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Man Held in Killing First Blamed on 2 Boys

April 23, 1999| From Associated Press

CHICAGO — A man was indicted Thursday on charges of murdering an 11-year-old girl, a crime for which two little boys originally were arrested.

Floyd Durr was ordered held without bail in the slaying of honor student Ryan Harris. He was already being held in three other attacks on little girls.

A 40-count indictment charges Durr with first-degree murder, aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping in the girl's slaying.

Defense attorney Geary Kull said his client is despondent. "These charges are ugly," he said.

Ryan was found July 28 in a South Side lot, sexually molested and beaten, with her skull fractured, her underpants in her mouth and twigs and leaves in her nostrils.

Two boys, 7 and 8, were charged 12 days later after being interrogated by police. But the charges were dropped Sept. 4 after semen was found in the girl's underpants. Medical experts said the boys were probably too young to produce it.

Durr was first named a suspect in Ryan's death in October. At the time, prosecutors said he admitted performing a sex act over her body but denied killing her.

The long period during which Durr was not charged angered many Chicago residents.

Anger lingers as well over the treatment of the two boys. The 8-year-old's family has sued the city for $100 million, charging that detectives framed the boys despite evidence that an adult committed the crime.

An attorney said the boy was himself an honor student but now is failing in school, has nightmares and is afraid to play with other children.

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