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Father Accused of Leaving Child in Car Charged with Murder

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COBB COUNTY, GA  — A father has been charged with murder in the death of his 2-year-old child after he allegedly left the toddler in a hot car for eight hours.

Police said Justin Ross Harris, 34, was supposed to drop the child off at daycare, but forgot. He then drove to work around 9 a.m. Wednesday and left the toddler in the car. It wasn’t until Harris left work and started driving home that he looked in the backseat and saw the child still strapped in the car seat and unresponsive.

A witness saw Harris pull into the Akers Mill Square shopping center, stop his car straddling two lanes of traffic, jump out and begin CPR on the toddler.

Harris is charged with murder and cruelty to children, both felonies and is currently being held without bond at the Cobb County Adult Detention Center.

Anyone with information about this case which may assist detectives is asked to call (770) 499-3945.


    • Sabrina

      Because it’s Georgia. They are probably trying to make an example out of him. The charges are very uncalled for and ridiculous.

  • Sue

    Well, he deserves to have charges pressed, that’s for sure!
    I am surprised that it is murder and not manslaughter though. One would assume that he didn’t intend for the child to die.
    Maybe Georgia’s laws are different? I think any time a child dies because the parent is an idiot, there should be charges. An accident is one thing, but, driving drunk, infant in the bathtub while Mom goes to have a smoke, toddler in the pool while parent goes to answer the phone, leaving your kid in the car all day, leaving your pet python in the baby’s crib (it happens…google it) ….there should be charges.

    • Dria

      Please tell me that you don’t really just compare accidentally leaving your child in a car to drunk driving. You are disgusting for saying such terrible things about a man who is going to have to live with this tragedy for the rest of his life! Shame on you!

      • Sue

        Is this guy your boyfriend or something? You seem to think this was no big deal! You better believe I compared this to drunk driving. Both are situations where an innocent child died because the adult, who was SUPPOSED to be taking care of them, made a very bad decision. Bet he remembered to take his iPhone inside with him…he didn’t leave THAT sitting in the sweltering car all day.

    • Brian

      Sue, you don’t have kids, do you?

      Don’t bother answering because all of us parents already know due to your ignorant response.

      The thing you don’t realize is, parents are under tremendous pressure these days. With so many families that are either split, or both parents are working, the is no common schedule anymore. It is easy for parents to forget something like this when their routine is messed up. Is it not punishment enough for people like you to know that poor people like this guy will have to live with enormous and unrelenting guilt for the rest of their lives? I personally would prefer death for myself than for this to happen to one of my children. I don’t doubt for a second that this man feels the same way.

  • Rochelle

    Feel very bad for him and the family. It happens folks have too much on their minds anymore. Im sure he did not do it on purpose he will have to live with this is whole life. God be with his soul..

  • Katiej

    How very sad. A whole family will live with this pain for the rest of their lives. Praying for Grace and mercy for them.

  • guest 2

    Such a tragedy! My question is why didn’t daycare call the parents to find out where the kid was? That small step on their end may have saved this little boys life!!

    • Sue

      While that would have been great, it isn’t their responsibility. Unlike school, kids aren’t required to be at daycare. they probably just assumed the parents were on vacation, or the baby was sick.

  • Dria

    I can’t believe some of these heartless comments! This poor guy is living every parents worst nightmare! I have a child and can tell you it’s very easy to get distracted and not realize your baby is in the back seat if they are quiet! I always look in the carseat before going in anywhere for this exact reason! And you never know what disruptions he had that morning that may have contributed to him forgetting to drop his son off! This guy has enough to deal with and the fact that they are charging him with murder makes me sick! He clearly cared or he wouldn’t have performed CPR!

    • Sally

      Oh my God, easy to forget your child!! Please give your children up for adoption immediately! Make them wards of the state, they will be so much safer! I have two children and work an average of 50 hours a week. I have NEVER EVER EVER EVER ‘forgotten’ where my children were. I don’t care how quiet they are. THEY should be your number one concern. Not talking on your cell phone, messing with the radio, smoking a cigarette, NOTHING else should be as important to you as that helpless child who is relying on YOU to keep them safe.
      Do you have any idea at all what death by heatstroke can be like? Dehydration, seizures, organ failure. They say, often when they find a child who has died in a hot car, they have torn their own hair out and ripped their own skin. How do you just forget someone you are supposed to love more than yourself and that you are responsible for?
      It terrifies me that you think it ok that this guy just forgot his kid and it died, after all, you forget your kids sometimes. Please don’t breed anymore Dria!

      • Shirley

        When my son was a baby, I went to school full time and worked full time. Every day I did the exact same thing: take him to daycare then go to school. One morning, as I was entering the interstate to go to school, I turned around and gasped because I thought I had forgotten to drop my son off at daycare. I whipped around and there was his empty car seat. I hadn’t forgotten to drop him off. I was just on such autopilot that I suddenly couldn’t remember. That was 16 years ago. He’s still alive and is well taken care of. This is a tragic accident and nothing more. We hustl and bustle through life that often our brains can’t take it all in.

  • Mike Russell

    Please remember – this happened in Dallas County a few years back.
    Grand jury Did Not Indict, although I believe the prosecution tanked on purpose.

    Forgetful Mom was a “pillar of the community” (i.e. Hospital Admin, if memory serves).
    This guy, Who knows?

    What do you think will happen to him, I really want to know?

    • Carol

      Personally, Mike, I don’t think anything will happen to him and I am being very serious. This sort of thing happens much more often then it should and it just gets chalked up to an accident. Mom was tired, or Dad forgot because he doesn’t normally do the morning drop off. I understand that this parent has to live with what happened and that is a horrible punishment of it’s own. But, if there are no legal consequences, what is to stop a person from doing it on purpose. Remember the woman who strapped her kids in the car seat and ran the car into Saylorville lake because her new boyfriend didn’t want kids? As horrible of a thought as it is, if there are no legal ramifications to something like this, it could be done intentionally. A woman willing to drown her kids wouldn’t necessarily be above letting them die of heatstroke.

      • Saly.

        maybe their is a lot more to this story and they have reason to believe this wasn’t an accident. that would explain the MURDER charge. when they say ‘murder’ doesn’t that normally imply that you intended for the person to die? Whereas something like vehicular homicide means someone dies, but it was not the intention?

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