Overlooked amid a torrent of sensational revelations last week about Ross Harris’ behavior before, during and after his son’s death, 22-month-old Cooper’s car seat figures to be a key component in the prosecution’s case against the Home Depot IT specialist.
Search warrants released Monday reveal police are taking a close look at Cooper’s health records to see whether the child was, as his father told detectives, developing normally.
During a probable cause hearing Thursday, Cobb County Police Det. Phil Stoddard testified Cooper was “several inches” too big for the rear-facing child seat in which he perished June 18 after being locked inside his father’s Hyundai Tucson for more than seven hours. Harris, who claims he mistakenly left his son inside the sweltering SUV, is being held without bond in Cobb jail, charged with felony murder and second-degree cruelty to children.
According to Stoddard, the boy’s parents had purchased a new, forward-facing child seat six weeks ago but, just a few weeks before his death, they switched back to his old seat for reasons not made clear.
“Harris knew the specific make and model of the seat and what the weight limit was for the child to be seated in it,” the warrants state. “When the seat was inspected the straps for the seat were set on the lowest level for a small child.”
Harris, 33, told detectives his son was “developing fine.”
“He was walking, talking and appeared to be a normal child for his age,” the warrants state.
Cooper was not ill the morning of his death and was taking no medications, Ross Harris told detectives.
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