Johnson County jury finds former Overland Park church elder guilty of murdering wife

A former Overland Park church elder has been found guilty of premeditated first-degree murder in the killing of his wife, whose body was found four years ago in a Cass County field.

Robert Lee Harris, 35, was convicted of the charge by a Johnson County jury on Friday. He stood trial in the killing of his wife Tanisha Harris, 38, an associate minister with south Kansas City church Repairers KC, where Robert Harris was a church elder.

Tanisha Harris was reported missing on Jan. 8, 2018 after she left her job at an Overland Park bank for lunch and never returned. Her body was found inside a black garbage bag in a Cass County field the next day.

Police made first contact with Robert Harris as they investigated a report of a domestic disturbance at the apartment complex the Harrises shared in the 8000 block of Perry Street. A neighbor and apartment manager reported hearing loud noises booming from their apartment that day.

After officers arrived on scene, Robert Harris was found alone in the apartment, according to court testimony. They saw red stains on the carpet and broken glass on the door. Harris was arrested later that day and taken to a police station for an interview, where he allegedly informed investigators where his missing wife’s body could be found in Raymore.

An autopsy report showed she died on Jan. 8, 2018 from being strangled. Other injuries included head trauma and bleeding.

Authorities also allege Robert Harris spent the morning of his wife’s death making trips to a local Walmart, where he bought a trash can, plastic bags, carpet cleaner and a filleting knife. Her body was found by investigators wrapped in a black plastic bag.

Robert Harris was scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 3.