MARIETTA Ga, (WIAT) – An online fund to raise money for Justin Ross Harris and his family has been removed.
Harris’ 22-month-old son Cooper died after being left in a hot SUV for seven hours in the parking lot of his father’s job on June 18th.
Harris told police he forgot to drop his son off at daycare. As news of the toddler’s death spread, people rallied behind Harris’. More than $20,000 was collected to help with his defense through a fund set up on YouCaring.com.
Nearly a month after Cooper Harris’ tragic death, the link to the fundraising page has been taken down.
According to the page, created by someone named Heather, the beneficiaries for the account are Ross and Leanna Harris and states:
“We are raising money for expenses during this difficult time. Ross and Leanna Harris’s son died on 6/18/14 at the age of 22 months. I set this account up for an easy way for their friends and family to donate money to help with the financial stresses.
All donations go directly to the family thru the Alabama Credit Union.
The family can use your prayers! Thanks to everyone who has donated.Thanks again to everyone who is helping. The family appreciates this!!”
According to the site, donations are not refundable because the money is immediately disbursed to the creator of the page.
As details about the circumstances surround Cooper’s death emerge daily, public opinion as to whether the toddler’s death was an accident continues to shift. Cobb County investigators have revealed the Tuscaloosa native was living a “double life.”
At a probable cause hearing earlier this month, Cobb County detective Phil Stoddard said Harris was having conversations with up to six women online. One girl was as young as 16, Stoddard said.
Harris told the women that he was cheating and that his wife knew about it, Stoddard said. Prosecutors say Harris sent and received explicit pictures.
Prosecutors said that the messages could show that Harris desired to live a child-free lifestyle.
Search warrants released by investigators say 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. Justin stated that he was fearful that this could happen. His wife also conducted a similar search according to police.
YouCaring has released an official statement on the closing of the Harris Fund page. You can find it below.
We are aware of the sensitive matter involving the Harris family. YouCaring serves as a platform for donations and takes great care to assure campaigns are consistent with YouCaring’s Terms of Service, policies, and culture. As a donations platform, YouCaring does not take sides in legal matters. According to our Terms of Service we reserve the right to deactivate fundraiser pages for any reason and occasionally must exercise that right to preserve the productive, positive community that makes YouCaring great.
The campaign was recently removed from the site so that the controversy and debate surrounding the Harris matter did not become a distraction to the millions of other donors participating in a wide variety of active fundraisers currently taking place in our community.
The proceeds raised by the Harris family campaign were not withheld by YouCaring. As a fundraising platform, YouCaring does not handle payment disbursements to the campaign organizer.
Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News