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Police: Dead Georgia boy's mom researched how kids die in cars

(Reuters) - The mother of a 22-month-old Georgia boy who died after being left by his father in a sweltering SUV told police she had researched how children die in hot vehicles, according to search warrants released on Sunday.

The statements by Leanna Harris during police questioning echoed similar comments by her husband, Justin Harris, who has been charged with felony murder and second-degree child cruelty in the death of their son in an Atlanta suburb on June 18.

Justin Harris told police he had recently conducted Internet research about the temperature at which a child could die in a car because he was worried it could happen, a search warrant released on Saturday said.

Leanna Harris has not been charged in the toddler's death, and the search warrants did not specify when she had done the research.

A medical examiner found that Cooper Harris died of heat stroke, or hyperthermia, after being left strapped in his rear-facing car seat for about seven hours by Justin Harris, who told police he forgot to drop the child off at day care before going to work.

The temperature in the Atlanta area was in the 90s for most of that day, police said.

Witnesses described a distraught Harris pulling into a shopping center parking lot on his way home from work and appearing to frantically try to revive his son. His arrest within hours of the child's death stirred debate over whether the case was an accident or a crime.

Documents released on Sunday showed police investigators have seized various electronic devices from Justin Harris' 2011 Hyundai Tucson and the family's home in Marietta.

At Cooper Harris' funeral in Alabama on Saturday, Leanna Harris described her husband as a wonderful father, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Justin Harris remains in jail but spoke to mourners by phone during the service.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Paul Simao)

Mom Researched Hot Car Deaths Before Child Died, Police Say

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Linda Jones July 11 2014 at 12:51 PM

Wouldn't he have smelled the child before "noticing" he was in the car? A diaper would be pretty ripe smelling after being in a hot car all day.

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6 replies
kmcewan007 July 11 2014 at 12:47 PM

I hope they fry both their behinds throw them both in jail for the rest of their lives they killed that little boy and they know it there computer reveled that way too much of a coincidence they look up how long it takes for a child to die in a heated car so it does not happen to them I’m not buying it for a minute

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7 replies
paulthamec July 11 2014 at 12:45 PM

This Biatch is just like Susan Smith in certain ways.

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3 replies
Scooter July 11 2014 at 12:41 PM

There is just something fishy about this woman.

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5 replies
bgorg July 11 2014 at 12:56 PM

This mother and father show little remorse for their little son..can't believe how she chews her gum and just looks like nothing happened..a mother above all..carried this little one for 9 months and no tears?

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8 replies
mhdjl July 11 2014 at 12:50 PM

At first I thought that maybe the husband also used his wife's computer to look up car deaths to get some of the heat off of himself. However, in light of what she said to him when she visited, it appears that she might not be so innocent herself. Just have to wait and see what develops.

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2 replies
reneesangel1954 mhdjl July 11 2014 at 1:49 PM

Spay and neuter both of them, put them in an adult car seat in direct sun and see how they feel then! Poor Cooper, RIP little angel!

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roseyoungstewart mhdjl July 12 2014 at 2:01 AM

All the dirt will come out in the wash.

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CaDreamer7 July 11 2014 at 12:54 PM

If there is a hell these two will be going there. Then they will feel what their beautiful little boy felt. Give them the death penalty and hurry it along.

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1 reply
Carla Beckman CaDreamer7 July 11 2014 at 1:49 PM

Sociopaths have no empathy for others, so the fact that their baby suffered extraordinary pain means nothing to them. It's difficult to believe no one in the family recognized sociopathy especially in dad. But not all sociopaths kill others...they all hurt others but they don't always murder. We should be aware the sociopathy in this country is at a high rate.

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1 reply
sam Carla Beckman July 11 2014 at 2:03 PM

@Carla Beckman: Yes, lots of sociopaths around -- a couple of major universities have conducted studies on the subject, and found that significant concentrations of sociopaths are found in among the CEOs and managers of large corporations, politicians, financial institutions, religious leaders of cults and megachurches. Scary stuff.

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lichwala July 11 2014 at 12:49 PM

the whole thing stinks

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2 replies
Rhunt1 lichwala July 11 2014 at 1:08 PM

where the grand parent's ? If these two did not want the little boy, why did the grand parent's not take the child? I just don't understand how you could do this to any child, if you don't want the child give it to someone that loves children.

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2 replies
MICHELLE Rhunt1 July 11 2014 at 1:32 PM

They did want him -- for their money-making scheme to bilk the insurance company(-ies).

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d1anaw Rhunt1 July 11 2014 at 2:47 PM

They likely would have had to pay child support to anyone else who took care of him.

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vafilec_39 lichwala July 11 2014 at 1:24 PM

ARHUNT1...........$30,000.00 life insurance policy they had on the boy.

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gdg000 July 11 2014 at 12:38 PM


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19 replies
vllgbrz4 July 11 2014 at 7:28 PM


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