Connecticut Family Seeks Answers in Man's Death in Deerfield Beach

The body of Jay Harper was found in water behind the Embassy Suites in October

By Christina Hernandez
|  Sunday, Jan 27, 2013  |  Updated 2:57 AM EDT
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Jay Harper's body was found in water behind the Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach when he was staying there in October. BSO Detective John Berrena, daughter Megan Harper and wife Karen Harper spoke about the case.

Jay Harper's body was found in water behind the Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach when he was staying there in October. BSO Detective John Berrena, daughter Megan Harper and wife Karen Harper spoke about the case.

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A newly released sketch could answer a question that his been plaguing one Connecticut family since October, when a father and husband was found dead in Deerfield Beach.

Jay Harper was visiting South Florida from Connecticut on business. He was staying at the Embassy Suites on South Ocean Way. His body was found behind the hotel, in the water near rocks.

"That's the hardest part," Jay Harper's wife Karen said. "In a second, it's all gone and you don't know why."

Detectives say a woman he was with the night he died was questioned, but is not a suspect. Also seen there around the same time – the man whose face was sketched. Some people say he was acting suspicious, and now, detectives want to talk to him.

Detectives aren't saying how Harper died, but are calling his death a homicide because he sustained injuries they do not believe came from the rocks on the beach where his body was found.

More than three months later, Karen Harper and the couple's two kids, Nick and Megan, came to South Florida to plead for help.

"It blows my mind," 19-year-old Megan Harper said. "He was a sweet person. I want answers."

Nick Harper, who is 16, said it was a trip to South Florida he didn't want to make. But his mother hopes their interview with the media will keep Harper's story alive and bring them some answers that will lead to closure.

"He's part of a bigger picture. He's not just someone who didn't come home," Karen said.

If you have any information about this crime, or think you know who the man is in the sketch, call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

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