Less than one week ago, Justin Ross Harris was arrested for reportedly forgetting to drop off his 22-month-old son, Cooper, at day care and instead leaving him trapped in a hot car in Atlanta while he went to work for hours. When he returned to the vehicle and began his commute home, he reportedly noticed his son was still strapped into his car seat and was unresponsive. The temperatures that day soared to 92 degrees and Cooper died – of heat stroke, it was believed. Harris was charged with murder and cruelty to children.
Now police are saying the father, who witnesses claim publicly grieved his son while trying to resuscitate him in a parking lot, may have actually killed him, reports Daily Mail. Police say there were inconsistencies in Harris’ report and that first responders did not believe father’s story made sense.
“Much has changed about the circumstances leading up to the death of this 22-month-old since it was reported,” Cobb County Police Sgt. Dana Piece told CNN. “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.”
It has been confirmed that the autopsy of the toddler has been completed, but the details of what was found have not been revealed and investigators are still trying to determine the cause of Cooper’s death.
Pierce says he cannot confirm whether the child was actually in Harris’ SUV at 9 in the morning, when his father reportedly went to work at Home Depot.
This new revelation about the case comes after several people started a grassroots petition to help Harris get his murder charges dropped, according to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Many have argued that the father’s actions were an accident and that he is suffering enough knowing that he is responsible for killing his child.
Police say they have been communicating with Cooper’s mother, but that they cannot discuss her involvement in the case.