Timeline of toddler’s death



The following is a timeline of events leading to the death of 22-month-old Cooper Harris, based on court testimony and police reports.

» Listen to Breakdown Season 2 on the Justin Ross Harris case here.

June 13: Prosecutors say Justin Ross Harris, called Ross, searched websites that contained details on how children die in locked cars.

June 18, 7:30 a.m.: Ross Harris and his son Cooper awake at their Marietta home. Detectives said Ross and Cooper Harris watched cartoons, got dressed then left the house for breakfast at Chick-fil-A.

9:19 a.m. Ross and Cooper Harris leave the Chick-fil-A at Paces Ferry Road and Cumberland Drive, which is on the way to Harris’ job at Home Depot nearby. Surveillance cameras show Cooper to be “wide awake and happy.”

9:25 a.m.: Harris parks the SUV and goes in to work, leaving Cooper in the backseat.

Lunchtime: The exact time has not been specified. But, while taking a break from work, Harris rides to a nearby Home Depot store with some friends and purchases light bulbs. When they return, he goes to his SUV, opens the driver’s side door and places the bulbs in the car. It’s not known if he had any contact with his son. Police say Cooper probably died before noon.

3 p.m. Prosecutors say Harris “sexted” with an underage girl.

3:16 p.m.: Police say Harris texts his wife, “When are you going to get my buddy?”

3:45 p.m.: Harris tells a friend he’s leaving work early to try to make a movie.

4:16 p.m.: Harris leaves his office, located at 2600 Cumberland Blvd., near Smyrna and Cumberland Mall.

4:23 p.m.: After driving about a mile, Harris turns onto Akers Mill Road and makes a right turn into the parking lot of a shopping center. He stops the SUV, leaving the driver’s side door open as he gets his son out of the car.

4:25 p.m.: Witnesses at the shopping center watch as a frantic Harris tries to revive the boy, whose color is off. He doesn’t appear to be breathing. Harris is frantic and is screaming “What have I done? What have I done?” as bystanders start CPR on the boy, who is on the ground of the parking lot. Cooper’s lifeless body is still in a sitting position, witnesses said. Police, already patrolling the area, and firefighters arrive at the scene within seconds of a 911 call.

4:58 p.m.: Cobb County police spokesman Officer Mike Bowman confirms the toddler has been pronounced dead. A crowd has gathered on the sidewalks of the shopping center. Harris, police later confirm, is now in handcuffs and in the back of a patrol car because he cursed at an officer. The SUV and child’s body are soon part of a crime scene investigation, and Harris taken away for questioning.

5:45 p.m.: Just steps away from the little boy’s body, Sgt. Dana Pierce tells reporters Harris told police he went to work, worked seven hours, then left work and realized he had forgotten to take the child to daycare.

10 p.m.: Harris is arrested and charged with murder. He is booked into the Cobb County jail.

June 28: Cooper’s funeral is held in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. By phone from jail, Harris thanks supporters for standing behind him. His wife, Leanna Harris, also speaks at the service. “[Cooper’s] in the most peaceful, wonderful place there is,” Leanna Harris tells mourners.

June 29: Search warrants released to the public reveal that Leanna Harris admitted that, like her husband, she had recently researched “car deaths and how (they) occur.”

July 3: Cobb Superior Court Judge Frank Cox rules there is probable cause to charge Harris with his son’s murder and denies bail. Harris remains in jail.


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