New Year's Day death ruled a suicide

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque has determined that Harrison Happy, found dead on New Year's Day of a stab wound to the chest, was not murdered, but instead committed suicide.

Bloomfield police found Happy, 34, unresponsive at a residence at 501 S. Third Street, space 2, in Bloomfield during the early-morning hours on New Year's Day.

According to an autopsy report for Happy, obtained by The Daily Times through a public records request, Happy's girlfriend told police that Happy retrieved a knife and stabbed himself in the chest after an argument.

Police arriving at the residence found Happy's girlfriend attempting to resuscitate Happy, the report states, but she was unsuccessful.

The knife penetrated his chest 9 centimeters, according to the autopsy report, piercing Happy's left lung and heart and causing blood to pool around internal organs.

Happy had a 0.245 blood-alcohol content level at the time of his death, the report states, but no illegal substances were found in his system.

Bloomfield police Chief Randy Foster said his detectives have reviewed the autopsy and toxicology reports.

"All indications we have at the moment point to a suicide," Bloomfield police Chief Randy Foster said Wednesday. "However, we are still investigating it and following all leads that we have before we close our case."

He said officers were naturally suspicious about the death, given its nature.

"Any time somebody is killed by a weapon, we have to look at it seriously and make sure, determine, what caused (the death) and who caused it," he said. "The second part of the investigation is that we have two people in a room, and one ends up dead. You really have to make sure the other person is not involved."

According to the autopsy report, Happy had a history of alcohol abuse and depression.

The Daily Times reported on Feb. 13, 2009, that Happy lost a 3-year-old son, Harlam Hyrshel Happy, in a house fire near the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry headquarters.

The father said of his son at the time: "He was a very outgoing person and lovable. He loved everyone around him, and everybody loved him."

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.