published Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Teen's body found on East Lake porch

For an entire day, the body of a teenage girl was left inside an East Lake home while the man she had spent the night with and other residents in his home concocted a story to explain her death.

Carlos Juan Harrison then propped the girl's body up on a wicker love seat on the front porch before calling police, according to court records.

Harrison, 18, has been charged with criminal homicide after police questioned his family about the girl's death, which police discovered late Sunday night.

"It just hurts my heart to know she was in there," said Acacia Covington, whose home is directly across the street from the porch where the girl was found in the 3000 block of 12th Avenue. She watched Sunday night as investigators swarmed around the girl's body, which was still propped in the chair.

"As a mother, it just completely ruined my Mother's Day," she said. "It is tragic."

Police have not identified the juvenile victim, but neighbors say she was a student at Central High School.

Harrison, his mother and other residents at the home originally told police the girl had approached the home Sunday evening and asked if she could sit on the porch. They said they came back out to the porch two hours later and she was dead, according to an affidavit filed in Hamilton County General Sessions Court.

But bruising on both sides of the girl's neck and dried blood from her nose or mouth made investigators pursue a second round of questioning, during which Harrison's mother decided she "wanted to tell the truth," the affidavit states.

She told police she had seen her son bring the girl into her home the night before, and that she had lied about that to cover up her son's involvement.

Harrison is out on bond on aggravated burglary and theft charges. His next court date was set for July 18.

Once police confronted Harrison with his mother's story, he admitted he had been with the girl the night before. Harrison told police they met late Saturday and that she agreed to stay over. The two had sex and fell asleep, he claimed in the affidavit.

When he woke, he found her lying unresponsive on the floor, he said.

Harrison told police he did not know what caused the injuries to her neck and face, and that she was unharmed when he moved her, the affidavit states.

Along with the homicide charge, Harrison also has been charged with tampering with or fabricating evidence.

His is scheduled to appear before General Sessions Judge Christine Mahn Sell on May 22.

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