Name: Rico Omarr Harris
Age: 37 years old
Last seen: October 10, 2014
Location: Sacramento, California
Rico Omarr Harris is an African-American male with buzzed cut black hair and brown eyes, he is 6’9 tall and weighs 280lbs.
Rico has two tattoos on his arm: “Big Ric” on his upper right arm and “Ballin IV Life” on his upper left arm. He was last seen wearing a grey thermal shirt and a pair of white jeans.
Rico Omarr Harris was born on May 19th, 1977, in Los Angeles, California to parents Margaret Fernandez and Henry Harris. He was described as a gentle giant who had a passion for basketball, which he inherited from his father, and wanted it to become a professional career.
Rico was the oldest of four children, he grew up in a small two-bedroom duplex in the suburbs of Alhambra, California. His parents had divorced, his mother was struggling with a full-time job as a caregiver to elderly people. Rico was described as the glue that held the family together, while his mother worked full-time he took care of his siblings.
Rico Harris had pursued acting at the age of 15 but realized he was born to play basketball. He graduated from Temple City High School in California and then attend Arizona State University before transferring to Los Angeles City College. While attending Los Angeles City College, he won his first state college title in the 1997 California Community College State Championship.
Rico began drinking alcohol and his career in basketball was deteriorating due to academic failure.
Spring 2000, Rico joined the Harlem Globetrotters, however, his professional career ended two months later due to intense headaches and balance issues he was suffering from after receiving a head injury after being hit in the back of his head by a baseball bat.
Between 2000 and 2007, Rico Harris returned to Alhambra to live with his family. He soon fell into alcohol and drug use because he had no job passions apart from basketball. After a prescription drug overdose in 2007, Rico checked himself into the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centre downtown Los Angeles.
After recovering, he then got a job working a private security detail in Bell, California, he had also moved into an apartment with a roommate, near downtown Los Angeles. In 2012, he started a long-distance relationship with Jennifer Song, who lived in Seattle.
In September 2014, due to a dispute with his roommate, Rico moved to Seattle, Washington, and had plans to move in permanently with his girlfriend Jennifer Song. He had planned on marrying Jennifer and planned a future with her.
October 9th, 2014, Rico Harris drove Alhambra to reconcile some issues he had with his family. While at his family home, Rico went out for dinner with one of his brothers and then had a one-on-one conversation with his mother. It is not known what the outcome of this conversation was, but it is believed not to have been Rico’s wish.
At around 1 am on October 10th, Rico left Alhambra with some personal belongings and began his trip back to Seattle on Interstate 5.
The following day Rico had a scheduled job interview with a real estate appraisal company in Seattle.
He had stopped at a gas station in Lodi, located 40 miles south of Sacramento, at 8 am. When his girlfriend Jennifer called to check up on him, she said he sounded tired and she was worried because he had been awake for nearly 36 hours. She had told him to find a place to stay the night but he told her he was going to make a stop up into the mountains to rest, she had told him the cell service in the mountains would be bad.
Throughout the morning Rico’s mother and girlfriend made numerous attempts to contact him to check on him and his journey but he did not pick up.
At 10:44 am, Rico had responded to Jennifer’s texts and said he was doing well but does not give a lot of details. This was the last time anyone has heard from Rico Harris. His phone was then turned off at 11:45 am and was never heard from again.
Jennifer became worried when Rico did not return home in Seattle and called his mother that evening.
October 14th, Rico’s mother received a call from a sheriff’s deputy who contacted her about Rico’s abandoned car, she immediately filed a missing person’s report to the Alhambra Police Department. His car was found abandoned in Yolo County, which was around 450 miles north of his Alhambra family home.
Rico Harris’s car, a black Nissan Maxima sedan, was found abandoned in Lower Site, an isolated rest area in Yolo County Regional State Park on Route 16 near Cache Creek.
His car was found locked, with his wallet without cash inside, credit cards, and papers scattered around. Police also found two plastic bottles, one empty and the other half full both smelling of alcohol. His driver’s license was missing and the car was out of gas and the battery was nearly dead.
His phone and backpack were found two miles away from where the vehicle was found. When police searched the phone, they found some pictures of the creek and selfies of Rico. Additionally, they found videos that seemed to be unintentionally recorded of Rico singing to music playing in his car, while casually flinging the contents of his wallet and CDs from the passenger’s side compartment across the car. This video was time-stamped on the evening of October 10th.
Investigators began a 3-day search in the surrounding area on Route 16, with search and rescue teams, search dogs, and helicopters, yet there was no sign of Rico Harris.
An eyewitness came forward and told investigators he had seen Rico Harris at 5:30 am on October 11th, sitting on a guardrail overlooking the creek, which was 500 yards from where Rico’s phone and backpack were found. Another person came forward saying he had seen Rico walking alongside Route 16 at 8 am that day.
On October 19th, searchers came across a trail of size 18 sneakers a few yards south of where Rico’s car was found. Several eyewitnesses have said they had seen a tall man, wearing light-colored pants, in the early hours of the morning on October 18th.
In 2015, the case had gone cold.
Jennifer Song said that Rico had been acting unusual, he was acting abnormally and losing his sense of organization. She said after questioning him, he admitted to relapsing the previous summer of 2014 with alcohol consumption. Though this did not turn into a long-term habit and the couple had serious plans of marriage, and spoke about having children and their future together.
She said that he seemed excited about moving on and that his head was in his right space. Rico’s mother also said he seemed excited about his new life in Seattle and he was optimistic however she suspected him to have been drinking or under the influence of a substance.
Theory 1: Detective Dean Nyland believes Rico Harris may have decided to take a nap in the parking lot of Lower Site. Hw then wandered around the area for a few days, over some unresolved issues from his past and the new life he had starting in Seattle. After not finding his car, as I had been towed, he tried to go into the next nearby town.
Dean Nyland does not believe foul play was involved in Rico Harris’s disappearance, as there is no indication of foul play and the images on Rico’s phone suggest he went there voluntarily.
Theory 2: Another theory is that Rico Harris died in the woods, with the sighting and the possibility of alcohol in his system he may have gotten lost and passed away.
Theory 3: He took the wrong turn and his car ran out of gas, so he stopped and tried to walk to the nearest town but had gotten lost, with the possibility of alcohol in his system, and passed away.
If you have any information on the disappearance of Rico Omarr Harris please contact the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department at 530-668-5280 or call 530-668-6612.
Resources and Further Information
Disappeared Season 7 Episode 7 – California Leaving