Justin Ross Harris, of Tuscaloosa, Ga., is being held without bail in the Cobb County jail. He also faces a felony cruelty to children charge.
"It's just a terrible, God-awful situation," Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I can't imagine, I can't fathom what any parent would be going through at this stage. It's the type of case that affects the community."
Harris told police that he was supposed to take his 22-month old son to daycare, but forgot and drove straight to work. He left his son in the backseat of his SUV and spent seven hours at work.
The local temperature at around 4 p.m. was 88 degrees.
Harris was driving home when he realized when his son was still strapped to his car seat. He pulled over and tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the child.
"What have I done? What have I done?" witnesses said of his reaction. "I've killed our child."