It’s common knowledge that locking an animal, child, or person of any age in a car for an extended period of time is incredibly dangerous, especially during this time of year when temperatures are extremely high in many parts of the country. And yet, the sheer number of news headlines about negligent parents or thoughtless incidents involving locking a child or dog in a hot car during the summer months is staggering. Every summer, dozens of stories about infant mortality and animal abuse surface because of how careless and cruel people can be.
One of the most harrowing such cases this summer involves a father who reportedly locked his 22-month-old son in a car for eight hours while he was at work. Georgia resident Justin Ross Harris, 33, is charged with killing his infant son Cooper by leaving him inside a sweltering car all day, reports Newsmax. Early reports portrayed Harris as a typically doting father who accidentally forgot to bring his child to daycare, and instead left him strapped into his car seat while he spent the day at work. However, as more evidence surfaces, it appears that this horrific incident may have been premeditated.
“It’s going to trial on the theory of murder,” legal analyst Kendall Coffey recently explained on Newsmax TV. Coffey who, like many, is utterly appalled by the details of this case, admits that although our instincts tell us that a parent could never do something so sickening, this kind of case is not unprecedented. “The police are actively exploring the theory – as shocking as it seems, impossible as it seems to any parent that this was intentional. It’s really hard to understand how it could be otherwise,” Coffey notes, “despite our instincts that, of course, no parent would ever want to harm a child.”
According to his arrest warrant, Harris is being charged with cruelty to children in the first degree, in addition to the murder charge. He is currently being held without bail.
Featured Image: Heath Alseike via Flickr CC