Local News

Durham father charged in death of 8-year-old son

Posted March 31, 2016

— A Durham father has been charged with felony child abuse after his 8-year-old son died at a Raleigh hospital Sunday night.

Thomas Harrison, Jr., 31, of 4922 Old Page Road in Durham, was arrested and charged Monday.

Investigators said that Jonathan “MileMile” Miles Pittman was abused while staying with Harrison at his Durham apartment over the weekend. A search warrant stated that Pittman was complaining of stomach pain and had vomited several times when he was hospitalized.

An obituary for Pittman, who was a third grader at Wake Christian Academy, said that he loved sports and video games, as well as remote control cars and robots.

“Jonathan was full of joy and a blessing to everyone he met. He had a sweet heart and always looked for ways to help those around him,” the obituary said. “He always had a smile on his face and enjoyed the simple things of live, such as taking his shoes and socks off and throwing them anywhere, frequently in multiple locations.”

Harrison was being held at the Durham County Jail under a $1.5 million bond. His next court appearance was scheduled for April 19.

"Earlier this week, we were made aware of the unexpected death of one of our elementary students. Our school is a big family, and we are heartbroken. Currently we are focused on ministering to our students and helping them during this very difficult time," Mike Woods, head of Wake Christian Academy said in a statement Thursday night. "We are praying for the family and ask for the community to do the same. We trust our God and His love for us. While we don’t always understand His purpose, we know He has a perfect plan for each of our lives."

Authorities said they are waiting on a ruling from the state Medical Examiner to determine if charges against Harrison will be upgraded.

A funeral for Pittman was scheduled for Friday in Raleigh and a service honoring his life was scheduled for Saturday in Durham.


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  • Janet Ghumri Apr 1, 2016
    user avatar

    So sad when the person who you should always trust to be on your side is incapable or unwilling to uphold their part. It is a travesty, and the truth will come out. I hope this man hasn't had access to any other young lives. Prayers for the family

  • Marcia Maloney Apr 1, 2016
    user avatar

    It's a shame that an 8 year old boys life was taken from this filthy trash Doesn't an 8 y O life matter ? When this trash gets time he will have his taste of abuse in the yard Inmates play hard with trash like this especially when they hear he abused this little boy So sad! Prayers to his family