The arrest warrant for a 33-year-old man who allowed his nearly two-year-old son to die in a hot SUV shows that the man may have returned to his vehicle several times throughout the day, contradicting his report that he mistakenly forgot about the child.
Justin Harris, a resident of Georgia’s Cobb County, took his son Cooper to eat at a Chick-fil-A restaurant on June 18. According to the New York Daily News, Harris left the child strapped to the backseat of the car and allegedly forgot that he had left him there throughout the remainder of the day as he went to work at the nearby Home Depot.
The warrant for Harris’s arrest, however, claims that the man returned to his vehicle at least one time throughout the seven hour span that Cooper was sitting in the backseat.
“During lunch, said accused did access the same vehicle through the driver’s side door to place an object in the vehicle. Said accused then closed the door and left the car, re-entering his place of business,” reads a portion of the arrest warrant, suggesting that Harris may have intentionally left his child in the car. Temperatures in the area that day reportedly surpassed 90 degrees.
Harris has subsequently been charged with felony murder and second-degree cruelty to children.
Harris, however, maintains that he forgot that the child, whom he was supposed to drop off at daycare, was in the backseat. According to WBTV, Harris allegedly discovered his mistake as he was driving home and noticed his son was unresponsive. He pulled into a shopping center and unsuccessfully attempted to rescue the child while asking onlookers for assistance.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and Harris is being held without bail until his next court appearance, scheduled for July 15.