Detective: 'Odor of death' at scene of hot car death

As the hot car death trial resumed following a week off, the prosecution continued to ask witnesses to help paint a clearer picture of what happened the day Ross Harris left his 22-month-old son in a hot car. 

As it did during the first week of testimony, the smell surrounding the scene was brought up. Captain James Ferrel, Director of Public Safety for Cobb County police, acknowledged smelling an "unusual odor that I can only associate with something that is dead...with death." 

Capt. Ferrel added he could smell the odor of a diaper as well as the sweat of a child. 

On cross examination, the defense was quick to point out that the captain failed to file a report for a year and not until he talked to the lead detective in the case.

The issue of smell was also brought up during Detective Corey Grimstead's testimony. Grimstead described as a "musty, sweaty smell" adding that it is difficult to explain to someone who has never smelled it before. 

"It's a smell I associate with a death scene," he said. 

The first medical personnel on the scene did not mention a smell of any kind during his testimony. 

Peyton Barwick, who is a paramedic for the Atlanta Ambulance Service, said no one was performing CPR when he arrived. After he could not find a pulse, Barwick covered Cooper with a sheet, telling the courtroom: "A 2-year-old boy laying on the ground in the middle of a parking lot. No one needs to see that."

The beginning of the day saw the prosecution focus on what Harris and his son were doing before the father forgot to drop his son off at day care. 

Harris took his son to the Chick-Fil-A located on Cumberland Parkway and Paces Ferry Road for breakfast. 

Surveillance footage showed the father interacting with Charles Redmon, the restaurant's general manager, at the counter while holding Cooper. 

On the morning of June 18, 2014, Redmon exchanged "small pleasantries for 30 seconds" with Harris, including saying hello to Cooper. 

According to Redmon, Harris was a "frequent customer" and had seen him a dozen times over the course of a year, most often around lunch time with coworkers. 

(© 2016 WXIA)


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories