Samantha Harer's Boyfriend Texted Friend About 'Her Betrayal'

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JOLIET, IL — Phil Flores and Samantha Harer began dating in June 2017, and eight months later, the off-duty Crest Hill police officer showed up at her Channahon apartment, bringing three Valentine’s Day cards and two boxes of candy.

“I punched in the key code as I knocked,” Flores testified. “Made my way to the bedroom where she was asleep and I gave her her Valentines.”

The following morning, Feb. 13, 2018, Flores called 911 from her apartment, claiming the off-duty 911 dispatcher locked herself in her bedroom and shot herself in the head. The Channahon Police Department investigated Harer’s death as a self-inflicted gunshot and later announced her death was ruled a suicide, clearing Flores of any criminal wrongdoing.

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In June 2017, Flores and Harer had their first date, at the Grundy County Speedway in Morris. A fellow Crest Hill officer and a woman on the Wilmington Police Department came along for the double date.

At the time of their romance, Flores was 10 years older than Harer. Flores was previously married in October 2005, separating in December 2006 and the divorce became final in June 2007. Flores was also deployed to Iraq for about 10 months during the marriage.

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“It went well. We actually hung out all weekend and everything. We went to the Jason Aldean concert,” Flores testified for his federal lawsuit deposition on Dec. 12, 2020, according to lawsuit deposition transcripts obtained by Joliet Patch.

Phil Flores and Samantha Harer had their first date at the Grundy County Speedway in Morris. “It went well,” Flores testified. Image via Google Maps

“Would you say that was the start of your romantic relationship with Ms. Harer?” asked plaintiff’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean.

“I wouldn’t say romantic, but we went on a few dates,” Flores answered. “I held her hand at the concert, and I gave her a kiss on the forehead. I liked her.”

“Did it bother you that she had dated other police officers?” Bonjean asked.

“No,” Flores testified.

Bonjean asked if Harer had a reputation for being a badge bunny?

“I heard that expression, but never heard it with her,” Flores testified.

Flores Confronts Harer About Married Plainfield Cop

In September 2017, Flores learned Harer was messaging with a married officer on the Plainfield Police Department.

“I saw them on the Apple watch,” Flores testified. “I came over after work and I went to go charge my watch next to hers, saw her watch, and I looked through the messages and saw the messages … Talked about how he wished he could go on vacation with her so that he could, you know, take care of her poolside. Just take care of her at the pool. Something along the lines if it was just the two of them there wouldn’t be any sightseeing.”

“You were pretty upset about that, correct?” Bonjean asked.

“I was upset,” Flores agreed.

“And where was Samantha when you were looking through her Apple watch?”

“She was in her bedroom,” Flores testified.

“Had you ever looked through any of her devices before that day?”

“We both did,” Flores testified. “She had my pass code, I had her pass code.”

Flores testified he did not break off the relationship at that point.

“She told me that she was remorseful about it, that she didn’t intend to hurt me, that she never planned on acting out anything that was discussed,” Flores testified.

At one point during the deposition, Bonjean declared, “But it was upsetting enough for you to be messaging to your friend at 4 in the morning about it, or 5 in the morning, right?”

“We were just talking,” Flores testified.

“You discussed her betrayal of you to your friend hours before she was killed, correct?”

“Yes, we discussed it,” Flores testified.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that.”

“Yes, we discussed,” Flores responded.

In 2016, Crest Hill Officer Phil Flores was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her sleep. In 2018, his girlfriend Samantha Harer died of a gunshot wound while he was in her apartment. Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow chose not to file criminal charges in either case. Image via Crest Hill

Next, Bonjean questioned why Flores was going through his girlfriend’s electronic devices in September 2017.

“You went through her Apple watch. It didn’t just pop up in front of her face, right?”

“Right, I did go through it,” Flores answered. “I don’t know why I did it.”

“Because you were suspicious, correct?”

“I don’t know,” Flores replied.

Flores took photos of the flirtatious text messages between Harer and the married Plainfield officer because “I wanted to send them to his wife, but I never did,” he testified.

Harer Goes Out With Community Service Officer

Three months later, Flores drove to Harer’s apartment in Channahon when she was not home, using her code to gain access.

“I went to her apartment to retrieve a work shirt and her laptop was open, and I saw the Facebook messages between her and a (Plainfield Community Service Officer),” Flores testified.

Two months before Harer died, Flores went into her apartment, discovering she was out with a Plainfield community service officer. Image via Channahon police

“So once again, you happened to be in her apartment, and you just happened to see messages on her laptop? Is that how it happened?” Bonjean inquired.

“Yes, she left the laptop open on the dresser,” Flores testified. “I went back to her apartment to retrieve a work shirt. Messages were going off. I looked to see what was beaming, because that wasn’t like her to leave anything on, and I saw the messages.”

Harer had told Flores that she went to her mother’s house in Minooka.

“And where was she?” Bonjean asked.

“Well, with the messages, she was planning to meet up with this CSO officer,” Flores replied.

“You actually took pictures of those messages and sent them to her, right?”

“Yes. She told me that she was at one spot and I called her a liar,” Flores answered.

“And you discovered the lie because you were looking on her laptop when you were in her apartment and she wasn’t there, right?”

“No, I was not looking through her laptop,” Flores testified. “The laptop happened to be open, and the messages came through, and I looked.”

“But you did actually then read the messages, right?”

“Yes,” Flores answered.

“And you scrolled through to read them all, correct?”

“Yes.”

“And you took pictures of them, right?”

“Yes.”

Samantha Harer died of a gunshot in her apartment Feb. 13, 2018. Her boyfriend, Officer Phil Flores, was inside. File image provided to Patch

In addition to the community service officer Harer went out with in early December, “there were other police officers at Plainfield that she had communicated with too, correct?” Bonjean asked.

“I don’t know,” Flores answered.

“Did you ever threaten her cat Salem when you broke into her house or when you were in her house?”

“No.”

“You don’t think of it as breaking into her house when you went into her house, when you went for your shirt, right?”

“No, I don’t … She had told me that I could come and go whenever I wanted,” Flores testified. “She gave me the pass code.”

“Did you ask her consent to go to her home when she wasn’t there during that time when you allegedly found her laptop open?”

“Did I ask for her consent to go there? No,” Flores replied.

Flores And Harer Have Short Breakup

The discovery of Harer’s electronic messages with the Plainfield community service officer prompted Flores to break up with Harer during the first week of December 2017.

“And basically, I called her out and said, ‘Why are you lying to me?'” Flores testified.

“You reconciled the second week in December?”

“Yes.”

And for Christmas, “She gave me a bunch of little small knickknacks and stuff, some whiskey glasses that had a 308 round in it, three zero eight, in it, and we kind of laughed because I bought her stemless wine glasses in the same nature,” Flores testified. “She got me … this plaque that had a big eagle and anchor on it that said United States Marine Corps and my years of service, which was the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever gotten.”

Bonjean asked if things were on track in January 2018.

“Yes. I mean, we were looking at a townhouse,” Flores testified. “She was helping me with the process because we were going to the Channahon library to make photocopies of a lot of things. She had gone and had the home inspection. We had made several trips to Menards to look at flooring, light fixtures, paint, carpeting. We went to a few concerts.”

Feb. 11-12, 2018.

After Flores finished his late-night patrol shift in Crest Hill, he drove to his girlfriend’s complex at 25731 West Bridge Street in Channahon.

After finishing his patrol shift, Phil Flores drove by Samantha Harer’s apartment early Feb. 12, 2018, but he did not let her know. File/John Ferak/Patch

“You drove to her house and drove by her apartment, and you didn’t tell her that you were doing so, right?” Bonjean wondered.

“Correct,” Flores testified.

“And did you want to see if there were any other cars outside of her apartment?”

“No,” Flores replied. “I wanted to see if she was OK.”

“How could you tell if she was OK by just driving down the road by her apartment?”

“Because her vehicle is still there,” Flores responded.

“So you just drove by to see if there was anything out of the ordinary rather than tell her you were going to come by to check on her?”

“I guess,” Flores testified. “I sent her text messages if she wanted to come over. She never replied. I assumed she was sleeping.”

“After you drove by her house, you went to a bar, am I right? Bobby’s Tap, is that where you went?”

“Yes.”

“That is the same bar you went to where you met Kristin Kurtz where she alleged that you assaulted her, is that right?”

“Yes.”

“Is that a bar that you go to frequently?”

“Yes.”

“What did you do after you went to the bar, and you drove by Samantha’s house?”

“Sat there at the bar with the owner.”

“Why would you go to a bar to talk with the owner at what, 3:30 in the morning?”

Phil Flores testified that he often hangs out at Bobby’s Tap in Joliet because “I’m friends with the owner.” Image via Google Maps

“Because I’m friends with the owner,”Flores testified. “Usually on my days off I would visit with him and sit there and sometimes until closing with him.”

Feb. 12 was a Monday. Flores was off. Harer was also off.

“Did she tell you to come over?” Bonjean asked.

“No, but I do remember getting a text message where she expressed (expletive) today,” Flores testified.

“Did you tell her that you still intended to come over?”

“Yes,” Flores testified. “She never replied to the text messages.”

Flores testified he got to her apartment around 11:30 a.m. or noon. He entered her pass code to go inside.

“What happened once you entered the apartment after you pushed in the key code?”

“Made my way to the bedroom where she was asleep and I gave her her Valentines,” Flores testified.

“Did you wake her up?”

“Yes. I gave her a kiss on the forehead and said, wake up sleepyhead, something like that.”

“Was she sleeping nude?”

“Yes,” Flores answered.

“What did the Valentines consist of?”

“Three cards, a couple boxes of chocolate.”

“What did she do with the boxes of chocolate and cards you gave her?”

“She put them on the nightstand and told me she was tired and wanted to go back to sleep.”

“Did you notice whether her gun was on her nightstand?”

“Yes, it was on the nightstand.”

Check back in the coming days for Joliet Patch’s next installment on the lawsuit depositions. The story will focus on Phil Flores’ testimony regarding Samantha Harer’s death.

Related Patch coverage of the Samantha Harer case:

‘It Was A Homicide That Should Have Never Happened:’ Ciolino

Samantha Harer Federal Suit Crumbles, Flores Prevails

This is Samantha Harer’s Smith & Wesson gun. She died of a gunshot to her head on Feb. 13, 2018. Image via Channahon police

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