Cal Harris Speaks Out, Seeks Information on Missing Wife

By Peter Quinn

Published 03/05 2014 04:47PM

Updated 03/05 2014 05:20PM

Cal Harris spoke publicly today for the first time since his estranged wife's disappearance 13 years ago.

Harris, his four children and a team of investigators and attorneys he has hired have set up a tip line with the hope of getting new information about the case.

Since Michele went missing, he has been convicted twice of murdering her, although the first conviction was thrown out after a post-trial witness came forward. Harris successfully appealed the second jury verdict.

Michelle's body has never been found. She was last seen Sept. 11th, 2001 leaving her waitress job in Waverly.

The Harris family lived in the Town of Spencer.

The third trial is slated to begin this September in Schoharie County. It's the first time the trial will not be in Owego.

"I did not have any involvement in Michele's disappearance. I would never hurt the mother of my children and I would never do anything to hurt them. For the last 13 years I've struggled to raise them as best as I can despite being taken away several times now long periods of time," said Harris.

Harris's oldest daughter, Kayla, also spoke at today's news conference.
She says her dad shielded her and her siblings for years from the case's publicity, but as they grew older he no longer could.

"Now we are old enough to understand what is going on and cannot sit here in silence and watch another travesty of justice take place. We need to know what really happened to our mother. Our dad had nothing to do with her disappearance. We also know there are people out there with information who can help us get answers," said Kayla.

The private investigators from downstate say there have been numerous cases where people have been wrongly convicted of murder. They say they are doing what the police didn't do, which is thoroughly investigate the case. Harris's investigators believe Harris was targeted from day one.

"We've have actually focused in on a small group of individuals that we think are at least interesting to us. We've developed some information about them and that information continues to grow. We've waited til now to do this tip line, because we're kind of at a critical point where we think the influx of new information will hopefully put us over the top," said Bruce Barket.

"I need the community and Cal needs to the community, as well as his legal team, to call with any information which will be strictly confidential. I will tell you before today's press conference that I have received calls," said Jay Salpeter. "I want to thank the people who are stepping up and we need more people to come forward."

The tip line is 215-5166. Investigators say all calls are confidential. So far, seven calls have come in.

Investigators are asking anyone who thinks they have bits of information about the case to come forward, even if they've already told it to police or think it may not be relevant.

Copyright 2017 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.