Irvington, NJ

A Toddler's Bone Disorder Was Misdiagnosed As Abuse, His Mother Was Arrested, Then He Vanished. Where Is Jyrine Harris?

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished
Jyrine Kyese HarrisPhoto byThe Charley Project

On May 31, 2002, authorities arrested Janet Harris on child abuse and neglect charges. Her 2-year-old son, Jyrine Harris, suffered a broken wrist, a broken femur, a broken arm, broken ribs, and a burn on his neck. Janet maintained her innocence and told authorities Jyrine suffered from osteogenesis imperfecta, often called "brittle bone disorder," reports Unsolved Mysteries. Authorities disputed Janet's claim, and her bail was set at $150,000.

While Janet was in jail, Jyrine and his siblings went to live with their grandmother on 40th Street in Irvington, New Jersey. According to the Charley Project, eight people lived in the house on 40th Street. On June 23, 2002, Jyrine Harris vanished.

His sister, LaElisa Harris, told authorities that Jyrine was asleep in a second-floor bedroom while she and her boyfriend, Gregory Jones-McCrae, were downstairs watching television around 1:00 am. The family realized Jyrine was missing and searched for him before calling the police at 5:00 am. Authorities questioned family members, including Jyrine's 4-year-old cousin. He said two men, one African American, and another Caucasian, took Jyrine from the bedroom they shared, reports the Charley Project. However, according to the Charley Project, Jyrine's parents do not believe an abduction occurred, and everyone cooperated with the investigation into his disappearance except Gregory.

After Jyrine's disappearance, Janet received a bail reduction from $150,000 to $10,000. Her mother was able to bond her out after three months in jail.

During her trial, Dr. Julie Niedich, the chief geneticist at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center, testified that "I would not be able to state that any of these fractures is not due to the underlying genetic abnormality, " reports Unsolved Mysteries.

Eventually, experts determined the fractures Jyrine suffered resulted from his bone disorder, and the charges against Janet were dropped. Janet regained custody of her son, Khiry, who was living in the Passaic County group home after his brother's disappearance. According to Unsolved Mysteries, Khiry said he was afraid to live in his grandmother's house after Jyrine vanished.

Although Gregory remained uncooperative with investigators, he has never been charged in connection with Jyrine's disappearance.

Jyrine has never been found.

Jyrine Kyese Harris was 3'0" and weighed 32 pounds when he vanished. If you have any information, please contact the Irvington Police Department at 973-399-6603.

Comments / 17

Published by

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished tells the stories of missing and murdered minorities and real stories about everyday life situations. Readers are invited to submit tips on cases, suggest new and cold cases, and submit their real-life stories to share.

Columbus, OH

More from The Vivid Faces of the Vanished

Comments / 0