5 years ago today, police arrested Ross Harris for killing son Cooper in hot car

5 years ago, police arrested Ross Harris for killing son Cooper in hot car

Tuesday marks five years since a Cobb County father was arrested and charged with his son's murder.

On June 18, 2014, 22-month-old Cooper Harris died after his father Ross Harris intentionally left him in the back of a sweltering car.

[RELATED: A timeline of the Justin Ross Harris case]

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Channel 2's Richard Elliot spoke with former Channel 2 reporter Ross Cavitt, who was down the street when it happened.

Cavitt was the first journalist on the scene minutes later and went live on air from what quickly became a crime scene. Cobb police put Harris in the back of a patrol car after they discovered Cooper dead from heat exhaustion.

Harris told police he simply forgot Cooper was strapped into his car seat and left him for hours while he went to work. Harris pulled into the parking lot and try to resuscitate him.

Cavitt, who is now the spokesman for Cobb County, said his sources told him that day Harris' story wasn't adding up.

"That raised a red flag. The way he was acting. After that raised a red flag, it got so bad. They actually had him in handcuffs, and that's when things went downhill," Cavitt told Elliot.


Lead prosecutor Chuck Boring told Elliot they soon discovered Harris' secret double life including sexting underage girls.

They learned he did an internet search on hot car deaths. There was also video showing Harris returning to his car at lunch that day. Police charged him with malice murder.

"He wanted to be separate. He wanted to be away from his family. He was looking for a way out," Boring said.

A judge moved the trial to Brunswick, Georgia, where a jury convicted Harris on every single count. Elliot was there as Harris learned the verdict and was sentenced to life in prison.

Five years later, Boring still thinks about Cooper.

"That's still what it's all about. About a 22-month-old who died in a way, you know, you don't forget," he said.

Elliot reached out to two of Harris' attorneys. They declined to be interviewed, but they did say his appeals for a new trial are continuing.