Crime & Courts

Updated: Murder suspect, woman arrested at Wichita motel

The Riley County Police Department has been looking for Steven Harris and Cora Brown in connection with a murder case.
The Riley County Police Department has been looking for Steven Harris and Cora Brown in connection with a murder case. Courtesy photo

A man wanted for murder in a Manhattan shooting and his companion were arrested at an east Wichita Motel 6 overnight, ending a multiday manhunt that tipped off Sunday evening.

According to a news release from Riley County authorities, 38-year-old Steven Harris was taken into custody “without incident” by the Wichita Police Department after a tip about the gold Buick Rendezvous he was thought to be driving led officers to the East Kellogg motel.

Sgt. Nikki Woodrow, spokeswoman for Wichita police, said Friday that someone who was at the hotel recognized Harris from information disseminated in recent days by news organizations and on social media and contacted authorities. Members of the local SWAT team responded to the report and found Harris there with 37-year-old Cora Brown, who was reported missing earlier this week but thought to be on the run with Harris.

Both were arrested on warrants originating in Riley County and booked into the Sedgwick County Jail after 2:30 a.m. Friday. Harris’ warrant had been issued for first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in a shooting Sunday in the 2800 block of Nelson’s Landing in Manhattan that immediately claimed the life of 39-year-old German Gonzalez-Garcia and critically injured another man.

Brown’s was over allegations she possessed methamphetamine, according to the news release from Riley County.

Woodrow told reporters in Wichita on Friday the pair “were taken into custody peacefully” and no one was injured during the motel raid. Riley County authorities said there is no indication Brown was in danger.

Harris is being held in lieu of $2 million bond, according to the release and jail records. Brown’s bond is $20,000. Both will be transferred to the Riley County Jail to face criminal charges tied to their cases, the release said. It was immediately unclear when that might happen.

Riley County authorities, in their news release, extended gratitude to the Wichita Police Department for capturing Harris, to other law enforcement agencies that helped in the search for him and to “the many thousands of citizens who remained vigilant throughout the investigation.”

Woodrow on Friday echoed the thank you to the public.

“We rely heavily on community members to provide us information,” she said, “because they’re the eyes and ears 24 hours a day, seven days a week where we can’t be.”

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker