The Parent Trap: Cooper Harris and Ayla Reynolds

by Grace4Ayla on July 12, 2014

On June 18, 2014, around 9:20 am, Justin Ross Harris strapped his 22 month-old son, Cooper Harris, into his too small, rear-facing car seat and drove the short distance to his place of work. Normally, Justin Ross Harris would drop off Cooper at the onsite daycare, located in a different building around the corner, but on this day he drove straight to work. Justin Ross Harris claims that Cooper must have fallen asleep during this ride, and was thus forgotten. Justin didn’t discover Cooper until after leaving work at 4:15 pm. He drove several miles away with the windows rolled up, then supposedly heard the child make a “choking” sound and realized he had left Cooper in the car all day long. Police at the scene reported a foul odor in the car.

Unlikely Stories

Why does this remind me of Casey Anthony, another murderous parent, who expected us to believe not only that her daughter Caylee died in the pool and then was hidden in the trunk of her car for many days until her father could dump the body, but that she also thought the car’s horrible smell was from dead squirrels in the engine?

I wonder what Justin Ross Harris thought that foul odor was? Leftovers from Chick-Fil-A? He also expects the world to believe he didn’t see Cooper when he backed into his parking space, even though the child’s tiny head was taller than the car seat, nor did he see him at lunch when he placed a package of light bulbs in the front passenger seat!

Leanna Harris, Cooper’s mother, was the one who usually picked Cooper up from daycare, yet for some reason Ross decided to lovingly remind her via text at 3:16pm with the words “When you going to pick up my little buddy?” The police had no knowledge of that text however, until it was revealed by Justin Ross Harris’ defense attorney that messages had been deleted from his client’s phone before he handed it over. Did Justin Ross Harris delete this text and Leanna’s answer? Why?

Motherly Love?

Leanna was apparently quite psychic as well. Upon arriving at the daycare, and hearing that Cooper had never arrived, Leanna’s first thought was “Ross must have left him in the car. There is no other explanation.” Why would that be her first thought? Since Ross was known to cheat on her, why didn’t she assume that Ross took Cooper with him to meet someone and was texting her to see what time she was planning on picking him up, so he could beat her back to the daycare to pretend Cooper was there all day? It was also reported that she told police that this was her “worst nightmare,”- meaning the way Cooper died. Now, any death of a child is a nightmare, but what a coincidence that Cooper’s death was the worst she could think of!

It is still too early to tell how involved Leanna was in Cooper’s death, but the early implications are horrifying. Leanna showed no emotion upon being told her son was dead, never asked to see him, and instead insisted upon visiting her husband, only to ask him if he had “said too much” to authorities. At Cooper’s funeral, one of her direct statements was “Would I want Cooper back? No!” Why didn’t she want her precious baby boy anymore?

I can’t comprehend Leanna’s motive at this time, but her actions and words are troubling. She seemed to adore Cooper. She is well-educated and successful. She does certainly seem to be enamored of her husband too, but how much of that is acting? Now that he is in jail and she realizes how serious this is, will she turn on him? Will he turn on her? Why would a mother conspire to kill her child? Why, indeed?

Someone Has to Say It, Might As Well Be Me

The parallels between the murders of Cooper Harris and Ayla Bell Reynolds are already striking, and we haven’t yet scratched the surface of what really happened in either case. The biggest difference is that law enforcement saw through Justin Ross Harris’ deception right away, and were able to gather enough evidence to arrest him. Of course, they also had Cooper’s body, and poor Ayla has yet to be found. I believe that if things had gone according to Justin DiPietro and Trista Reynolds’ original plan, Ayla wouldn’t be alive, but she wouldn’t be missing.

Both Leanna and Justin Ross Harris had recently researched “How long does it take for a child to die in a car?” on the internet. Ostensibly this was for them to learn how to prevent this from happening to Cooper. This reminds me of Justin’s abduction fear texts. Funny how these parents always seem to know in advance when bad things are going to happen to their kids!

Money,Sex, & Power

Leanna and Justin Ross Harris were in debt, and had taken out $27,000 worth of life insurance on Cooper. Ross had also been posting on “child-free” forums and sexting with multiple women, including during the hours his son was dying. If that weren’t awful enough, Ross Harris had also researched “How to survive in prison” and viewed photos and videos of animals dying in cars, dead and dying people, autopsy photos and the like.

Although I believe the life insurance proceeds and being “child-free” were excellent benefits of Cooper’s death, I don’t believe they were Justin Ross Harris’ prime motive. I think Ross Harris is a sadist as well as a psychopath. I believe he concocted a plan that Leanna would agree to, so she wouldn’t be a problem if the truth came out. (If she is involved, she is less likely to point a finger at him.) The manner of death he chose is one of the cruelest imaginable ways for a baby to die. Ross knew this. He was sexually excited all day long, sexting with six different women, all the while knowing his son was in extreme agony only yards away. I wonder if Ross left his desk a lot that day to look out windows into the parking lot.

Which brings us right back to Ayla Bell Reynolds. The murderous motive of Justin Ross Harris and Leanna Harris seems to be slightly different than in Ayla’s case, yet ultimately adds to the same thing. My theory contends that both Alya’s parents, Justin DiPietro and Trista Reynolds, conspired together to murder Ayla for the $25,000 life insurance policy, as well as to be rid of the burden of taking care of her. Many have scoffed at this, claiming that the life insurance amount was too small to be a motive, and the thought of a conspiracy between the parents completely unfathomable for most people. Yet with the Harris case, we see that this could and does happen, even for that small amount. Leanna and Ross seem to have done this together and thought they would get away with it successfully.

Even if you disregard the life insurance policy proceeds as motive in Ayla’s case, you can’t ignore the fact that it exists. The DiPietros would have us believe that Justin DiPietro purchased it because he was a loving, caring and frugal father. He was providing for Ayla and saving money on his car insurance at the same time. (Apparently Justin is the only one who doesn’t know that fifteen minutes can save you fifteen percent.) But because the insurance policy exists, it eliminates the possibility that Ayla died of any accident. Unless Ayla had died while Justin was committing some kind of crime, he would have had no reason to hide the body and claim abduction.

Trista Reynolds would have us believe the blood evidence proves Ayla is deceased. If Ayla didn’t die of an accident, how could she have died that would warrant hiding her body from police and lying? The only thing I can come up with is Ayla’s death was criminal in some way. Either Justin DiPietro is responsible, or he is covering for whoever is. Would Justin do that, risk everything, face possible murder charges for some type of misdemeanor behavior like child neglect or abuse? We’ve heard every possible scenario on Trista’s supporting blogs, theories ranging from Ayla being left alone to her being accidentally shot by Courtney’s baby Ayden.

Is Justin DiPietro merely protecting his damsel in distress, Courtney Roberts? Did he leave for wine at 8:00 pm, as Trista claims, and come home a few minutes later to find a blood bath? Perhaps Courtney was high on some of her sisters cocaine and Ayla got on her last nerve? A few slaps and Ayla went flying? Would Justin go through all of this just to keep a girlfriend? Courtney left him anyway.

Maybe, Justin DiPietro is simply being the typical Mama’s boy? Keeping secrets for Mommie Dearest? Did Phoebe kick Ayla causing her to break through the baby gate and down the concrete stairs? Is all this just a ruse so she can someday collect her state retirement?

All Signs Point to Murder

So if Ayla’s death isn’t an accident, and he isn’t covering for someone the only other thing it could be is murder. Either Justin DiPietro killed Ayla Reynolds accidentally himself through child abuse, or he killed her on purpose. And with Trista Reynolds filing for custody a mere 48 hours before Ayla turned up missing, I can only think of one reason Justin would purposely murder Ayla: Revenge. But revenge for merely filing for custody, or even threatening to come take Ayla away from him? I doubt it.

To murder Ayla in such a way as to spill her blood as it has been described, well, that speaks to me of a motive much deeper than even revenge on Trista.

Like Ross Harris, maybe Justin wanted to kill. Ayla was in his way and seemed like the perfect target. Trista didn’t want Ayla, she kept trying to push her off on him. Kill two birds with one stone, as it were. Apparently, Ayla suffered. Justin didn’t kill her quickly or painlessly. Perhaps just like Cooper Harris, she died alone and in fear wondering, ‘why daddy?’ And, ‘where’s mommy?’ In my mind, mere revenge does not explain what Justin put Ayla through. Maybe the two Justins have more in common than we first thought.

Unlike Maine, the great state of Georgia has the death penalty, and the judge recently ruled that the Cooper Harris case was eligible. This means if they arrest Leanna, she will probably be charged with first degree murder as well. Unfortunately, they don’t use the electric chair anymore. That would be a rather fitting way for the murderer(s) to die.

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