Missing Akron man's cell pinged in Cleveland

Posted at 11:36 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-01 05:32:10-05

A family desperate for answers is taking the search for a missing man out of Akron into their own hands -- and the private investigator they hired has found his cell phone pinging in Cleveland and Rocky River.

Akron Police said La'Ron Harris, 27, drove his car into the Cuyahoga River in Akron after a night out last Sunday around 2:30 a.m. His passenger, Kaila Watkins, escaped the sinking car and swam to safety. 

Akron Police said they searched the river banks, but had no updates as of Monday, eight days after La'Ron was last seen.

Akron Fire has jurisdiction over the water, and searched the river last Sunday and last Monday and found no signs of Harris.

"We can't eat, can't sleep, can't do nothing," said Justen Harris, La'Ron's younger brother. Family and friends have searched the river banks day and night, but turned up nothing.

Then, they hired a private investigator out of Youngstown.

That private investigator tracked La'Ron's phone and found it pinging in two spots -- stationary on W. 11th St. in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood and moving on Old Detroit Rd. in Rocky River. 

The ping means the cell phone hit cell phone towers within a four-mile radius.

"My thing is, if we can find the cell phone, we can find him," Justen said.

So the family hit the pavement again, plastering those areas with missing person fliers -- a sliver of hope, but so many more questions. 

"We just want some closure, we want all the help we can get," said Jay-von Ervin, La'Ron's youngest brother.