Toddler’s dad researched hot-car deaths of children online, officer said in warrant

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GEORGIA, (CNN )- The suspect in a Georgia toddler’s death told police he used the Internet to research child deaths inside vehicles, a search warrant said.

The father, Justin Ross Harris, 33, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and second-degree child cruelty in the death of his 22-month-old son, Cooper Harris. The boy died after he was left seven hours in a sweltering SUV on June 18.

“During an interview with Justin, he stated that he recently researched, through the internet, child deaths inside vehicles and what temperature it needs to be for that to occur,” according to a sworn statement in the warrant from a police officer. “Justin stated that he was fearful that this could happen.”

According to search warrants from a Cobb County magistrate court, investigators seized a number of items from the father’s home: An iPhone 5, Hyundai car, home laptop computer, computer tower, a “Google chrome cast internet searcher” and other electronic devices.

Cobb County Police said the purpose of the search warrants was to find blood, DNA, writings, photographs relating to child abuse, child neglect, homicide to children, and cruelty to children.

Justin Harris sits in jail without bond, with an appearance before a judge set for next Thursday. Police in Cobb County, part of metro Atlanta, have been tight-lipped and haven’t said whether what they found on the computer is one of the reasons they arrested Harris.