Family prepares to bury Cobb toddler

It will be a sad homecoming for Leanna Harris Saturday as she returns to her native Tuscaloosa, Ala. to bury her only son.

Harris’ husband, charged in 22-month-old Cooper Harris’ death, won’t be accompanying her. Ross Harris, who told police he accidentally left his son inside his SUV for more than seven hours on June 18, is being held without bond in the Cobb County jail.

Cobb Police Chief John Houser said in a statement released Wednesday this was not a case of “simple negligence,” though investigators have not shared the incriminating evidence they say they have obtained.

Coincidentally, search warrants of Harris’ home and office — expected to provide the first significant glimpse into the case against the 33-year-old IT specialist —could be released Saturday.

Cooper’s funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Tuscaloosa’s University Church of Christ. Ross Harris’ employer, Home Depot, is donating $10,000 through a company-sponsored grant program to cover funeral costs, according to a spokeswoman with the the home improvement retailer. A private family burial will follow.

“He was loved and cherished and protected by both parents and all family members for his short 22 months of life,” family members wrote in a paid obituary published Thursday.

Cooper, according to the obit, loved trucks and cars and had just learned to identify the color red.

Though support for his father has diminished as information trickles out from police, the family thanked those who have stood behind them.

“The outpouring of love has been tremendously overwhelming in the best way possible,” they wrote in the obituary. “The Lord sent you very special people to us and we are praising God in this storm.”

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