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Crime & Courts

Anthony Harrison's family members had previous concerns for his wife Laura Harrison before her death

Anthony Harrison was charged with domestic battery in December

McHENRY – Family members of a McHenry man charged with fatally stabbing his wife became increasingly concerned in the spring for Laura Harrison because of her husband's "inappropriate" behavior and posts on social media.

Bill Harrison, Anthony Harrison's uncle, said he and his family noticed that Laura Harrison seemed increasingly tired and looked "thin and exhausted." He said family members attempted to reach out and check in with her, but she indicated that everything was fine.

"We were worried," he said. "We could only imagine what that was like to live 24/7 with."

Anthony Harrison, 30, was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder. McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski said Laura Harrison died from sharp and blunt force injuries to her neck.

Police responded to the residence at 4316 W. Parkway Ave. at 8:53 a.m. Monday for a reported medical emergency. Officers found Anthony Harrison, who was airlifted to Condell Hospital in Libertyville for self-sustained injuries, police have said. He has been under police supervision at the hospital and will be transported to McHenry County Jail upon his release, police said.

Police searched the home and found Laura Harrison deceased inside her bedroom.

Bill Harrison said he and his nephew got into a verbal altercation on Easter, and Anthony Harrison was asked to leave. He said his nephew was drinking and said that was the last time he saw the couple. He received a text message from Anthony Harrison one week later, but the two had not spoken since.

He also said Anthony Harrison was posting "emotionally charged rants" on Facebook that stemmed from events in his past.

Bill Harrison said at one point he and his nephew were very close when they lived in the same residence for a period of time. He took him to the park and they would often play baseball, something for which Bill Harrison said Anthony had a great passion.

Anthony Harrison ended up living with his grandmother in Elmwood Park until he attended college.

"He had every opportunity after that," Bill Harrison said.

Police records indicate there were prior issues between the couple. Anthony Harrison was arrested and charged in December with two counts of domestic battery after police said he allegedly "struck and scratched" Laura Harrison on her chest and neck while he pushed her down to the floor at their McHenry residence.

Harrison was released on bond with conditions that did not allow him to enter their residence or have contact with his wife for at least 72 hours after his arrest, according to court documents. There was no order of protection issued in the case. Anthony Harrison's next court date on the misdemeanor charges was June 15.

Anthony and Laura Harrison met at 19 when they attended North Central College in Naperville. Laura Harrison, formerly Laura Yunger, was originally from Naperville.

Anthony and Laura Harrison married shortly thereafter and moved to the McHenry residence in December of last year. Bill Harrison said the two spent a lot of time renovating the home. They did not have children.

Laura Harrison worked at a bank but Anthony Harrison was unable to secure a job and had not worked since 2012, according to court documents.

Her mother, Rhonda Brooks, died in a car crash Dec. 14, 2015, according to an obituary. Anthony Harrison's mother also died in February – marking two parental deaths for the McHenry couple in a short period of time.

Bill Harrison said Laura Harrison was the type of person who would tackle any project. She cooked everything from scratch and grew fresh herbs and spices in her garden.

"It's heartbreaking talking about her," he said. "I just can't believe we're not going to see her again."

Bill Harrison said he and his family understand the hostility Laura Harrison's family likely has toward Anthony Harrison, and will respect whatever wishes they have at this time.

"We understand their stance on this. We really respected her and cared about her deeply," he said.

Anthony Harrison's bond was set at $3 million, and his next court date for this case is July 6.

McHenry police are asking anyone with information about this incident to contact the Criminal Investigation Division at 815-363-2599 or the anonymous tip line at 815-363-2124.

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