Crime

‘This is a monster,’ family says of man suspected of killing wife, daughter with machete

Miami Gardens man wanted after wife and daughter found dead

Miami Gardens, Florida, resident Noel Chambers is wanted on two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder after his wife and a minor daughter were found dead and his adult daughter was found wounded.
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Miami Gardens, Florida, resident Noel Chambers is wanted on two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder after his wife and a minor daughter were found dead and his adult daughter was found wounded.

A few days before Lorrice Harris and her young daughter were brutally murdered in their apartment, she told her husband of 10 years that their marriage was ending, family members said at an emotionally charged press conference at Miami Gardens police headquarters on Monday.

“We believe the trigger was she wanted a divorce from him,” said Harris’ brother, Ernie Saunders.

On Saturday, police responding to a call about a possible assault at Harris’ Miami Gardens apartment encountered a scene that even hardened detectives called gut-wrenching: On the back porch they found Harris mutilated by a machete. In a bedroom inside the apartment was her 10-year-old daughter, Shayla, killed by the same weapon. Another daughter, Shanalee Chambers, 29, survived the assault and was hospitalized in critical condition.

Police quickly named the suspect in the murders: Harris’ husband, Noel Chambers, 57, a hulking man known to friends in Jamaica and Miami by the nickname “Massive.”

Police across the region and federal authorities have combined in the search, but Chambers hasn’t been spotted since the attack. Police said they’re concerned Chambers may try to return to his native Jamaica.

A reward for his capture and conviction was set at $3,000. Police said that when Chambers is caught he will face two counts of first-degree murder and another count of attempted murder.

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On Monday afternoon, after receiving a tip during the press conference, police were searching for Chambers in and around an abandoned hospital at Northwest Seventh Avenue and 173rd Street near Top Golf and just a few blocks from where Harris and her daughter were killed.

Earlier Monday at the police department, heartbroken and angered family members begged anyone with information to come forward. Police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt and Mayor Oliver Gilbert spoke directly to Chambers and anyone who might be assisting him, promising he’d be captured and that those helping him would also face charges.

“If you did this, there is no place for you to hide,” said the mayor. “You’re not one of us. It’s a matter of humanity. This can not be allowed to stand. He has to get caught.”

Said Chief Noel-Pratt: “If you are knowingly harboring this guy, you’re just as bad as him.”

Family members said Harris, a 49-year-old home-care nurse, went to Jamaica about a decade ago to marry Chambers and help him migrate to the U.S. The two had been living in a Miami Gardens apartment in the 600 block of Northwest 177th Street with Shayla. They said before the killings they hadn’t noticed any type of physical abuse toward Harris by Chambers, though he was controlling and oftentimes tried to isolate her from family members.

The tension, according to Harris’ middle daughter, Ashley Anderson, was in part responsible for a yearlong rift between Harris and her mother. They had only recently reconciled their differences, Anderson said.

Harris was killed just before midnight Saturday, on her birthday.

“You planned to kill her on her birthday,” Anderson said, speaking directly to Chambers. “To come home and be killed after a good day of having fun. Please just give yourself up. If he can do that to his own daughter, his own wife, this is not a man. This is a monster.”

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