Cobb County father reportedly searched for 'child deaths' - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Cobb County father reportedly searched for 'child deaths,' according to warrants


There are new developments in the case of a father charged with murder after he allegedly left his child in a hot car for hours.

In newly released warrants, Cobb County police say during an interview with Justin Harris, he said he recently researched child deaths in cars on the Internet and what temperature it needs to be for that to happen. According to the warrants, Harris said he feared this could happen to his own child.

"Maybe he's left the kid before," said defense attorney Page Pate. "Maybe this is something he was planning on doing, not necessarily to kill the child, but 'I'm going to leave him in the car and wonder how long I can do that and still be OK.'"

Police are now looking to search Harris' computers, cell phone and internet browsers.

"It could be very damaging if they find, based on the computer search or his iPhone search, if they find other search terms that lead them to believe that he was either planning on this or was going to be reckless enough that, 'Hey, I can leave my kid. I know I'm safe for a certain number of hours," said Pate.

According to the warrants, investigators will also search for evidence of child neglect or abuse at Harris' home in Marietta.

Harris' 22-month-old son Cooper died earlier this month after he was left in a car while Harris was at work.

Pate said information police received from Harris' wife could be key in the investigation.

"She can shed a lot of light on what type of father he was, what perhaps they were going through at the time," said Pate. "Was there a need to keep him out of day care? What was the reason, if this was intentional, to keep him in the back seat of the car? Maybe she knows."

The funeral for young Cooper is Saturday in Alabama.

Harris has a bond hearing in Cobb County on Thursday.

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