Kansas Church Mourns Death Of Associate Pastor Tanisha Harris

By Victor Ochieng

The body of Minister Tanisha Harris was discovered in a Cass County field on Tuesday morning. Investigators from Overland Park arrived at the scene at dawn to examine the dead woman’s body.

At around midmorning, news went out to leaders of a church in south Kansas City that it was Harris, a 38-year-old associate pastor of the church, whose body had been discovered. Adding to their pain was the news that a man was being held in the death of the pastor and that it was none other than Robert Harris, Pastor Harris’ 30-year-old husband, who happens to be one of the elders in the church.

“I’ve cried all that I can,” Pastor Carlton Funderburke said at the church during Tuesday afternoon hours. “They were a loving couple. … They were a wonderful newlywed couple.”

Funderburke, 38, married the couple in July of 2016, officiating a full-blown love that had grown during their work together at the 11802 Blue Ridge Blvd church. Looking at the couple, there were no signs that the kind of narrative seen in police statements would befall them.

The police report said they were called to an apartment on Monday around 4 p.m. in a domestic disturbance case. When the police arrived at the 8000 block of Perry Street, they found a man alone in the apartment. Some hours later, that very man called them back to report his missing wife. After some grilling, officers became suspicious of him and he admitted to having a role in the disappearance of his wife.

About 2 a.m. both Raymore and Belton police officers came together at 163rd Street and Kentucky Road to cordon off a crime scene for investigators drawn from Overland Park and Johnson County.

Overland Park later released a report in which they said the body of Harris had been located at the park and that her husband had been arrested in relation to her death.

Police didn’t release any further details on Tuesday, choosing to refer all comments and questions to the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office, which also issued no comment.

Investigators were also busy at the apartment, which had been cordoned off by officers using the yellow crime scene tape. Detectives went into a spirited search of the apartment, a car in the parking lot and a nearby trash dumpster. A trash truck that got to the place to collect garbage had to be turned away.