Dad charged after son dies in hot car

ATLANTA, Ga. – A father has been charged with murder in the death of his 2-year-old child after he allegedly left the child in a hot car for eight hours.

Police said Justin Ross Harris, 34, was supposed to drop the child off at daycare, but forgot.

He then drove to work around 9 a.m. Wednesday and left the toddler in the car.

It wasn’t until Harris left work and started driving home that he looked in the backseat and saw the child still strapped in the car seat and unresponsive.

A witness saw Harris pull into the Akers Mill Square shopping center, stop his car straddling two lanes of traffic, jump out and begin CPR on the toddler.

“He was constantly saying, ‘What have I done, what have I done.’”

Harris is charged with murder and cruelty to children, both felonies and is currently being held without bond at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center.

Anyone with information about this case which may assist detectives is asked to call 770-499-3945.

Temperatures in Atlanta topped 90 degrees Wednesday afternoon.

Temperatures inside a hot car could go as high as 130 to 140 degrees in a few hours.

This is an important reminder to never leave an animal or person in a car during the summer.

If you are a parent, create a routine where you always check the car, such as putting your purse or phone in the rear seat.

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17 comments

  • blahblahblah

    Since so many people can’t function without their cell phones and would never “forget it”, they should let the child hold the phone or put it in the car seat until they get where they are going.

    • GoGrizzGo85

      First degree murder requires intent, I’m sure when it’s over with he will be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

    • langor1

      What a horrible tragedy. Apparently you don’t have kids, I’ve never forgotten mine, but I’ve driven right past daycare since I didn’t take my kids often and gone to the office only to discover my mistake. This guys life is forever changed and he’ll no doubt go to jail, not because he was in a bar, club or shopping, but going to work probably to take care of a family he loved. I just can’t imagine the grief, the loss and am very saddened by the death, I’ll hug my kids harder this evening.

    • Maximum

      I have raised 3 children to adult hood never forgetting where one was at any time ,accidents happen but there is no excuse for this. This family needs prayers and support such a tragedy.

    • Vickeymartin

      I use to think the same as you. Until I did it myself. My husband picked up my 2 year old everyday from my moms house after work . He called to ask me to pick her up one day. Change of routine .I did . Now running late to pick up my other daughter from play practice . Of course when I get to her practice she’s not finished yet Therefore, I sit down to catch my breath and watch the ending of practice Not realizing my baby is still in the back seat of the hot car until one of the other parents asked me .How is the little one ? Again , change of routine. It could happen to anyone:( Our prayers should be with him and his family not condemning him. My little one is now 11. Thank God.

  • Tammy White

    I cannot imagine the pain and guilt that this man is going through right now. I pray for him and his family and for this little life lost. It’s easy for people to accuse and say “how could anyone forget a child” Be realistic, it can happen…life can be stressful and distracting and some people blank out and in those moments terrible things can happen. Have any of you gotten up to get something from the kitchen and then forgotten what you went in for. I realize that this is a child and not something so simple but it could happen. Especially if this was not his normal routine or habit. Pray for this man and his family.

  • Wake Up

    Since child seats went in the back seat this has gone through the roof. If you don’t normally have the child and you have him asleep in the back seat you can forget. I always put something back there so I’d have to notice. I’m not incapable of making a mistake like the self righteous idiots here and that mistake would have me wanting to eat a bullet

  • Kim

    So sad! Praying for the family of the child. I could see an infant , but not a 2 year old. Then again , just before I took my kids to daycare this morning my 5 year old fell asleep. The only ones who actually know and understand what actually happened are this man, and God himself.

  • Melinda

    This is really sad. Poor kid. Whoever the father is, he must feels really guilty and painful right now. I hope this kind of things will never occur to me.

  • hank wesson

    you are supposed check the back seat of your car often i do and i dont have any children in the house a very good force of habit how can you leave ypur baby like that i still dont understand no one should get so busy that a child is forgotten mom and dad think about our most precious resource

    • Dr. JohnS

      I suppose Hank you have a perfect memory, everything is in its place,everything is where it should be, nothing in your life is ever out of place. I think they call that disease OCR.

  • miss c

    Why in the hell are y’all making excuses for his unfit behind? How can you forget YOUR OWN CHILD IN A CAR

  • 122811

    My husband drops my child off to daycare every morning and when he is running late I drop her off…..now i have almost mad it to work and realized i haven’t drop her off but a whole work shift never this is ridiculus and he needs to be in jail or the nut house cause only a mental challenge person can forget their child for that long point blank period.

  • 122811

    My husband drops my child off to daycare every morning and when he is running late I drop her off…..now i have almost mad it to work and realized i haven’t drop her off but a whole work shift never this is ridiculus and he needs to be in jail or the nut house cause only a mental challenge person can forget their child for that long point blank period. That baby suffered no excuses.

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