MANSFIELD - The woman found dead in the trunk of a vehicle Saturday has been identified as Tamara R. Harris, Richland County coroner's investigator Tom Stortz said Monday. She is the wife of Dequalan Dejuan Harris, 35, of Texas, who has been arrested in connection with the case.
A $1 million cash bond was set Monday for Dequalan Harris, charged with abuse of a corpse, a fifth-degree felony, after the body was found in the rear compartment of a vehicle parked in the 400 block of Woodridge Drive.
Mansfield Municipal Magistrate Phil Naumoff ordered the bond be set at $1 million cash, along with a personal recognizance bond and electronic monitoring for Dequalan Harris during his video arraignment from the Richland County Jail.
Mansfield police Det. Lt. Rob Skropits Monday said that Dequalan Harris came to Mansfield on "for love" or "an Internet connection."
Richland County Children Services is assisting police with the care of the child found with Dequalan Harris and is working with Texas officials, Skropits said.
According to the Richland County Prosecutor's Office's statement of fact, Mansfield officers were dispatched to Woodridge Drive in reference to a well-being check on the suspect's wife, Tamara Harris, a missing person.
A sergeant from Cedar Hill, Texas, Police Department told Mansfield police the victim had been missing from their jurisdiction for a few days, according to the court record. The sergeant said the vehicle's On-Star feature indicated the victim's vehicle was in the area of 424 Woodridge Drive.
Prior to towing the victim's vehicle, a 2015 Chevy Traverse, officers checked the back hatch area of the vehicle and found a dead woman, according to the court record.
Demika Rucker, the suspect's girlfriend, who resides at 418 Woodridge Drive, told police that Harris arrived at her residence around 3:30 p.m. Friday, according to the court record.
No one answered the door to the residence Monday.
Also during the arraignment, Naumoff ordered a $10,000 cash bond, personal recognizance bond and electronic monitoring on each of Harris' obstructing official business and resisting arrest charges.
Standing before the video camera in the jail dressed in a red and white jumpsuit, Harris entered a not guilty plea.
According to a Mansfield police news release issued Saturday, when Mansfield police spoke with Dequalan Harris at Woodridge Drive, he told officers he had not seen the missing woman since Thursday, when he picked up a child at her residence in Texas.
When officers attempted to arrest the suspect, he attempted to run away but was later arrested, according to police.