Destiny Harrison biography: early life, education, career, murder and police investigation
Who was Destiny Harrison? She was a 21-year-old hairstylist who was murdered in her own salon, MadamD Beauty Bar, in Southeast Baltimore, on 21 December 2019. Her story touched many around the world and if you are not familiar with it, we give the major details here.
There are many important things you should know about Miss Harrison and we will get into them shortly. First, you can quickly go through the ten biggest facts (and answers to the most popular questions) about her in the next section.
Top ten facts about Destiny Harrison
- Harrison was born in 1998 and would have turned 23 in 2021, however, she died at the age of 21.
- Her mother’s name is Racquel (sometimes misspelled as Raquel) Harrison and her father was not involved in her life.
- She graduated from Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School (Mervo) in 2016 at the age of 18 and earned an industry license or certificate in hairstyling.
- Also, Harrison went on to attend Bowie State University where she majored in Business Administration, with a minor in Fashion Design.
- While they share common last names, Loreece Harrison the actress, known for Misbehaviour (2020), Black Mirror (2011) and Followers (2021) is not related to Destiny Harrison.
- Before opening her own hairstyle shop called MadamD Beauty Bar at the age of 21, she used the name “SlayByDes” and also launched her own online brand called “Madame D Collection”.
- To pay her school fees and bills while setting up her own business, she had worked at Popeyes, Walmart and Victoria’s Secret in the past.
- In September 2018, she welcomed her daughter Dream Harrison after announcing her pregnancy in March 2018.
- On 21 December 2019, Destiny Harrison was fatally shot several times in the head while inside her beauty salon, MadamD Beauty Bar and she was pronounced dead in the hospital where police officers rushed her to.
- Her murder case is yet to be solved and it joins the pile of several unsolved homicide cases that took place in Baltimore city in 2019.
Early life and education
We do not have enough background details about Harrison’s life but we found that she was born in 1998 and would have turned 23 in 2021. However, her life was cut short when she just started recording a considerable string of successes.
Racquel Harrison was her mother’s name and since no other sibling or her father was mentioned in the several news reports, we can surmise that she was an only child and grew up with her single mother.
Destiny Harrison graduated from Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School (Mervo) in 2016 at the age of 18. The school is popular in Baltimore and it provides a college-preparatory curriculum leading to a high school diploma. Also, as a graduate of Mervo, she earned an industry license or certificate in hairstyling.
However, she did not stop there, Harrison went on to attend Bowie State University where she majored in Business Administration, with a minor in Fashion Design. Her dream was to not just become a salon owner but also a professional in her field.
Is she related to Loreece Harrison?
Loreece Harrison is not related to Destiny Harrison in any way and they just coincidentally share similar last names. According to her IMDb profile, Loreece is an actress, known for Misbehaviour (2020), Black Mirror (2011) and Followers (2021).
Afro News quoted Destiny Harrison in an article back in 2019 as saying; “In all reality when I die I want people to be like, ‘She was a legend at that hair s**t.’ And I want my daughter to be like, ‘My mother was that on the hair tip, period.’”
Thus, right from a young age, she had always wanted to be a hairstylist and own her own business. She worked at Popeye’s and Walmart to fund her schooling and after her certification in 2016, she was able to open her own hairstyle shop called MadamD Beauty Bar by the age of 21 in February 2019.
Before that, she used the name “SlayByDes” as her hairstyling brand and ran an Instagram account with that same name as well. She had also launched her own online brand called “Madame D Collection” in 2017.
Additionally, while still schooling at Bowie State University, Destiny was working part-time at Victoria’s Secret to make enough money and support her business. Harrison had even gotten herself a red Mercedes Benz as a reward for her hard work.
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Madame D Collection
This is an online beauty brand that was launched by Destiny Harrison in June 2017 and its Instagram page has 6,147 followers as of when this article was published. It sells hair and lashes and uses the business tag “Your head is your crown so treat it like Royalty.”
In March 2018. Harrison announced that she was pregnant and expecting her first child. While she didn’t mention who the baby’s father is, she posted a video with a man holding her bump and posing for a photo session.
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She had also decided on the name of her daughter before she was born. Thus, in September 2018, she welcomed Dream Harrison into the world. Her daughter became a central part of her life from then on.
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While she made it quite public that she was in a relationship, the identity of her lover is not known. Now, let us take a look at the events leading up to the murder of Destiny Harrison.
The murder of Destiny Harrison
Initial police complaint
After Destiny Harrison died, new insights came to light and since we have the details, we are telling the story with a different timeline than the news reports at the time. On 9 December 2019, the hairstylist filed a burglary, theft and assault charge against two people who broke into her salon, The Shade Room, a celebrity news website, reports.
She appeared to know the assailants by name and this is evident in photos of her report where what seems to be the names of the ‘two’ perps are blurred out.
Further details revealed that while the thieves had stolen hair products worth about $3,000, Harrison’s concern was that they may return again. “I am scared for my life and business,” she wrote in her police complaint.
There is no information on how the police reacted to the complaint that the hairstylist submitted, but many critics have said that it was not taken as seriously as it should have been.
She also filed a restraining order against the male culprit. It was issued on 19 December 2019, and it ordered him to have no contact with her and also stay away from her salon.
How did Destiny Harrison die?
According to Baltimore Sun news, on 21 December 2019, Destiny Harrison was fatally shot while inside her beauty salon, MadamD Beauty Bar, located in the McElderry Park neighborhood of Southeast Baltimore.
She had been shot several times in the head by ‘someone’ and there were other people inside the store at the time of the incident according to the police report. Yet, no one came forward to testify on the identity of the shooter.
The police officers who responded first reportedly found her still struggling from the wounds in her head and rushed her to a local hospital. It was there that she was pronounced dead. Even more chilling is the fact that her one-year-old daughter was with her at the time but she was left unharmed.
Aftermath of her death
After Destiny’s death, her daughter Dream was taken into custody by Child Protective Services. However, when her mother Racquel Harrison stepped forward, her granddaughter was released into her care.
Also, speaking to the media, Baltimore’s then Chief of Police Colonel Sheree Briscoe said; “We do know there were other people present at the time, so anyone who may have seen anything — anything at all, no matter how small — to please share that information. I know that there is a conversation happening out [on] social media. That is not the investigative conversation.”
Homicide detectives working on the case also urged anyone with information regarding the shooting to call 410-396-2100 or leave an anonymous tip with Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7lockup. On 31 December 2019, the Baltimore Sun also reported that the police was offering a $4,000 reward for information on the murder case.
Baltimore police announced Tuesday a $4,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the killing of 21-year-old hair salon owner Destiny Harrison, who was fatally shot in her hair salon on a Saturday night in Southeast Baltimore. https://t.co/2Fxq0WyzeY
— The Baltimore Sun (@baltimoresun) December 31, 2019
There were no arrests in the days following her death.
It was largely believed that no witness will step forward because as the Afro News outlet claims; “Although there were eyewitnesses to her murder, in Baltimore’s still pervasive demonic “stop snitching” culture nobody has come forward to identify her cowardly attackers.”
Destiny Harrison funeral
Initially, to cover her funeral expenses and also take care of her little daughter, a GoFundMe was set up. Not long after, on 27 December 2019, Revolt reported that Baltimore-raised boxing champion Gervonta Davis had paid for her funeral expenses.
First reacting to the news of her death, Davis had said, “I’m just hearing about this sadness… Prayers and love to her family. If I can do anything like pay for the funeral or anything like that.. Reach [out]!” Then he posted on his Instagram story that he had paid for the funeral.
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Sympathizers, friends, and family held a candlelight vigil for her on 26 December 2020 and they paid tribute to her with candles and pink and white balloons. Destiny Harrison’s funeral was a public affair with extensive media coverage. A video of it currently has over 54K views on YouTube.
Baltimore murders 2019
According to reliable news sources, Baltimore ended 2019 with 348 homicides. The city set a record of 57 killings per 100,000 people in 2019 as well.
The murders in Baltimore in 2019 were only surpassed by its 1993 homicide count which saw 353 people killed. As the rate of killings soared in the city, detectives struggled with closing cases and the police department faced a lot of criticism for its perceived ineffectiveness in apprehending criminals and making them face justice.
Latest news on Destiny Harrison murder case
As of October 2020, Harrison’s murder case was still categorized as one of Baltimore’s several unsolved homicide cases. The police have not been able to apprehend the person who shot and killed the owner of Madam D Beauty Bar.
Speaking with Fox News about a year after her daughter died, Raquel Harrison said; “They need to hire more detectives and get more surveillance,” in response to a question about what she would like to see from the city. She also asked that residents of Baltimore should be more forthcoming with information.
Destiny’s Dream scholarship
In honor of Destiny Harrison, a scholarship fund was set up in February 2020 to help recipients attend her alma mater Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School (Mervo). According to the most recent update in June 2020, the fund had grown to $51,000.
Her mother Racquel said that she felt ‘great’ that the scholarship fund had raised so much money. According to her, it will help create more black-owned businesses like Destiny’s Madam D Beauty Bar.
Following the murder, there was outrage over the cruel crime and fate that Destiny suffered. It is even more jarring that the culprit was never apprehended meaning that justice was not served. Yet, there is more to take away from this article than just the fact that she was murdered.
For a 21-year-old with little or no financial backbone to rely on, Destiny Harrison had charted her own career path herself. Her focus on what was important to her is also inspiring. She did all in her power to achieve her dream and was already reaping the first fruits of her sacrifices.
This makes it even sadder that her life was cut short in such a cruel and chilling manner. Her mother and daughter survived her and no doubt will continue to honor her legacy.