Justin Ross Harris was charged with felony murder and cruelty to children after Cobb County police say he left his 22-month-old son in his car for about seven hours June 18, when temperatures reached the 90s.
“During an interview with Justin, he stated that he recently researched, through the Internet, child deaths inside vehicles and what temperature it needs to be for that to occur,” the warrant stated.
At his son’s funeral Saturday afternoon in Alabama at Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel, Harris called in to listen to the service. He also spoke to the crowd of about 300 on speaker phone, according to Fox 5 News.
When the phone was held up to a microphone in the church, Harris sobbed while thanking everyone for their support and saying he was sorry he couldn’t be there.
The crowd showed support for Harris during the service, where the child was buried in a red casket, his favorite color, according to his obituary. The church was decorated with a dozen photos of the child with his parents, Fox 5 News reported.
Harris’ wife Leanna, who gave the eulogy for her son, said she wasn’t angry with her husband, according to Fox 5 News.
“Ross is, was and will be a wonderful daddy, if we have children again,” she said, and those in attendance stood and cheered in response.
Harris said he was supposed to drop his son off at day care that morning, but he didn’t. Harris did stop at a Chick-fil-A in Vinings with his son near The Home Depot headquarters, where he worked as a Web developer for the company, according to the search warrants.
Harris’ son, Cooper, was left in the car from 9:30 a.m. to 4:20 p.m., the warrant says, when his father discovered he was dead while driving to meet friends.
“Justin stated that he was fearful that this could happen,” the warrant stated.
Harris, 33, has been in jail without bond since that day, and his next court appearance is scheduled for July 15.
Police searched Harris’ cellphone and computer. They also looked for trace evidence, such as fingerprints, blood, DNA, hairs or fibers in his car, as well as “paperwork or writings related to the crime of homicide and cruelty to children,” according to the warrant.