Church Elder Charged With Murdering Wife

An elder for a Kansas City church is due in court Thursday on charges of murdering the associate pastor, who was also his wife.

Authorities charged Robert Lee Harris, elder for the non-denominational church Repairers of The Breach Christian Center, with first degree premeditated murder Wednesday for allegedly killing Tanisha Harris, his wife of 18 months and associate pastor of the church, according to Fox News. Robert allegedly killed his wife in the course of a domestic dispute and then hid her body in Raymore, Mo., according to KCTV5.

Authorities initially paid a visit to Robert and Tanisha’s apartment Monday in response to reports of a domestic disturbance. Robert called the police hours later to report his wife missing, but police became suspicious upon further questioning. Robert then allegedly admitted to playing a role in his wife’s disappearance. Authorities found Tanisha’s body in a rural area of Raymore Tuesday night and subsequently took Robert into custody. News of the murder came as a shock to the leadership of Repairers, who said the recently wedded couple had been a loving family.

“It’s beyond unreal because I knew Elder Robert Harris,” Minister Hopelizzette, a church congregant, told Fox 4. “He was my spiritual counselor. He was our go-to man when we couldn’t reach our pastor. He loved her.”

Caleb Funderburke, the church’s pastor, said the the couple showed “no signs at all” of strife and that they seemed loving.

“Utter shock, anguish, confusion and questions,” Funderburke told Fox 4. “I was privileged to perform their wedding ceremony in July of 2016. They were just good, solid people and outstanding members of their community.”

Hopelizzette told Fox 4 that Tanisha would be sorely missed, as she was known for her sweet demeanor and her kind willingness to serve others.

“She was loving and kind, and she would do anything for you,” Hopelizzette said. “And she was very soft spoken and sweet but powerful, and she was a loving mother and a devoted, caring wife. She had a daughter and he had a daughter, but they were a family. They had just come back from taking his daughter home. She was with them for the whole Christmas holiday.”

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