Supporters Withdraw Petition to Help Georgia Dad Who Killed Son

Drop comes after police say death might have been intentional

ByABC News
June 27, 2014, 5:07 PM

— -- Supporters of the Georgia dad accused of leaving his infant son to die in a hot car have backed away from their online petition after police raised doubts about the father's account of what happened.

"I think that based on recent developments this petition is no longer relevant," read a note on the petition originally launched to help Justin Ross Harris, who faces murder charges after leaving his 22-month old son in the backseat of his SUV while he was at work June 18.

"I still pray that this was truly an accident. If that is the case, the DA now knows that the community does not want Justin prosecuted on murder charges," the statement read.

Man Returned to Hot SUV With Son Inside

Video: Georgia Father Charged With Murder in Infant's Death

The petition was closed after reaching more than 11,000 signatures from people who believed Harris had "loved his son immensely" and didn't deserve to be charged with murder for "a horrible accident."

But supporters wavered after police revealed that Harris allegedly had returned to his vehicle during his workday, and also drove a short distance after work before supposedly realizing his son was in the car. Police did not say how they know that.

Harris' story prompted parents to share their own terrifying experiences of accidentally leaving kids in a hot car.

"I was one of those people who only thought it happened to bad parents," one woman wrote on the petition's page. "Until I learned how it happens, how easy it is to forget your child."

Harris pleaded not guilty last week to felony murder and child cruelty charges. His son's funeral will be held on Saturday. Harris is being held without bail and jail records don't list an attorney for him.