Authorities have determined that Cooper Harris’ mother also researched hot car deaths — weeks before the Georgia toddler died inside a hot car. Leanna and Justin Ross Harris contend their son’s death was a tragic accident. However, authorities are beginning to question their involvement.
On June 18, Justin Ross Harris was supposed to take his son to a day care facility, then proceed to work. However, he reportedly changed his routine. That morning, Harris took his son to breakfast, strapped him back into his rear-facing car seat, and proceeded to work.
Harris said his simply forgot his son was in the vehicle. As the car seat was rear-facing, he said his son was not visible from the front seat. Although he returned to the vehicle during his lunch hour, the father said he did not notice his toddler was still inside the hot car.
Hours later, Harris returned to his vehicle at the end of his shift. When he looked into the back seat, he was stunned to find his 22-month old son strapped into the car seat. Witnesses said Harris attempted to revive his son. However, it was simply too late. The toddler died locked inside his father’s hot car.
Although Harris was visibly distraught, he was eventually arrested and charged with murder. The father maintains that his son’s death was accidental.
Officials with the Cobb County medical examiner later determined that Cooper Harris’ death was “consistent with hyperthermia and the investigative information suggests the manner of death is homicide.”
In the course of investigation, authorities issued a warrant for Leanna and Justin Ross Harris’ computers. They were stunned to discover both parents researched children who have died in hot cars — weeks prior to the Georgia toddler’s death in a hot car.
According to an official affidavit, Leanna and Justin Ross Harris deny planning their son’s death. Both parents said they were “fearful that this could happen” and the research was intended to help them prevent a similar tragedy.
As reported by CNN, Leanna Harris underlined her support for her husband during her son’s funeral:
“Am I angry with Ross?” Absolutely not. It has never crossed my mind. Ross is and was and will be, if we have more children, a wonderful father. Ross is a wonderful daddy and leader for our household. Cooper meant the world to him.”
Despite the new developments, both parents contend their son’s death was accidental. As reported by 11 Alive News, Justin Ross was arrested and charged with cruelty to children and murder after leaving the Georgia toddler inside the hot car for at least seven hours.
[Image via Daily Mail]