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Georgia toddler dies after 8 hours unattended in hot SUV; father charged

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A Georgia man is facing murder charges after leaving his 22-month-old son unattended for eight hours inside an SUV in 90-degree temperatures, according to news reports.

Justin Ross Harris, 33, was supposed to drop the toddler off Wednesday at day care, but ended up driving directly to work, Cobb County police spokesman Dana Pierce told The Associated Press.

Mr. Harris arrived at work about 9 a.m. but did not realize the child was still in the car until he was driving home, some eight hours later, authorities said.

Temperatures in the Atlanta area reached the low-90s Wednesday, and could have soared to as high as 140 degrees inside the vehicle, a local CBS affiliate reported.

Witnesses told police say the man tried reviving the child but was unsuccessful.

"He hopped out of his car. I didn't know what he was doing at the time," one witness, Dale Hamilton, told the news station. "But he eventually pulled the child out of the car seat. … He pulled him out of the car seat, laid him on the ground and was trying to resuscitate him.

"He was constantly saying, 'What have I done, what have I done,'" Mr. Hamilton said.

Mr. Harris then drove to a shopping center to phone for help, AP reported.

He is charged with murder and cruelty to children and was being held without bond at the Cobb County jail.

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About the Author

Jennifer Pompi

Jennifer Pompi is a general assignment reporter and afternoon slot editor for The Washington Times. Previously, she worked as an editor for AOL/Patch, covering hyperlocal news in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland. She can be reached at jpompi@washingtontimes.com.

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