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Accident or Murder? Toddler died in Hot Car in Atlanta

  1. Mrs. Blue

    blogger / pomelo / 5361 posts

    @MamaJ: EXCELLENT point--one I'm sure the police and prosecutors will make. Even if you forgot all day, wouldn't his normal habit be to go pick up his son from daycare? Unless it was one of those optional work daycare type things where you can use them if your kid is sick, etc, but he doesn't actually go there all the time.

    @Emsmems: I have no idea if this is true, but on the smell, I wasn't thinking so much decomposing body, but more that the body probably releases bladder and bowels up on death so that would be smelling up the car. That's just what I was assuming, but like I said, I don't know if that's the "smell" they're referring to.

    @NovBaby1112: I agree on the search not being THAT bad on it's own, but in the context of other facts, it may be pretty strong circumstantial evidence. That said, ever since reading that, I keep wanting to google that question just to see what it would have told him. I have absolutely no idea, but I"m curious if it is in the 3-5 hour range. As in, does it fit in the time frame that he would have gone down at lunch to see if the baby had already died? If so, he could have "discovered" him then. If not, then I guess he would have wanted to leave him and not "discover" him until the end of the day. Although, typing that makes me so horrified that any parent could premeditate their child's death to that degree, so I really hope that's not the case.

  2. daniellemybelle

    cantaloupe / 6669 posts

    @MamaJ: That is a really good question.

    I cannot help but think about what that child went through & it makes me physically ill. I can only pray that it was not extremely painful or frightening for that poor, innocent baby... but I can't imagine how it wouldn't have been.

  3. yoursilverlining

    eggplant / 11824 posts

    @looch: good point/question. Honestly, if it wasn't an accident, I certainly hope he's mentally ill. The thought of someone doing this on purpose is so sad and cruel. Not that there is a non cruel way to kill your kid, but jesus.

  4. MsMamaBear

    pear / 1861 posts

    I've been following this since it broke and I ALWAYS felt fishy about it. In 8 hrs he didn't think about his kid once? Then it came out that he ate breakfast with him, yeah, it's just ridiculous. Folks had even started taking up money for him! It's down now though.

  5. SugarplumsMom

    bananas / 9227 posts

    @PermaStudent: That article lurks up in the back of my mind when we're taking long drives! It's one of those things that can't be unread and yet I'm grateful for reading it.

    I think the story is tragic all-around! I think the father is tortured enough by the loss of his child. But this is the first I've heard about it. Reading his initial reaction by a witness really makes it seem like it was an accident.

  6. SugarplumsMom

    bananas / 9227 posts

    @Grace: I just read your response above. I completely agree.

  7. shopaholic

    bananas / 9973 posts

    @Mrs. Blue: *shudder shudder* at the thought. But I'll admit that's what I thought of when I read the time frame.

  8. lawbee11

    GOLD / watermelon / 14076 posts

    "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."


  9. irene

    nectarine / 2964 posts

    @Mrs. Blue: Reading what you typed made me want to throw up: "As in, does it fit in the time frame that he would have gone down at lunch to see if the baby had already died? If so, he could have "discovered" him then. If not, then I guess he would have wanted to leave him and not "discover" him until the end of the day. "

    No. Sigh. I hope that's not true. As in he went down to see if his baby died, and his baby hadn't die so he left. I don't care about the father and whatever twisted was in his brain, but the poor sweet boy and what he went through. You thought the person to whom you loved and trusted the most and supposed to love you the most came back to help you. But no, he turned around, closed the door and left. That's the cruelest thing you can do to a person. I have no words to express what I feel about that possibility. Just no.

  10. Mrs. Blue

    blogger / pomelo / 5361 posts

    @irene: I hope that's totally off, too. It makes me sick for the same reasons you said.

  11. Applesandbananas

    pomegranate / 3845 posts

    It's coming out that the mother researched hot car deaths too... I don't know what to think about this case. Just read that he called into the funeral and the mother/wife supports him 100%...

    It all just screams foul play. Poor baby

  12. AprilFool

    nectarine / 2591 posts


    The mothers behaviour gets me. She isn't angry? Accident or not if my husband did this I would be full of rage. I couldn't forgive so easily.

  13. Smurfette

    GOLD / wonderful coconut / 33402 posts

    @AprilFool: I don't see how you can not be angry? Maybe that will come later as a stage of grief.

  14. irene

    nectarine / 2964 posts

    @AprilFool: Extremely bizarre.

    While in a way, the mother doesn't seem to be lying, and I felt hurt for her when she talked about the last 2 days of her baby's life and how he was breathing on her face as he was laying between her and her husband... that felt genuine... and then in a way I understand that some people who are religious may see the world differently and be able to stronger and more forgiving (than me, at least)... but it is just weird. For me, I IM my husband the moment he arrives at work and would ask him how was LO (at dropoff). Or if his classmate(s) X Y and Z already got there already....etc. Every day. Because that's all I think about and I am interested to know if little funny things happen here and there. So no one said anything about Cooper the entire day? And I also don't understand why she wasn't mad and even had a slightest doubt about her husband. Even if she truly believes in him, that wouldn't be the moment that I could say "I love you". Maybe that's something the lawyer instructs her to say? I don't know...

    I wanted to hear the audio of the dad's call, but I just couldn't. My heart would break into pieces for the little boy.

  15. Mrs. Sketchbook

    GOLD / nectarine / 2884 posts

    I know a lot of similar stuff has been said here, but my feeling is that the best thing is not to speculate and play armchair detective too much. If you read the WSJ article, what gets people is when their routine is thrown off....meaning, the dad might have had his routine thrown off BY taking his child out to breakfast. I mean, my feeling is, if you were planning such a heinous crime, why would you take your child into a place with security cameras or park in a place with security cameras? The details could either add up to a terrible crime....or the exact environment that led to the mistake. Based off what the public knows, it could go either way.

    I mean, we are really "charging" someone with a truly awful crime based purely on speculation of a few leaked "facts." I'm not defending this guy if it did happen, but making the dad the "bad guy" before the investigation is over really doesn't decrease the horror of the child's death, it just increases the horror by making his death a topic of morbid conversation. I am not all for defending this person/family if it comes out that he did it, but the media sensationalism surrounding this case is creeping toward Casey Anthony level and as someone who lives in the Atlanta media market, I've just about had it. It is starting to feel disrespectful toward the child that died. I really hope the police aren't playing into it, but sometimes I have to wonder, with so much stuff already leaked.

    Last time I read, 13 children have died this way this year (this isn't even the first in GA for the summer) and none of these cases have gotten this much attention, which is sad because all of these deaths were preventable. But all the sensationalism surrounding the "did-he-or-did-he-not-do-it dad" is overshadowing all of these deaths and how we can prevent them from happening . Another important message is to lock your cars when you are at home because curious toddlers are liable to get in the car and trap themselves. But I haven't heard much anything about that....

  16. Emsmems

    persimmon / 1331 posts

    @Mrs. Sketchbook: well said! Big fat plus one from me!

  17. Smurfette

    GOLD / wonderful coconut / 33402 posts

  18. Mamaof2

    squash / 13208 posts

    @Smurfette: wow - I just cant believe someone would do this to their child - I hope he rots in jail!

  19. Mrs.ThinMint

    apricot / 274 posts

    This story is just getting worse and worse. I'm watching it on CNN right now.

  20. Mrs. Lemon-Lime

    wonderful pea / 17279 posts

    Murder. This is such a heartbreaking story. Now that we know more of the evidence against the dad I think it was premeditated. The mom may not have wanted to kill her son, but I think she knew it was coming too.

  21. Mrs.ThinMint

    apricot / 274 posts

  22. Running Elley

    coconut / 8681 posts

    Ugh I just read the last 2 articles and I feel completely sick. What a horrible, horrible situation. That poor baby!!

    The life insurance policies are what really raise HUGE red flags for me. I don't know anyone who has a life insurance policy on their kids. Maybe it's just a thing that I don't know about though...

  23. Mrs. Blue

    blogger / pomelo / 5361 posts

    @Running Elley: we don't have policies on our kids, but I think a lot of people do to cover funeral expenses and any medical bills if something were to happen.

    I keep reminding myself that most of the allegations that have come out today don't necessarily mean intent to murder. The sexting young girls and looking up the age of consent is bad, but it doesn't mean murder. Same thing with looking up how to survive prison-maybe it was in reference to sexting 16/17 year olds. That said, the guy seems super scuzzy, and the whole case makes me nauseated.

  24. Running Elley

    coconut / 8681 posts

    @Mrs. Blue: Huh, interesting. I guess that makes sense!
    I totally agree that basically they're proving that he's a creepy guy but nothing that really proves that he murdered his son. It's a sad situation all around.

  25. Mrs. Blue

    blogger / pomelo / 5361 posts

    @Running Elley: yeah, although it could all go to motive if the prosecution can make a jury buy into the idea that he was trying to attain a child-free lifestyle.

  26. Mrs. Blue

    blogger / pomelo / 5361 posts

    @Running Elley: also, don't you think that's one of the hardest things to reconcile in situations like this? Like how does your church, your co-workers, your friends all think you're a great guy, and you have all this other stuff going on (even if the baby dying was an accident, he definitely has other awful things in his life right now). I think it's hard for me because I always want to believe you can see and ID the creepers, and that just not always the case.

  27. pinkcupcake

    cantaloupe / 6751 posts

    This is turning so weird

    It's kinda starting to remind me of the Scott and Lacey Peterson case... How Scott seemed so normal and then they started digging into his background and he wasn't who they thought he was...

  28. shopaholic

    bananas / 9973 posts

    @AprilFool: I couldn't finish reading it all. It's just too horrifying to imagine. Watching a video about how hot it is in a car TWICE just 5 days before.
    This story makes me so sick and that poor boy.

  29. loveisstrange

    pineapple / 12526 posts

    @pinkcupcake: Or Chris Coleman. http://www.crimelibrary.com/blog/article/the-chris-coleman-family-massacre/index.html

    I just saw the story about him secting a 17 year old... I hope this guy goes down HARD. I just can't...

  30. Running Elley

    coconut / 8681 posts

    @Mrs. Blue: Yes!!!!!!! It's kind of terrifying...and something you see so often unfortunately. It's shocking to see how many of these people who do horrible things look so completely "normal." Like someone you wouldn't think twice about saying Hi to while in line at the grocery store.

  31. pinkcupcake

    cantaloupe / 6751 posts

    @loveisstrange: oh my God. I have never heard of the Coleman case but just read the article you posted. Can't even... Omg. Horrified beyond words.

  32. yoursilverlining

    eggplant / 11824 posts

    @Running Elley: we have a policy on LO, as do many parents I know. It's not a lot of money, but would cover funeral expenses, etc. Some life policies you can borrow from too, so a child could use the built-up value of the policy as an adult for college or whatever.

    Ugh, this story just hurts my heart. That poor little guy

  33. loveisstrange

    pineapple / 12526 posts

    @pinkcupcake: Yeah, it was brutal. It was local to me when I was in college.

  34. Running Elley

    coconut / 8681 posts

    @yoursilverlining: It actually makes a lot of sense to me now that I think about it... It's just not something that anyone I know has mentioned so I was surprised. It is probably a pretty wise move!

  35. lilteacherbee

    cantaloupe / 6791 posts

    I just attempted to read an article about this and had to close it because it hurts my heart too bad. I can't even.

  36. yoursilverlining

    eggplant / 11824 posts

    @Running Elley: it's one of those things that makes sense but also seems like a red flag at the same time!

  37. Smurfette

    GOLD / wonderful coconut / 33402 posts

    @Running Elley: we have one for R just to cover medical bills and funeral should something happen to her. Definetly something to think about. It isn't expensive. She can continue it when she gets older, will grow with her.

  38. irene

    nectarine / 2964 posts

    @Mrs.ThinMint: The mother's actions in the last few paragraphs... is that for real?

    I just don't understand - let's say she's guilty also. What's in it for her when her husband cheats on her and is going to leave her? I especially find it confusing because reports have said they have had troubles conceiving and I thought anyone would cherish their child 200x times more if they have had a period of infertility.


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