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New Indictment In Child Murder

A Chicago grand jury indicted a man Thursday on charges of murdering 11-year-old honor student Ryan Harris, a crime for which two little boys originally were charged.

Circuit Judge Thomas Fitzgerald denied bond and called Floyd Durr a substantial threat to the community. He was being held without bond on three other attacks on young girls.

Harris was found July 28 in a lot in the South Side's poverty-plagued Englewood neighborhood, beaten and sexually molested. Her underwear was stuffed in her mouth; twigs and grass had been packed into her nostrils.

The two boys, ages 7 and 8, were charged 12 days later after both underwent police questioning. But the charges were dropped Sept. 4 when semen was found in the girl's underpants.

Durr has been a suspect in Harris' death since October, when DNA evidence linked him to her corpse. At that time, prosecutors said he admitted to performing a sexual act over her body but denied killing her.

The long period during which Durr was not charged brought anger from many Chicago residents, who questioned why prosecutors did not formally charge him.

Anger lingers as well over the treatment of the two boys originally charged. The family of the 8-year-old has filed a lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages from the city. They also want a special prosecutor to investigate the way the case was handled.

The lawsuit contends that detectives framed the boys despite evidence that an adult committed the crime.

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