COOPER HARRIS MURDER - TIMELINE AND REF DOCS
TIME LINE OF EVENTS SURROUNDING THE DEATH OF COOPER HARRIS
June 18th 2014
7:15 a.m.: Leanna Harris, mother of victim Cooper and wife of suspect Ross, leaves the family’s rented Marietta-area condo for business. She is a dietician.
8:30 a.m.: Ross and Cooper Harris leave the condo and head to Chick-fil-A for breakfast.
8:55 a.m.: After eating, Harris puts the 22-month-old into his rear-facing car seat in the middle of the backseat of his 2011 Hyundai Tucson. In later police interviews, Harris tells investigators that he kissed his son and told him “daddy loves you” when he placed him in the car seat, in case they got into a car accident and Cooper died.
Police indicate that the boy had outgrown the car seat and his head was only six inches from his fathers and protruding between the driver and passenger seats.
Harris then drives less than a mile (under 3 minute drive) to the “Treehouse” Home Depot office, where he works. His son’s daycare center, where he was supposed to drop off Cooper as part of the daily routine, was about 2 miles away at corporate headquarters. (Harris later claims he forgot about Cooper this particular day because the boy fell asleep.).
9:00 a.m.: Harris backs into a parking spot, requiring him to turn around and use his mirrors to look behind him. He grabs his briefcase from the backseat near Cooper. Harris goes in to work, leaving Cooper in the backseat.
Lunchtime: Harris goes to lunch at Publix with two colleagues/friends, James Alex Hall and Winston Milng. He purchases vanity light bulbs at Home Depot during this lunch break. Upon returning to the office building, Harris asks Miling (the driver) to stop in the parking lot near his SUV. Harris quickly opens the vehicle door and tosses the light bulbs inside (where Cooper Harris has now been sweltering in temperatures over 110F for several hours).
1:30 p.m.: Harris receives an email from a group leader at Cooper’s Home Depot corporate daycare center – the Little Apron (HOTD: not clear as of 7/3/14 whether the email was read or what it was about).
3:16 p.m.: Harris claims that he texted his wife, “when are you going to get my buddy?” (HOTD: As of 7/3/14, police have no record of that text.)
4:00 p.m. approx.: Harris receives a phone call from his wife, Leanna. He's misses it, he calls her back and she misses it, and he calls her a third time and actually gets through to her. And they have about a minute -- little over a minute phone call, phone conversation.
4:16 p.m.: Harris leaves his office, located at 2600 Cumberland Blvd., near Smyrna and Cumberland Mall. He had made plans to meet his friends for a 5 p.m. movie at a theater approximately 10 minutes from his office.
4:23 p.m.: Harris turns onto Akers Mill Road and makes a right turn into the parking lot of a shopping center. He then makes an abrupt right turn, stops the SUV and quickly gets out, leaving the driver’s side door open as he gets his son out of the car.
4:24 p.m.: Witnesses at the shopping center watch as a Harris apparently tries to revive the boy, whose color is off and doesn’t appear to be breathing. Harris 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 placed by someone at the scene.
Police officers ask Harris to get off of his cell phone. Harris tells one to “shut up” and tells another “fuck you”. He is cuffed and placed into police custody in the police car.
Harris’ phone records show during this time, he tried to reach his wife and someone at his Home Depot office, then called the Home Depot's daycare where Cooper attended and was on the line for 6 minutes (HOTD: edited for clarity 7/6/14).
4:51 p.m.: Leanna Harris arrives at the daycare center to pick up Cooper. She was told that Cooper never came in that day. According to police, her first words to daycare workers were: "Ross must have left him in the car." When a daycare worker told Leanna Harris there were a "million" other reasons why Cooper never showed up, Leanna Harris immediately said, "No." She didn't show any emotion, police said, but did say it was her "worst nightmare."
Police said she never asked to see Cooper, but did ask to see her husband. She called her mother, who screamed and cried loudly and asked Leanna Harris why she wasn't crying. Leanna Harris' reply was, "I must be in shock."
4:58 p.m.: Cobb County police spokesman Officer Mike Bowman confirms to the press that Cooper Harris, 22 months, has been pronounced dead.
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 7 hours, then left work and realized he had forgotten to take the child to daycare.
Between 5:45 p.m. and 10 p.m.: Justin Ross Harris is questioned by police. He reportedly uses “cop talk” in his communications – he previously worked as a police dispatcher. Leanna Harris is allowed to visit her husband; police observe and listen in. Neither parent is emotional, according to police (who have videotapes). Ross Harris is reportedly focused on how his arrest might affect his life and his job. Leanna Harris never asks to see her son.
10 p.m.: Justin Ross Harris is arrested and charged with first degree child cruelty and felony murder*. He reportedly asks police how he can be charged when there was no “malicious intent”. Harris is booked into the Cobb County jail.
*Prior to the probable cause hearing of July 3rd 2014, charges were changed to gross negligence and felony murder. At the hearing, the judge ruled that probable cause existed, denied Harris bond, and commented that this could ultimately become a death penalty case.
<Sources: HOTD compilation -- media reports, warrants, probable cause hearing testimony.>
Edit: 7/6/14 added 4 p.m. phone call -- confirmed via probable cause hearing transcript.