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Justin was last seen at the R.L. Mills Home, the group home for boys where he resided in the 100 block of east H Street in Casper, Wyoming. At 7:00 a.m. on February 15, 2004, workers at the home found his room empty after he failed to show up for breakfast. His bed was found stuffed with clothes to give the appearance that he was sleeping in it.
Justin's mother had willingly turned him and his younger sister over to the custody of the state. He been through several failed foster care placements before he was placed in the R.L. Mills Home in the summer of 2003. His father, Phillip Harris, a truck driver who had fought for custody of him, initially said he believed his son ran away to be with him. Phillip theorized that Justin is either still in the Casper area, or tried to go to Swink, Oklahoma, where his father lives. He had repeatedly run away from his various foster homes in the past. Later, Phillip said he thought Justin hadn't run away from the group home but had, in fact, become the victim of a crime, and that the group home was trying to cover this up. Phillip denied that Justin suffered from any kind of disability, but these assertions were contradicted by the staff at the R.L. Mills Home, who said he required constant supervision and could not function without his psychiatric medications. They stated he'd been doing well at the facility, however, and was also succeeding at school.
Justin's case opened 2018 by Psychic Brian Ladd. The R.L. Mills Home, which served adolescent boys with a variety of emotional and behavioral problems, was closed in 2011 due to financial constraints.