Source: Dad searched how long it takes animal to die in hot car before child left in hot car

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ATLANTA, GA. –Sources told an Atlanta news reporter the father whose son was found dead in a hot car used his work computer to search how long it would take an animal to die in a hot car.

Reporter Randy Travis said the information came from a Cobb County law enforcement source.

The station also reported Justin Ross Harris took his son to breakfast with him before he said he forgot the 22-month-old was in his car all day.

WGCL-TV reports a new warrant says Harris warrant states Harris entered his vehicle through the driver’s side door at lunch, “to place an object into the vehicle. He then closed the door and left the car, re-entering his place of business.”

“I’ve been in law enforcement for 34 years. What I know about this case shocks my conscience as a police officer, a father and a grandfather,” said Cobb County Police Sgt. Dana Pierce.

Initially, Harris, 33, told Cobb County police that he accidentally left his toddler son in his SUV on Wednesday.

According to police, Harris told them he had forgotten to drop the child off at a daycare center, before going to work.

Harris initially told police he realized that he’d left the boy strapped in his car seat as he drove home Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators say patrol officers were in the area of the Akers Mill Square shopping center in the suburban Atlanta county when dispatchers received the calls from witnesses around 4:20 p.m.

“He kept saying, ‘What have I done? What have I done?'” Dale Hamilton told CNN affiliate WSB-TV.

“Within moments of the first responders getting to the scene and doing their job and questions began to be asked about the moments that led up to their arrival at the scene, some of those answers were not making sense to the first responders,” Pierce of Cobb County Police said.

On Thursday, Harris pleaded not guilty to felony murder and cruelty to children charges. He’s being held without bond at the Cobb County Jail.

CNN spoke with the child’s mother, Leanna Harris, on Friday. Harris says she’s been advised not to discuss the case with the media.

“We have been in communication with the mother throughout the investigation. At this time, I’m not at liberty to discuss her involvement. That’s a part of the case our detectives are working on,” Pierce said.

Cobb County Medical Operations Manager Mike Gerhard confirmed that the autopsy of the child is complete, although there are some questions.

Cobb County detectives and the medical examiner are working together to confirm the manner and cause of death, Pierce said.

According to the arrest warrant, the temperature reached 88 degrees in the area on Wednesday. Police said medical personnel believed the child had been in the SUV since 9 a.m., as Harris said.

But Pierce told CNN on Friday, “I cannot confirm that the child, as originally reported, was in the car at 9 a.m.”

Calls to Justin Harris’ attorney were not immediately returned.


  • Phyllis

    Well I was going to post but Norton told me there was a trojan trying to invade me, don’t know it it is the site or just in general

    • Dana

      Yes ‘RIC” i agree with YOU ……….another Casey Anthony case in the making, another child gone to soon, and probably another child whose voice won’t be heard, and justice for this child will not be done. Too many babies and children dying at the hands of their parents since that case mentioned above, and most all have got off with a slap of the hand…….I hope the Atlanta judicial system hears this babies cry in the courtroom and justice prevails for him, Let Atlanta set a new precedent for baby killers!

  • Greenwood, SC

    A similar thing happened in Greenwood, SC some years ago. Thank God this woman’s child didn’t die, but the woman was able to keep her teaching license and still teaches Children in Laurens, SC. It’s scary to think we don’t prosecute for this unless the child dies.

  • Jessica M

    How did no one see the baby in the backseat? I’m sure he cried at some point from being by himself and I would think it got worse as he was suffering. RIP sweet angel.

  • dandmb50

    When the father came out from work at 4:15pm why did he not go to the day care and pickup his child? Something is missing here, why did he just go directly to his car, if his son should have been in the company daycare.

  • Jennifer

    Am I reading that there is a possibility that the baby WAS NOT sitting in the car since 9am….? Is there a question as whether he died from sitting in the car….?? Either way, it’s a murder!!! Poor baby…RIP….

    • Dana

      Thanks for bringing that to my attention, but since you are the caps lock police, I was under the impression if the caps were used, you were shouting, and in this case, I was shouting at the clown who called any of us that don’t believe this guy should be charged with murder, it angers me, and so if it bothered you that I shouted, please just ignore my posts, because when someone who can’t even type without using spaces and call people blithering idiots because of their opinions, then they deserve what they get, shouting is too good for them, they and “YOU” possibly are behind the blithering idiots that are raising money for his defense, now that is IDIOTIC!!!

  • tina

    Ok got a question for all.. if he was a dispatcher at tuscaloosa police department?? Then that child sat in that car in the parking lot of the Tuscaloosa police station. All day and no one noticed that child,???????????😕

  • aconcernedmotherofthree

    Since hearing about this I look at my children everyday and I start thinking how this child might have felt. Imagine your child sitting in a car crying, screaming for mommy and/or daddy to come get him but his cries where unheard. All he wanted was his parents love, his parents touch, his parents to come rescue him from that hot car. While restrained to a car seat this baby sat there helpless, defenseless. He suffered a slow painful death while his dad sat at work typed on the computer even so boldly went to lunch never stopping for one minute to think about his son that was in the back seat probably still crying, hungry and even dehydrated from all the crying and dry air he was inhaling. We all have peripheral vision and I’m sure he saw his son out the corner of his eye like we see things moving when we’re driving or walking. I’m no judge or jury nor am I God but I pray justice prevail for this innocent baby! I’m sorry for painting the picture out the way I did but some people need to wake up and stop trying to protect this man! Bottom line you can’t forget your child no matter how busy you are!!!!!

      • Pat

        He worked at Home Depot in GEORGIA! My children are grown and I have a grandchild. A 22 month old is far from quiet and subdued in a car. They have an unimaginable amount of energy in the mornings. Did he not communicate with his baby while in the car at all. None of it makes any sense. He should be put in that same hot car with the child locks on, but maybe wait until it gets even hotter!

  • tina

    No taking up for him by no means….I don’t understand how he eats breakfast with this child..who we know is awake by this time..right? How do u say u did not conversate with that child between point a and point b…I have a niece that I have babysat since she was born.and. I have three grown boys…we talked or cooed whatever case may be ..all the way there???

  • Fred

    Obviously he found out this kid was not his *genetic* offspring.

    He did a DNA test and found out there was no match.

    • Sam

      Who cares if it was his kid or someone else’s? How the hell do you think that justifies MURDER? if he got a divorce after something like that, that would be understandable, but killing an innocent child is never justified, I don’t care if it’s somebody else’s kid.

  • formerofficer

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Compiled with information from police, arrest warrants and witness statements (some times are approximate):
    June 18, 8:30 a.m.: Ross Harris and his son, Cooper, leave the family’s Marietta-area condo and head to Chick-fil-A for breakfast.
    8:55 a.m.: After eating, Harris puts the 22-month-old into his rear-facing car seat in the middle of the backseat of his 2011 Hyundai Tucson. Harris then drives less than a mile to the “Treehouse” Home Depot office, where he works. His son’s daycare center is not located here, but is instead about 2 miles away at corporate headquarters.
    9 a.m.: Harris parks the SUV and goes in to work, leaving Cooper in the backseat.
    Lunchtime: The exact time has not been specified. But while taking a break from work, Harris walks out to his SUV, opens the driver’s side door and puts something inside. It’s not known what he put in the vehicle and whether he had any contact with the child.
    4:16 p.m.: Harris leaves his office, located at 2600 Cumberland Blvd., near Smyrna and Cumberland Mall. While driving from work to U.S. 41, Harris realizes his son is in medical distress, he later told police.
    4:23 p.m.: After driving about a mile, Harris turns onto Akers Mill Road and makes a right turn into the parking lot of a shopping center. He then makes an abrupt right turn, stops the SUV and quickly gets out, leaving the driver’s side door open as he gets his son out of the car.
    4:24 p.m.: Witnesses at the shopping center watch as a frantic Harris tries to revive the boy, whose color is off and doesn’t appear to be breathing. Harris is frantic and is screaming “What have I done? What have I done?” as bystanders start CPR on the boy, who is on the ground of the parking lot. Cooper’s lifeless body is still in a sitting position, witnesses said. Police, already patrolling the area, and firefighters, arrive at the scene within seconds of a 911 call, believed to have been placed by Harris.
    4:58 p.m.: Cobb County police spokesman Officer Mike Bowman confirms the toddler has been pronounced dead. A crowd has gathered on the sidewalks of the shopping center. Harris, police later confirm, is now in handcuffs and in the back of a patrol car because he refuses to cooperate with officers. The SUV and child’s body are soon part of a crime scene investigation, and Harris is driven away.
    5:45 p.m.: Just steps away from the little boy’s body, Sgt. Dana Pierce tells reporters Harris told police he went to work, worked 7 hours, then left work and realized he had forgotten to take the child to daycare. Harris is taken to police headquarters for questioning, Pierce said.
    10 p.m.: Harris is arrested and charged with murder. He is booked into the Cobb County jail.


      Could you also Upload your resume.. George Brown nd other channel 3 staffing need a mentor so they can identify what real journalism is.

  • lookupwordsyoudontunderstandlikeblithering

    Oh, I see “NEWS”channel3 is into censorship. Way to go. Makes perfect sense that a news organization supports unnecessary censorship. There was no cursing or nudity. Pfftt… Anyway, still a bunch of blithering idiots posting comments here.

  • Sam

    Time will tell.

    What would have distracted him so much that he didn’t look around before gathering his things and leaving his for work . Most people look at their car to lock it. What about leaving for lunch? He would have come back out to leave on break.

    Why did no one at his workplace see a baby in the car and say hey dad you left the baby in the car.

    Was their video runing on the parking lot?

    Possible questions

  • Darla

    Cobb County Medical Operations Manager Mike Gerhard confirmed that the autopsy of the child is complete, although there are some questions.

    Cobb County detectives and the medical examiner are working together to confirm the manner and cause of death, Pierce said.

    This sounds to me like there is some questions about HOW the child died. How do you forget a baby that you just put in the car seat less than a mile away? In my honest opinion this was all planned out. .

  • Sasha Lawson

    After college I was a substitute teacher, so leads to questions 1:
    Did the daycare not call the parents wondering where this child was. Or did the dad call and say that the child would not be attending that day?
    2. I am not a mother, but I did nanny and babysit a lot. The parents were constantly checking in with me. Yes, I am not a family member, but nonetheless, parents with young children tend to check in constantly to make sure they are okay. Weather it be with a spouse, caretaker, family member, etc.
    I remember when I was taking care of two young children once and the girl was 3 and was constantly talking. The boy was a little over 1 and just trying to spit out words. I would play music in the car and sing with both of them constantly to interact. There was a time when there was about 3 feet of snow (I live in Ohio) and I had to run to the bank for their mom and I had the kids with me. I was only 22 at the time, and for one split second I thought it would be easier to just leave the 1 year old in the car while I ran into the bank to save time and take the 3 year old with me. But, it just crossed my mind. It took me longer to get that kid out of the car than it did to make a deposit, but I could not and would not ever forget or leave a child in a car, even if for just a minute or two.

  • Cookie

    Death is too good for this evil person (actually, calling him a person is an insult to persons everywhere!). I say lock him up and throw away the key. Just be sure and put him in general population!

  • achicade

    The more that is coming to light, the more it looks like it was intentional…. very sick individual…. that poor baby, i just cannot think too long about how he must have suffered. Praying for all involved! Very very sad.

  • Amph

    I am a mother to three children. I cannot fathom how a parent could unknowingly leave a child in a vehicle. How many times during any given day do parents think about their children? I constantly have my children in my thoughts when they are in someone else’s care other than my own. I just can’t imagine this being classified as an “accident” or an “oversight” in any way, shape, or form. If a person is not capable of remembering to take their child out of a vehicle upon exiting their vehicle then the person is not capable of operating said vehicle!

    • what???

      As a mother I can’t believe that you think it’s more likely that a parent would do something as horrible as this INTENTIONALLY rather than accidentally. YOU have a sick mind.

      • Pat

        A sick mind????? I agree, who doesn’t have their young children on their mind all day. Talking to co-workers, commenting on things that a young child does or says…it all about parenthood and the love of your children. If you can possibly “accidentally” forget your child or children like this, then you shouldn’t be a parent in the first place! I agree, how on earth can this be an accident?

  • kavya

    They need to do way instain father> who kill thier babbys. becuse these babby cant frigth back? it was on the news this mroing a father in ar who had kill his kid. they are taking the babby back to new york too lady to rest my pary are with the mother who lost her chrilden : i am truley sorry for your lots

  • Tori

    I hate that I can’t have kids and here these losers are killing theirs or being so irresponsible as to leave or forget them in a car. It’s disgusting. Some people just don’t realize and appreciate how lucky they are to have their children.

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  • holly

    I think he planned the return to his car at lunch so his friends could witness the surprise of finding his kid back there but think he saw that Cooper wasnt dead yet so had to continue boiling him until after work to “discover” him

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