Cops Say Both Parents Researched Hot Car Deaths Before Son's Death
As a toddler is laid to rest, details surface that both parents allegedly researched how hot car deaths happen before their son died inside their own hot car. INSIDE EDITION has the latest.
The grave of the 22-month old tot who died when his father left him in a hot car for seven hours was covered in flowers.
Little Cooper Harris was laid to rest at an emotionally charged funeral in Alabama. His mom, Leanna Harris, continued to express support for her husband, telling mourners, "Ross is and always will be a wonderful daddy. Cooper meant the world to him."
Thirty-three-year-old Harris was not allowed out of jail to attend the funeral, but he called in on speakerphone. His voice cracked as he said, "I'm just sorry I can't be there. I love you. Thank you."
The obituary, written by the family in their hometown newspaper, is also a message of solidarity.
"He was loved and cherished and protected by both parents," the obituary read. "He had just learned the color red, and as we passed red vehicles, he would tell his mommy and his daddy, 'Bye red car, bye red truck.'"
Justin Ross Harris claimed he simply forgot to drop 22-month old Cooper at daycare on his way to work at a Home Depot in Atlanta.
But in a shocking twist, police now say both parents recently researched details of hot car deaths online, including the question, "What temperature it needs to be for [death] to occur?"
Online, Ross Harris was called 'a monster' and 'sick' but there was surprising support as well.
Lyn Balfour, who was acquitted of manslaughter after she accidently left her son, Bryce, in a car in 2007, spoke with INSIDE EDITION. "This can absolutely happen to anyone," said Balfour.
"I was one of those parents who heard those stories and said that could never happen to me. That's an irresponsible parent. Until I found out it could happen to me the hard way," said Balfour.
Now, Balfour works with a support group for parents who have lost children in the same way.
"He didn't do anything wrong," said Balfour. "He made a mistake. It was an accident, and he's a good parent. He's a good father."
Also, on YouTube INSIDE EDITION found a video posted by the family's supports, claiming the local district attorney was politicizing the case.
"There is no evidence indicating Ross Harris did this on purpose," the video stated. "The charges are outrageous."
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