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Las Vegas police issue wrong photographs of 'person of interest'

By Jack Maddox, CNN
updated 11:06 PM EST, Wed February 27, 2013
Yenesis Alfonso, left, and shooting suspect Ammar Asim Faruq Harris.
Yenesis Alfonso, left, and shooting suspect Ammar Asim Faruq Harris.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A woman sought in connection with a triple homicide was not the woman pictured
  • Instead, the pictures show a reality TV participant who lives in Florida
  • Her lawyer says she used to know the suspect in the Las Vegas shootings

(CNN) -- Las Vegas police said photos they released of a "person of interest" sought in connection with a triple homicide show the wrong person.

The photographs that police originally said depicted Tineesha Lashun Howard are instead of Tasha Malek, an account executive at a medical company who lives in Florida and appeared in the television series "Bad Girls Club," the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said.

Malek's attorney, Michael Grieco, told CNN that it took the police half an hour to realize that she was not the "person of interest" they were seeking once he told them that she was in Miami and sent them identifying information.

Ammar Harris is wanted for questioning in a shooting and fiery crash that left three people dead.
Ammar Harris is wanted for questioning in a shooting and fiery crash that left three people dead.

According to Grieco, his client met the suspect in the killings two years ago when he lived in Miami and the two became friends, but they had not maintained contact. He said Malek does not know Howard.

Ammar Harris, 26, is being sought in connection with Thursday's pre-dawn fatal shooting of Kenneth Cherry, an aspiring rapper known as Kenny Clutch. Clutch was driving his Maserati on Las Vegas Boulevard when he was struck by gunfire from a black Range Rover.

The Maserati then collided with a taxi, which caught fire, killing the driver and a passenger.

Police said the pictures of Malek were found in Harris' possession and that "it appears Harris had obtained and downloaded images of this celebrity because of the identical resemblance to the person of interest and his known associate."

Howard, aka Yenesis Alfonso, is not a suspect in the shooting and accident, said Laura Meltzer, a Las Vegas police spokeswoman. "She's somebody detectives would like to speak to in connection with this event."

Police say Howard has been identified as being inside the Range Rover at the time shots were fired from it; she is listed as missing and possibly endangered.

Police have identified Harris as a suspect. He is at large; a black Range Rover police say he was driving early Thursday has been impounded.

A woman who identified herself as Howard's mother told CNN that her daughter and Harris have been girlfriend and boyfriend for about a year.

Miladys Garcia said she recognized Harris from an image that police issued but knew him by a different name. Garcia said she hasn't been in contact with her daughter since the shooting.

She gave CNN with a phone number for Howard. A call to the number went to voice mail, and the mailbox was full.

CNN's Cristy Lenz contributed to this report.

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