Justin Ross Harris, who is accused of murder and child cruelty, is no longer employed by Home Depot

By Steve Helling
July 11, 2014 12:45 PM
Credit: Kelly J. Huff/Marietta Daily Journal/AP

The father charged in the hot-car death of his son has been terminated from his job at Home Depot, PEOPLE has learned.

On Friday, a company spokeswoman confirmed that Harris no longer works for the company, but declined to answer when he had been terminated. Since his arrest, he had been on leave without pay. Justin Ross Harris, 33, held an entry-level position as a web developer. In an online forum on Reddit, he claimed to make $61,200 per year.

It comes as the latest development in a very fast-moving case. Here are the latest developments:

His Wife Retains a Lawyer

Although Leanna Harris has not been charged with any crime, she hired Lawrence Zimmerman, a high-profile criminal defense lawyer from Atlanta. He has declined to comment, saying he is not speaking to media at this time.

Cobb County police spokesman Michael Bowman has also remained tight-lipped, neither confirming nor denying that Leanna Harris, a 30-year-old dietitian, is a suspect.

“She has been interviewed,” he told reporters on Thursday, “and this case is still active and fluid.”

Despite emerging evidence about Ross Harris’s explicit texts with other women on the day of Cooper’s death, Leanna has visited him in jail at least twice. In an interview room at police headquarters on the night of Cooper’s death, she asked Ross Harris, “Did you say too much?” authorities allege.

Toxicology Reports Negative

In a toxicology report obtained by PEOPLE, Cooper tested negative for any drugs or sedatives.

“The Cobb County Medical Examiner believes the cause of death is consistent with hyperthermia, and the investigative information suggests the manner of death is homicide,” says the Department of Safety in a report. Hyperthermia is when the body temperature is elevated, and the body absorbs more heat than it can regulate.

Police say they have more evidence that they will not publicly disclose at this time.

“Although the results have been received, the autopsy report, the toxicology report and any subsequent reports will not be released until the entire investigation has been completed,” police said in a statement.

While police continue investigating, Harris is being held at the Cobb County Jail without bond on charges of murder and felony child cruelty and has pled innocent. His attorney, Maddox Kilgore, maintains that Cooper’s death was a “tragic accident.”

Shock Turns to Outrage

While some friends have defended Harris, others have taken to social media to express their outrage.

Ben McRea, a groomsman in Harris’s wedding, Tweeted messages about the man he had known for nearly two decades.

“Thank you God Ross and Leanna didn’t have any more kids. I wish I never helped them meet.” He also wrote, “Am ashamed I ever knew Ross Harris it makes me vomit to see his face now. I loved you like family man how did you get so sick.” (The Tweets were later deleted.)

Meanwhile, a friend of Leanna’s tells PEOPLE that her initial shock has been replaced by anger.

“I believe in forgiveness,” she said. “And I believe in finding the best in people. I loved that family. But when I close my eyes, I think of Cooper in that car and I get furious. I don’t care if it was an accident or on purpose, I am so angry at Ross that I can hardly see straight.”

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