Police – Accident – Death – Obituary News : Police in Apache Junction, Arizona, are conducting an investigation into the remains of a young girl found in the desert in 1992. The girl has been identified as 15-year-old Melody Harrison, who was reported missing in June of that year. It took nearly three decades to identify her remains using genetic genealogy.
Authorities are now focusing on determining the cause of Harrison’s death, including the possibility that she was a victim of a serial killer. At the time of her death, there were two known serial killers operating in the area: Bryan Patrick Miller, also known as the “Zombie Hunter,” and Scott Lehr, known as the “Babyseat Rapist.”
Harrison’s decomposed remains were discovered in a remote desert area of Apache Junction in August 1992. The investigation into her identity and cause of death was extensive, but her remains were only recently identified. The investigation continues to determine how she ended up in a location over 40 miles away from her residence.
The family had initially filed a missing person report in June 1992, but false sightings of Melody led them to believe that she had run away and started a new life. As a result, she was removed from the missing person’s database in August 1996. The case was reopened in 2008 when police investigator Stephanie Bourgeois took over, but DNA testing at that time was unsuccessful.
In 2018, Bourgeois enlisted the help of the DNA Doe Project, a volunteer research group specializing in forensic genealogy analysis. After five years of investigation, a breakthrough was made when a second DNA test confirmed that the unidentified remains, known as “Apache Junction Jane Doe,” belonged to Melody Harrison.
While her identification brings some peace of mind to the family, the circumstances surrounding her death remain a mystery. Police are exploring the possibility that Harrison was a victim of one of the two serial killers active in the area at the time. Bryan Patrick Miller, who referred to himself as the “Arizona Zombie Hunter,” was found guilty of murdering two women in 2023.
Miller’s victims, Angela Brosso and Melanie Bernas, disappeared while riding their bikes through Phoenix. Brosso was decapitated, and her head was found in a canal where Bernas’ body was later discovered. Miller has been vocal about his innocence, claiming he has no explanation for how his DNA ended up on the bodies of both women.
Scott Lehr, known as the “Babyseat Rapist,” was convicted in 1997 for the murders of Margaret Christorf and Michelle Morales, as well as multiple assaults and rapes. His modus operandi involved offering women rides in his car and then taking them to the desert to rape them before killing some of them. Surviving victims described a baby seat in his vehicle, leading to his nickname.
Both Miller and Lehr were active in the area around the time of Melody Harrison’s death, raising suspicions that one of them may be responsible. The investigation into Harrison’s death is ongoing, with authorities following up on all leads.
As the police continue their investigation, the community remains vigilant, hoping for answers that will bring closure to Melody Harrison’s family and justice for her untimely death..