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Relatives of missing 13-year-old Na'Ziyah Harris believe registered sex offender is tied to her disappearance

Posted at 6:18 PM, May 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-09 23:56:42-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Some relatives of 13-year-old Na'Ziyah Harris' fractured family believe a registered sex offender is responsible for her disappearance in early January.

Search underway at Clinton Twp. pond in connection to missing teen investigation

Search underway at Clinton Twp. pond in connection to missing teen investigation

"I believe this was about to come out — that he was having an inappropriate relationship with Na'Ziyah... sexually assaulting her," said one of the teen's cousins who stood outside of Wayne County Third Circuit Court Thursday with other loved ones to bring attention to Na'Ziyah's case and mark the fourth month that the teen has been missing.

7 News is not naming the registered sex offender because he has not been charged in Na'Ziyah's case, but he's the boyfriend of one of her relatives.

And in March, two months after Na'Ziyah was reported missing, another teenager went to Detroit police to report that the same man sexually assaulted her in 2015 when she was just 7 years old.

Police investigated and prosecutors charged the 41-year-old man with two counts of criminal sexual conduct - second degree (person under 13). He's being held on a $250,000 cash bond. A trial is set to start in late September.

Relatives believe the teen came forward after hearing about Na'Ziyah's disappearance.

Police searching Rouge River area in case of missing Detroit teen Na'Ziyah Harris

Police searching Rouge River area in case of missing Detroit teen Na'Ziyah Harris

"My heart goes out to you," said one of Na'Ziyah's cousins who is thankful for the bravery of the alleged victim who came forward.

Detroit police have not identified a suspect in Na'Ziyah's case, and a spokesperson for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said they have not received a warrant request in connection to the teen's disappearance.

Click on the main video to hear from some of Na'Ziyah's relatives who spoke outside the courthouse Thursday.