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Mom hot car death: Child left in car one day and killed by heat, online research

A hot car death case has resulted in one mom being questioned by police after it was discovered she had only recently researched deaths of children in extreme heat online. CNN reports this Sunday, June 29, 2014, that a mom and dad from Alabama are being closely examined once their 2-year-old son Cooper Harris was killed after being left outside in a hot car for a full day. Investigators are looking into the terrible possibility that evidence of previous research of such deaths might suggest the tragic incident was premeditated.

Mom and dad leave child in car, hot death results for son
Wikimedia Commons

The mom of a young boy whose son was killed in a car is said to have researched online information about hot car deaths. Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the boy’s father leaving his son in an extremely hot vehicle for several hours. Police documents reveal that the investigation was made publicly available only a day after the funeral for Cooper Harris, who was only 22 months old at the time, took place.

At this point in time, mother Leanna Harris has not been formally accused nor charged with the recent death of her son. However, state law enforcement authorities are looking into why the woman had been going online to research details about extreme heat and deaths involving hot cars only shortly before her son was killed by the high temperatures. A search warrant has been filed after it was determined that the boy’s father, Justin Harris, and left Cooper in the backseat of the family’s SUV on June 18 for a full day.

Both Harris parents, said News Oxy, are saying that the entire situation is a tragedy — and that they most certainly did not leave their son in the car to die. According to statements gathered from the possible suspects, the boy’s dad has said that he and Cooper’s mom were looking up such information in order to prevent it from happening. He claimed that they wanted to know “what temperature it needs to be for [death] to occur” for the sole reason that they “were fearful that this could happen.”

His wife supports her husband’s statement, but police remain unconvinced. They feel that if the parents’ story were true and they had researched hot car deaths as a precautionary measure, they should have had even extra reason to not leave their son in a car unattended for hours on a summer’s day full of sun and heat. However, the mom is not considered a suspect at this time, verifies the report.

“Leanna Harris, the child’s mother was also questioned regarding the incident and made similar statements regarding researching in car deaths and how it occurs,” shares the search warrant.

Justin Harris, the child’s father, has been taken into police custody and is facing charges over his son’s death. Leanna has called her husband a “great father” and is supporting her husband, who has pleaded not guilty to the crime. The press release states that Harris told police he did not remember to drop his son off at daycare that morning. It was only after he left for work at roughly 9 am and got back to his car at almost 4:30 pm that he found his son still in the backseat.

“Oh my God! What have I done,” witnesses to the horrific scene said they heard Harris say as he pulled his almost 2-year-old toddler out of the car and tried to resuscitate him with CPR. The child, unfortunately, had been killed by the heat and could not be revived. Emergency officials pronounced the boy dead upon arrival, and the case against his father — as well an investigation into the mom’s online research of hot car deaths — is ongoing this week.

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