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'He was just a baby': The family of Major Harris and Mallery Muenzenberger share their heartbreak

Mallery Muenzenberger and Major Harris
Posted at 11:34 AM, Oct 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-21 20:36:32-04

The family of Mallery Muenzenberger - the mother of Major Harris - spoke out for the first time Thursday morning, as they were preparing a memorial service for Mallery in La Crosse, where they are all from.

TMJ4's Katie Crowther spoke to them again, right after they found out that 3-year-old Major was found dead in Milwaukee Thursday afternoon. Mallery’s aunt cried over the phone, and kept saying, “he was just a baby.”

They are truly living a nightmare.

Major was Mallery's only child. Her family says, "he was her life, her joy, and her purpose."

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Mallery's father and extended family helped raise Major. They say Mallery was a single mom, working two jobs, and aspired to become a nurse.

The violent nature of their deaths haunts them.

In a statement they say in part, "Mallery became involved in a life she never shared with our family. She was much too private. She was an honest person with too much trust, we have found out."

Major Harris and Mallery Muenzenberger

The family also indicated in the statement that Mallery and Major's deaths may somehow be tied to domestic violence. But they don't elaborate more.

The 25-year-old was found shot last Thursday, in the backyard of a home near 37th and Clarke.

Milwaukee Police confirm they have arrested several people who may have information tied to the deaths of Mallery and Major.

Mallery's family says they never heard her mention the name Jaheem Clark, 20 - who police called a suspect in Mallery's homicide, and Major's disappearance. Clark was found by officers with a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a home on North 31st Street near Custer Avenue Sunday.

Less than a mile away, Mallery's car was found with blood inside of it. Investigators have not released whose blood was found in the car.

Police searched for days for Major. Those searches covered areas of Milwaukee, and as far away as Dodge and Washington Counties. There were also volunteer searches led by community advocates and Major's father, Carlton Harris, whom Mallery's family does not have a relationship with.

Major Harris and Mallery Muenzenberger

Police say Major was last seen Oct. 9, after traveling to Milwaukee with Mallery.

Their family doesn't know why they were in Milwaukee, or who would want to hurt them.

The last time Mallery's dad spoke with her on the phone, she told him she was headed to Madison. The last thing she said on that final phone call was ‘I love you.’ Now, the family wishes they could still say those words to both Mallery and Major.

The Muenzenberger family wants to thank everyone, including Milwaukee Police, for conducting the searches and praying for them through this. They hope whoever is responsible for killing Major and Mallery, is brought to justice.

Read the statement in full below:

"ON behalf of the family of Mallery Muenzenberger and Major Harris, we want to extend our many thanks to the Milwaukee community volunteers and the Milwaukee Police Department for all of your diligence in searching for Major. It has truly been a helpless feeling for all of us that have not been able to assist in the search for Major due to having to prepare for Mallery’s funeral.

We are heartbroken as we prepare to say our final goodbyes to Mallery who was taken from us in such a violent fashion. Mallery was a beautiful kind soul who loved her little boy with all of her heart. She raised him as a single mother, working 2 jobs at times trying to provide for him. Her early aspirations were to become a nurse, and she would have made a very caring one! Mallery became involved in a life she never shared with our family. She was much too private. She was an honest person with too much trust we have found out. As we have been searching through her belonging’s we came across her high school senior project. How ironic that the topic she chose to present was Domestic Violence Awareness. Mallery faced her death in the hands of domestic violence in October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Mallery was raised in a family unit based on their strong faith. She attended bible studies, bible camps, weekly church services and daily prayer. Her son was her life – her joy – her purpose- her future. She loved her family. As we look through the pictures of her growing up, we continually see her contagious, sweet smile. You couldn’t help but be drawn to her lovable personality. She had a quiet, innocence about her. She never had to be the center of attention, more than likely she was the one smirking in the corner of the room with that devious look of hers.

Mallery’s life will not be forgotten. We will never let her memory go. We will continue to search for her beautiful baby boy, Major and bring him home to Lacrosse, to the family that loves and cares for him. Major has been a part of Mallery’s family since his birth and his missing has left an incredible void in our lives.

We will always approach the month of October with a new appreciation and awareness on her behalf. We ask that all of us keep the victims of domestic violence in your hearts, and say a prayer that their souls rest in peace.

As we transition our focus of putting Mallery to rest, we will never rest until we locate Major. We are desperate for any information regarding his whereabouts. If you have any information please contact the Milwaukee Police Department, and bring Major home. #majorstrong"

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