Sunday, September 10, 2000


ALBANY -- Police have identified the man found dead in the Normans Kill a week ago but still cannot say why he drowned.

With the help of some Schenectady residents Saturday, Albany police identified the man as Myron Weeks, 24, of Stanley Street, Schenectady.

``We released information that the man had tattoos and some people came in who thought they might know who he was,'' Detective James Miller, police spokesman. ``We were also able to use his fingerprints and with their help come up with a match from something on file.'' He would not elaborate.

Miller said Weeks' friends could not provide any information on why he was in the creek and police were still working to interview family members.

An autopsy determined Weeks had drowned and may have been in the water for a week or more, according to police. The investigation also showed no marks on the man's body from a struggle or a fall and police do not suspect foul play, Miller said.

The body was reported by a man who spotted it in the water as he drove over the South Pearl Street bridge. -- Bob Gardinier

Monday, September 11, 2000


Myron Weeks didn't accidentally drown, Della Harris says

BRENDAN LYONS Staff writer

Albany Three weeks ago, Myron Weeks shared a laugh with his family in the kitchen of their Schenectady home before a friend picked him up and drove him to Albany.

It would be the last time Della Harris would see her son alive.

On Sept. 1, the fully clothed body of the 23-year-old Army veteran and former Shenendehowa honor student was discovered floating in an isolated, murky creek near the Port of Albany.

Police and a medical examiner ruled that Weeks died as a result of drowning, and he was buried last week in Albany Rural Cemetery. But Harris is not convinced that her son, a strong swimmer, could have drowned in the slow-moving Normans Kill.

There are too many unanswered questions surrounding his death, she insists.

``I've told the policemen that I think somebody killed my child ... but they say he drowned,'' Harris said Sunday. ``My son was a great swimmer.''

Initially, police did not know the identity of the body or how the dead man ended up in the Normans Kill. But friends of Weeks contacted police Friday afternoon after news reports described tattoos on the body.

Weeks was wearing a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers when his corpse was pulled from the creek. A trucker spotted his body floating under the South Pearl Street bridge, a mile south of the South End neighborhood to which Weeks was headed the last night he left home.

The Normans Kill in that area is wide and placid, but its oatmeal color and soupy texture are uninviting to swimmers. It is about 25 yards wide where it eases slowly through a desolate industrial area under the Route 32 -- South Pearl Street -- bridge before wending through the Port of Albany and emptying into the Hudson River. There is a truck stop on the southern side of the bridge, but little other activity in the area.

Weeks wasn't a fisherman, a theory police first raised as they searched for his identity and reason for being in the water.

There also is the matter of Weeks' black book bag. His mother and siblings said the book bag was always attached to Myron wherever he went, even at home. The book bag, and Weeks' empty wallet, were brought to Albany police on Friday by friends of Weeks from Albany whom Harris said she does not know.

Weeks' empty wallet was jammed inside the book bag with his personal papers and books -- his love of reading and writing poetry having never faded since he graduated from Shenendehowa High School with high honors in 1995. But it's not clear why his driver's license and other documents, such as his Army identification card, were in his pocket organizer and not his wallet.

There still are creases in the empty black wallet where Weeks' driver's license and other cards had been, his family said.

Harris said she signed a property voucher when police returned her son's book bag and wallet last Friday night after informing her he was dead. She had gone to the Albany Police Department to try to identify her son from gruesome autopsy photos. On Saturday, a city detective called her and asked to have the book bag back, not giving an explanation.

Detectives assigned the case were not available for comment Sunday. But Detective James Miller, a department spokesman, said they still are treating Weeks' death as a drowning and do not believe there was any foul play. They also have no indication that Weeks committed suicide, and his relatives said he had not been despondent. Miller said Weeks' friends could not provide any information on why he was in the creek.

Harris said she and her husband told police one of her son's wrists looked as though it had a gouge in it when they were shown his autopsy photos.

``To me, it looks like his hands had been bound,'' she said.

The autopsy, however, showed no indications that Weeks had been injured. His lungs were filled with water, leading to the conclusion that he drowned, police said. Toxicology tests that may show whether there were any drugs or alcohol in his system when he died will not be available for several weeks. But those tests may be inconclusive because the condition of Weeks' corpse indicated he may have been in the water for at least a week, authorities said.

Weeks had recently been working for an employment agency and planned to attend Schenectady Community College after the fall semester.

A friend of Weeks who lives in Albany's South End neighborhood declined comment Sunday afternoon, saying he wanted to speak with police first.

On Friday, just hours before Weeks was positively identified, he was buried -- nameless -- in Albany's Graceland Cemetery at Albany County's expense. A local minister delivered a graveside service, but Weeks' family had not yet been notified about his death by the time he was buried.

``I'm going to go to the site, and if it's a nice place I will leave him there,'' Harris said. ``I'm just trying to find some logic, some sense of closure. All I know is I've got a dead child in the cemetery.''

Wednesday, September 13, 2000


SCHENECTADY -- Myron Thomas Weeks was born on November 29, 1976 to Harry and Della Weeks in Rome, NY. Professing his faith and accepting Christ as his personal savior at an early age. He united with New Bethel Baptist Church under the pastorate of Reverend Arthur Kennedy. While at New Bethel, he sang in the junior choir. He attended the Shenendehowa School System. He graduated in 1995 with honors and a regents diploma. Myron attended Marion Military Academy in Fort Knox, KY. He later enlisted in the Army. He served in Germany until 1998. He leaves to hold dear his memories, his mother, Della (Allan) Harris of Schenectady, NY; father, Harry (Tina) Weeks of Bridgeton, NY. He left behind his grandparents, Willia Wallace (Will Morgan, deceased), Irene Harris (Rev. Richard Harris, deceased) of Albany, GA, Pauline Jones (Clifford), Rev. William Weeks of Vineland, NJ and the late Lorenza and Monroe Gaines; his Godfather, attorney, Frank Policelli of Utica, NY; five sisters, Jackee Morgan Reed (Thomas), Frances Weeks, Harriett Weeks, Patricia Weeks of Schenectady, NY, Manaika Morgan Caban (Henry) of Great Lakes, IL; four brothers, Robel Jacques Morgan (Crystal) of Killen, TX, Ricardo Morgan of Altona, NY, William Morgan III of Utica, NY and Samuel Weeks of Millville, NY; two God-sisters, Juanita Chastine of Albany, NY and Lynda Davenport of St. Petersburgh, FL; three special sisters, Trunetta Maye, Adnestria Fa and Carmelia Fennell; one God-brother, Nero Fowler and special brother, Edwin Valango; 13 aunts, Patricia Slade (William) of Princeton, WV, Floria Young (John) of CO, Johnnie Davenport, Ruby Hodges (T.J.), Mary Odom (Emmanuel), all of Albany, GA, Marion Jones (Melvin) of Atlanta, GA, Norma Heath (Rev. Edward), Shirley Gaines of Albany, GA, Yvonne Weeks of CO, Ceola Witchard (Willie D.) of St. Petersburg, FL, Barbara, Gloria and Veronica, all of Vineland, NJ, Irene King, Christine and Pastine Harris, all of Albany, GA; six uncles, Fredrick, Richard, Edward, Steve Harris, all of Albany, GA, Bernard Jones and William Weeks (Mary) of Millville, NJ, Monroe Gaines (Lorraine) of Albany, GA; 42 nieces and nephews with a host of cousins and friends. The final call of God to come home was received on one summer day in August 2000 at the Hudson River. Relatives and friends are invited to call Wednesday from 6-7 p.m. at the Tebbutt Funeral Home, 633 Central Ave., Albany. Funeral services will be conducted 7 p.m. at the funeral home.