Caleb Harris family adds spokesperson, focuses on national media and raising money

Spokesman Tony Mathis said speaking with local news has “diminished the value of the case” in their eyes, however 3NEWS will continue to cover case developments.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The family of Caleb Harris announced Tuesday that it will be shifting its focus to national media and fundraising as the search for the missing college student nears the one-month mark.

Caleb’s father, Randy Harris, appeared on YouTube live Tuesday with Justin Shepherd, a true crime podcaster known better by his social media handle JustinOnTikTok.

TIMELINE: Police release detailed timeline of Caleb Harris disappearance

Randy Harris introduced his friend and coworker, Tony Mathis, whom Harris named as the new family spokesperson.

“He asked me to get more involved in helping him with some of the interviews… especially trying to get more of a national exposure instead of a local exposure,” Mathis said.

“We got a lot of the B and C team guys to start and it kind of diminished the value of the case — especially with what was going on with Riley (Strain) and some these other things. You know, Riley got Brian Entin (of NewsNation) and Good Morning America and some of these guys very early. We were doing interviews with a lot of local guys.”

Strain was the 22-year-old University of Missouri college student who disappeared March 8 after a night drinking on Broadway Street in Nashville. His body was found March 22 and police said his death appeared accidental.

‘Possibility reward will have to continue to go up’

Caleb Harris has been missing since he disappeared in the early morning hours of March 4, a foggy morning that did not leave many clues or video evidence.

The Harris family doubled the reward Sunday “for information that leads to the safe return of Caleb Harris” from $25,000 to $50,000.

Mathis and Randy Harris said that number might need to continue to rise.

LAST VIDEO: Doorbell surveillance video shows Caleb Harris hours before disappearance

“We’ve been blessed with people donating, but as I sent you the GoFundMe earlier, we need to continue to raise money,” Mathis said. “We’re getting to a point where if we don’t continue to push with the GoFundMe then this is going to end up being a financial problem for Randy as well as an emotional problem. And that’s the last thing we want.”

The Harris family says it has two active fundraisers — one for the reward and one for expenses incurred to maintain search efforts.

“The biggest thing right now is that we’ve upped the reward now and, depending on how long this plays out, there’s the possibility that reward will have to continue to go up,” Mathis said.

What this change means for 3NEWS’ coverage of the Caleb Harris case

3NEWS will continue to report on the Caleb Harris case as we get new updates from police or the Harris family, or if there are local events in this area. For example, a candlelight vigil is planned for Thursday evening at the Corpus Christi Memorial Garden to “light Caleb’s way home.” 3NEWS will cover that vigil.

3NEWS will also continue to ask questions of police and ask the Harris family for interviews, despite recent interview request rejections and the family’s focus on national media.

“We need a larger reach,” Mathis said.

Randy Harris added that he has been on with Nancy Grace and would like to be on John Walsh’s new show, as well as networks.

“We were on with NewsNation (Tuesday),” Harris added. “We’ll also be on Fox & Friends (Wednesday) morning, which we’re excited about.”

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Full interview with Corpus Christi Police about the Caleb Harris case