Mother of Georgia baby left to die in locked car also researched hot-car deaths

Wife of father charged with murder: "Ross was and is a wonderful father."
By Matt Bradwell   |   June 30, 2014 at 1:19 PM   |   Comments

COBB COUNTY, Ga., June 30 (UPI) -- The mother of a 22-month-old in Georgia who died when his father left him in a hot car also researched hot car deaths, searching the web for "how it occurs."

Leanna Harris admitted to police that she researched causes of the tragic incidents, but has not been formally charged. Her husband, Justin Ross Harris, was arrested and charged with murder and child cruelty before authorities discovered information about animals dying in hot cars in his internet browsing history. The Harris' 22-month-old son Cooper died after being left in Justin's car while the father went to work for the day.

According to official warrants, "[Harris] stated that he recently researched, through the internet, child deaths inside vehicles and what temperature it needs to be for that to occur. Justin stated that he was fearful that this could happen."

What remains unclear is how recently the seemingly suspicious searches occurred.

"We don't know the context or the timing that these searches took place," Criminal defense attorney Steve Sadow told NBC Atlanta.

"Let's assume there was some event the parents saw several weeks ago dealing with the death of a child and they just decided to go up on the internet. That's different than if it's 24 to 48 hours before the incident occurred, which makes it look too coincidental."

Justin Harris, who goes by his middle name, Ross, remains in custody. He was unable to attend Cooper's funeral where Leanna told mourners, "Ross was and is a wonderful father."

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