While Ross Harris is charged with felony murder and child cruelty, his wife has not been charged


COBB COUNTY, Ga. – Questions are now being asked about the mother of a 22-month-old boy who died after being left in a hot car.

Cobb County released search warrants over the weekend showing that both Justin Ross Harris and his wife, Leanna, researched the internet about child car heat deaths before their son, 22-month-old Cooper, was found dead in his father's car on June 18.

According to the warrants, both parents told police investigators they did the research because they were afraid it could happen to their toddler.

A source close to the investigation told 11Alive that the search had taken place before the day that their son died – a fact that could be used by prosecutors to show that the death was premeditated.

Ross Harris told authorities that he forgot to drop his son off at daycare before he went to work at Home Depot.

While Ross Harris is charged with felony murder and child cruelty, his wife has not been charged.

Yet police say their investigation is far from over.

Family and friends of Ross and Leanna Harris have been extremely tight-lipped. Cobb County's sheriff denied a request by 11Alive to see the jail log to find out who has visited Harris in jail. They also refused to release the audio of the phone call Harris made from the jail to those at his son's funeral on Saturday.

Much more could be revealed at Harris' court hearing on Thursday, when prosecutors are expected to lay out the nuts and bolts of their case, showing that Cooper's death was no accident.

So how significant could Leanna Harris' internet search admission be?

"I don't really think that should have anything to do with how this case is disposed," Atlanta defense attorney Drew Findling told 11Alive on Monday.

While not involved in the Harris case, Findling said he's very familiar with others of the type.

He said Leanna Harris' admission is perfectly harmless in an age where nearly everyone searches the internet for answers almost every day. But he said it could become more significant, depending on what investigators find on computers and other electronic devices seized from the couple.

"Telecommunication, text messaging, emailing between the mother and the father that day, they're gonna look at that before they make a decision that the mom's in the clear," he added.

Leanna Taylor and Ross Harris were married just over eight years ago in Tuscaloosa,where the child's funeral was held Saturday.

According to a 2006 newspaper wedding announcement, she attended the University of Alabama to study food and nutrition. She currently is a licensed dietitian in Georgia.

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