MARIETTA, Ga. A Georgia man facing murder charges after leaving his 22-month-old toddler in a hot car all day had gone to his car during his lunch break, then returned to his office for the rest of the day with the child still in the car, according to an arrest warrant released Wednesday.

Cobb County police arrested and charged Justin Ross Harris with child cruelty and felony murder a week ago, hours after he discovered his son Cooper's lifeless body still strapped in his car seat. Harris told police he'd forgotten to drop Cooper off at day care that morning, leaving the boy in the car for more than seven hours.

Critics of the department's handling of the case say police were too quick to charge Harris with murder and too slow to explain the evidence they have against the father and Home Depot employee, WXIA-TV reports.

The new arrest warrant drops the child cruelty charge from first degree to second degree which could mean no criminal intent was found. The warrant says Harris placed the child in his car in the morning and they stopped for breakfast before Harris went to work. He parked at his office and left the car with the child still secured in his car seat. Harris returned to his car around lunch time, reaching in through the driver's side door and placing something in the car.

Supporters of Harris have posted an online video accusing police and prosecutors of rushing to judgment. More than 11,000 people have signed an online petition urging District Attorney Vic Reynolds to drop the charges. Supporters have donated more than $21,000 for burial expenses and legal bills.

Cobb County Police say they're confident in the evidence and case they're building but refuse to debate it in the court of public opinion.

Authorities have not released the official cause of death or the autopsy results. Harris remains jailed without bond pending a hearing July 3.

Harris graduated from the University of Alabama in 2012. He worked in the IT department of Home Depot for the past two years. Cooper was his only son and Division of Family and Children Services says they have no reports of abuse with the child or the family.

According to, the funeral for Cooper Harris will be June 28 in Alabama.

Devin Fehely also reports for WXIA-TV, Atlanta.

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