Georgia police investigation into death of toddler left in a hot car

22-month-old boy killed in hot SUV
22-month-old boy killed in hot SUV

COBB COUNTY, GA. (CNN/WXIA/WGCL/WSB) – A Georgia father is charged with murder after allegedly leaving his toddler in a hot car.

“Right now these charges will stand,” Sgt. Dana Pierce, Cobb County Police said.

Cobb County police in Georgia are facing scrutiny for charging 33-year-old Justin Ross Harris for murder and cruelty to children in the death of his son. Harris told police he left his 22-month-old in his SUV by accident, forgetting to drop him off at daycare Wednesday.

Now thousands of people are defending Harris, signing an online petition asking the district attorney to drop the charges.

People are even raising money online for his family and their expenses.

Still police say it was no accident, implying there is more to the story than people know.

One police sergeant told CNN: “What I know about this case shocks my conscience as a police officer, a father, and a grandfather.”

According to Harris’ arrest warrant the temperature in the SUV reached 88 degrees.

But now police have doubts if the child was left in the hot car for several hours like Harris said — though investigators have been tight-lipped about why.

“So they think there is more to this. They are looking at that child for any injuries that may have occurred prior to this death,” criminal defense attorney Holly Hughes said.

Harris told police once he realized his son was in the back seat, he pulled into a busy Atlanta shopping center.

A witness says he: “Pulled his child out, laid him on the concrete. Tried to resuscitate him.”

Results from the child’s autopsy have not been released yet, but they should shed more light on this tragedy.

On Thursday, Harris pleaded not guilty to felony murder and cruelty to children charges.

He’s now being held without bond.

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