carlton Harris (center), the father of Major Harris, a 3-year-old boy who was missing, reacts to the news that his son had been found dead on Thursday afternoon. Major's body was discovered in a storage container.
Carlton Harris was visibly shaken and walked out of the alley, cursing. As he was led away from the alley, his supporters surrounded him and attempted to console him.
As officers started to remove the crime scene tape from the area, the crowd grew to almost 100. Officers then rushed into the intersection, stopping traffic and throwing water bottles at cars that were not following signals from volunteers to redirect traffic.
After about 15 minutes, the crowd dispersed.
Police asked volunteers to help in the search, marking the first time that they had ever done so.
Carlton Harris (center), father to Major Harris (3-year-old missing) is overcome with emotions when he learns that his son has been found dead on Thursday afternoon.
Milwaukee's news coverage has been dominated by Major's search and the pursuit of justice for his mother's murder.
However, the case was not covered in national media, as noted by several volunteers who observed the situation on Thursday. They compared it to the seemingly continuous coverage of Gabby Petito's disappearance, a young white woman.
Nicole Taylor, Milwaukee said that a 3-year old baby cannot speak for himself and that nobody is making a fuss like Gabby. It's a huge difference."
Major's father, community activists, and volunteers have criticized Milwaukee police for failing to do enough to find the child over the past week.
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The criticism was largely stemmed from Tuesday's first press conference by police officers, in which they stated that they did not plan to conduct additional canvassing until they have received credible information.
Major's father called Major's department a joke the next day and stated that he was disappointed police weren’t actively searching parks and other areas of the city. He and volunteers, along with activists Tory Lowe & Vaun Mayes, searched Washington Park and other locations for hours after his comments.
Thursday was the first time that the police asked for volunteers to search. Police have repeatedly asked anyone with information to contact police.
Norman supported the actions of the department, arguing that police needed to be strategic about how they used different resources.
The Amber Alert was sent out as soon as the investigation revealed that a child had gone missing. He later added: "We also understand the urgency of the situation and its seriousness."
Muenzenberger was remembered as a loving mother. 'Her son, her life'
Muenzenbergers family prayed for Major's safe return.
Her family released a statement earlier Thursday remembering her as a loving mother and a kind soul.
The family said that her son was her life, her joy, her purpose and her future. She loved her family.
Mallery Muenzenberger holds Major Harris in this undated family photograph.
As we prepare to say our last goodbyes to Mallery, who was taken from the family in such a violent manner, we are devastated.
The statement said that she faced death at the hands domestic violence.
We found her senior project from high school while going through her belongings. It was ironic that she chose Domestic Violence Awareness as the topic.
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The family asked that everyone keep the victims of domestic violence in their hearts and pray for their peace.
Milwaukee police claim Muenzenberger was an acquaintance of the suspect in Muenzenberger's murder, but have not provided any further details about their relationship.
Muenzenberger's family announced that she was involved in a new life, one she has never shared with us.
The statement said that she was too private. We discovered that she was a trustworthy person who possessed too much trust.
The family was preparing for Muenzenbergers funeral service and expressed their desire to find out more about the location of her sons.
The statement stated that we will not rest until Major is found.
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The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available to help victims of domestic violence. They can speak with you online or over the phone. This hotline is recommended for anyone who suspects that their online activities are being watched by their abusers (800-799-7233). They can assist survivors in creating a plan for safety for their children and themselves.
Safe Horizon's hotline is available for crisis counseling, safety planning and assistance in finding shelters at 800-621-HOPE (4633) You can also use the chat feature to reach out from your phone or computer confidentially for assistance.
Elliot Hughes Contributing
Follow Sophie Carson on Twitter at @SCarson_News
This article was originally published on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: 3-year-old boy found dead in Milwaukee after his mother shot him