DA investigators retrace steps of Cobb County father - CBS46 News

DA investigators retrace steps of Cobb County father

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Investigators from the Cobb County District Attorney's Office have retraced the steps of Justin Ross Harris, the father charged with leaving his 22-month-old son to die in a hot car last month.

Harris told investigators he had breakfast with his son, Cooper, on June 18 at the Chick-Fil-A on Cumberland Parkway.

Harris said the toddler fell asleep as he drove to work at his nearby Home Depot office. The father told police he forgot Cooper in the backseat for hours and only noticed his son as he drove home.

"I think it's really important to actually put motion with words," said Latonia Hines, a prosecutor with the Cobb County Solicitor's Office.

CBS46 News also re-enacted Harris' route that morning. The trip between the two locations took just over two minutes. Hines said that raises new questions.

"Can you actually have gone from that short period of time from the Chick-Fil-A to the Home Depot where you're parking without ever noticing that your child made any noise or anything like that?" asked Hines. "Is it reasonable that your child fell asleep that quickly?"

A tweet Harris posted last September seemed to suggest he was frustrated that his son was not sleeping well. It said "New Invention: Snooze buttons for babies."

"That tweet alone is not enough to convict him of anything," said Hines. "He could just be a frustrated parent, but as a prosecutor when I look at it I say 'wait a minute, maybe this is his state of mind. Maybe he was just tired of being a parent. Maybe it was too much.'"

Police said toxicology results on the toddler have not yet been released. Hines said those results could be key in the murder investigation.

"If you find something that shows the child was maybe given something that would normally sedate you, you know the child wouldn't have had that on their own," said Hines. "Why would you have given the child something? Why would that be in their system?"

Hines and his wife, Leanna, told investigators they both researched hot car deaths because they feared it could happen to their son. She has not been charged.

The case will be presented to a grand jury after police finish their investigation.

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