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Monday, June 30, 2014

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father

Posted by on Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The mother of the 22-month-old who died after being left inside an SUV told Cobb County police she also researched children dying in hot vehicles, according to new court documents released Sunday morning. “Leanna Harris, the child’s mother, was also questioned regarding the incident and made similar statements regarding researching in car deaths and how it occurs,” search warrant affidavits obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution state. The timing of those online searches and investigators’ findings have not been released. But within about five hours of the toddler’s death on June 18, his father, Justin Ross Harris, was arrested and charged with murder and cruelty to children.... The boy’s father told police he had searched online for information regarding temperatures needed for children to die inside vehicles because he was “fearful” it could happen, according to search warrant affidavits released Saturday.

So... both mom and dad did a little online research about kids dying after being left in hot cars and then their kid dies after being left in a hot car. But at least that kid had a mom and a dad, right Liberty Counsel?


Comments (14) RSS

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Allyn 1

Donation made.
Posted by Allyn on June 30, 2014 at 10:47 AM · Report this
venomlash 2
If he really did the research and then got his son killed in a way that the research should have prevented, he's guilty of ludicrously-gross negligence and merits a prison sentence anyway. I'm in the camp of "he done it deliberately" though.
Posted by venomlash on June 30, 2014 at 11:34 AM · Report this
rob! 3
The courts will decide whether these two parents acted with murderous intent. But it happens every year to many people who almost certainly did not.

Before you say to yourself "That could never be ME," consider the following:—
…Two decades ago, this was relatively rare. But in the early 1990s, car-safety experts declared that passenger-side front airbags could kill children, and they recommended that child seats be moved to the back of the car; then, for even more safety for the very young, that the baby seats be pivoted to face the rear. If few foresaw the tragic consequence of the lessened visibility of the child . . . well, who can blame them? What kind of person forgets a baby?

The wealthy do, it turns out. And the poor, and the middle class. Parents of all ages and ethnicities do it. Mothers are just as likely to do it as fathers. It happens to the chronically absent-minded and to the fanatically organized, to the college-educated and to the marginally literate…
—and read the article it came from, by the Washington Post's Pulitzer-Prize-winning Gene Weingarten.

The whole thing. I warn you, it's long and searing, but it might save your kid's life.
Posted by rob! on June 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM · Report this
4 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
Best idea I've heard of to help prevent this sort of thing is to keep a big bright teddy bear in the car seat whenever your child isn't in it. Then when you strap the kid in, the bear sits on the front passenger seat - in the lap of the adult there, if necessary. the bear is always either in the car seat, or on the passenger seat - and if it's on the passenger seat, that means there is a baby in the carseat.
Posted by agony on June 30, 2014 at 11:57 AM · Report this
I've also heard it recommended that you take off a shoe and put it in the back seat, or place something that you always bring with you and never forget next to the child.. You will not get far without your shoe, and unfortunately it is extremely human, and not as impossible as we would like to believe, to forget that you have your child with you, or that you did not drop them at daycare, or whatever. The studies on this have been pretty clear, as some of the above comments indicate.

I am far from willing to condemn these parents at this point. I have researched many things, that does not mean I am guilty if one of them happens to me.

Posted by sequoia43 on June 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM · Report this
mikethehammer 7
Politics aside, that seems like a particularly horrific and excruciating manner in which to die.
Posted by mikethehammer on June 30, 2014 at 12:38 PM · Report this
Considering what an awful, awful thing it is for a parent to accidentally kill their child this way, it is doubly apalling to think that someone would take advantage of those poor souls' misfortune and try to disguise a deliberate murder of a child as a similar "accident." What a piece of shit.
Posted by JenV on June 30, 2014 at 12:43 PM · Report this
4, Georgia doesn't allow gay marriage, yet this child wasn't protected.
Posted by This child would still be alive if he had two daddies. on June 30, 2014 at 12:47 PM · Report this
@5, that's a great idea! I don't have a kid but if I have one I'm using that.

I have Googled a lot of crazy shit. The things in my search history are not necessarily representative of things I want or intend to do. I don't think having this in someone's search history is proof of anything. It is certainly something the court should take into consideration but, for example, now that I've heard this story I would totally search to find what temperature/time it would take to kill a child.

Let's say you've got 3 kids and groceries to get out of the car and after hauling the groceries and 2 kids in you get distracted (screaming kids, breaking things, shitting on the carpet, whatever) but then remember the kid in the car. You bring the kid in and think "whew, that was close". You then go online that night to find out how close you were. Was it hot enough today? How long would you have to leave the kid? OR you've just read this story and searched to see for yourself.

I would hate to think that this search history could be considered proof of your intent. I would really hate for people to not educate themselves about dangerous things for fear that search history could be used against them.

The search history is suspicious, but it's a long way from proof.
Posted by Root on June 30, 2014 at 12:50 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 11
I'm not ready to sharpen my pitchfork and light up my torch just yet. *I've* read a lot about child hyperthermic deaths in cars, including that it can happen to very careful and loving parents. (Read: IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU.) If gawd forbid something happened to my daughter, should I go to jail basely solely on my prior reading?

That said, this death certainly merits close inspection. I'm just not ready to pronounce them murderers.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on June 30, 2014 at 1:40 PM · Report this
Aurora Erratic 12
The search history is suspicious, but also: the daycare was in the father's work building. It seems like he would have realized what happened when he went to pick his son up from daycare...Somehow he forgot on BOTH ends?
Posted by Aurora Erratic on June 30, 2014 at 1:55 PM · Report this
Merlin D. Bear 13
Let me start by saying if it was a deliberate act, the scene from "Hannibal" and those pigs comes to mind. But that's just me.

However, a few points - there is apparently evidence that he went out to the car at around noon and opened the front door for something, whether to get something out or put something in.
And the wife? Apparently because she didn't display the "correct" amount of grief at her son's funeral, and said "if she could have him back now, she wouldn't take him, because he's in a better place now than he'd ever have here" at the funeral, and she's admitted to searching for hot car deaths as well, she's being looked at as possibly complicit,
The grand jury convenes this week for formal charges.

I question though... first, was it his routine to drop his son off and his wife pick him up? If that's the case, why didn't the wife call and say, where's the baby?
And if he did go out to the car, for the love of God, it was a 22 month old strapped in a goddamn car seat. That diaper must have been 24 karat Rank, especially in that heat.
You're gonna tell me you don't smell that? Hell, you're gonna tell me that he wasn't SLAMMED IN THE FACE with that odor when he opened the car door that first time, whether it was noon or later? Again, especially in that heat?
At this point, their only hope is to flip one on the other.
And I still vote for pigs.

Posted by Merlin D. Bear on June 30, 2014 at 10:21 PM · Report this
Merlin D. Bear 14
For anyone interested in an update:…

Among the new revelations:

Justin Ross Harris engaged in sexual texts with underage girls on the day his son was left in the car.
Harris also visited an Internet site for people who want to live “child free.”
Cooper was alert during breakfast at a nearby Chick-fil-A.
The toddler is believed to have died before noon on June 18.

I'm still voting for the pig scene.
But feel free to expand on it.
Posted by Merlin D. Bear on July 3, 2014 at 2:25 PM · Report this

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