Father Charged with Murder in Toddler's Death in a Hot Car
A Georgia man whose 22-month-old son died after allegedly having been accidentally left too long in a hot car has been charged with murder after police discovered evidence that he may have knowingly left the child strapped in his seat for hours on a day when the temperature topped out at 92 degrees. Justin Ross Harris, the arrest warrant alleges, strapped his son Cooper into his rear-facing car seat after they ate breakfast at a fast food restaurant.
Harris allegedly then drove to work at a Home Depot corporate office about a half-mile away, leaving Cooper in the car until his lunch break, at which point he reportedly visited the car to put something in the front seat. Just after 4 pm, he returned to the car and left work. Moments later, he pulled into a shopping center parking lot and called for help with Cooper, who had been in the car for seven hours by that point. The child was pronounced dead at the scene.
Forty-three children died from being left too long in hot cars in 2013, Parents magazine reports, and children are at greater risk than adults of overheating in a car because internal cooling systems--chiefly through sweat--are not as quick to react as adults'.
Image: Car door, via Shutterstock