Toddler who died in hot car laid to rest


The funeral for 22-month-old Cooper Mills Harris, who was left in a car for seven hours, drew hundreds of people to Tuscaloosa, AL. The boy's father was not allowed to travel to the out of state funeral, but was able to participate via telephone.

Support for the mother and father from family and friends in Tuscaloosa was clear. Nearly 300 people showed up at the funeral for a child some of them had never met.

Inside the University Church of Christ, two tables full of photos showed a precious, happy child with various family members, including his father.

During the service, his father Justin Ross Harris, called in from jail and listened as family and friends talked about Cooper and how much he was loved.

Harris addressed those in attendance when the phone he was calling in on was held to a microphone.

"Thank you for everything you have done for my boy," said Harris, his voice cracking with emotion. "I'm just sorry I can't be there."

During Cooper's eulogy, his mother was candid in her remarks.

"This is not where I expected to be today," said Leanna Harris.

Leanna talked about how much she had prayed for a child, and how she worried she would not be able to have one.

Then claimed that if given the opportunity, she would not bring Cooper back to, what she called, a broken world.

A strongly religious family, the Harris' believe Cooper is "in the lap of Jesus," as his grandfather put it.

During the eulogy, Leanna did not breakdown or succumb to tears, and credits God for giving her the strength to get through all that has happened.

She also listed the things she was happy her dead child would not have to experience. They included, his first heartbreak, middle school and high school and burying other members of his family.

Cooper's mother concluded her remarks by telling those in attendance that she was not angry with her husband. "Ross is, was and will be a wonderful daddy, if we have more children," said Leanna Harris.

Cooper's bright red casket, was then taken to a cemetery and buried.

Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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