3 7 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Ever since 22-month-old Cooper Harris was found dead in the back of his father's SUV in Cobb County, the community has been passionate about the case. But in the three weeks since the June 18 death, the focus of that passion has changed.

In the days after Ross Harris was arrested in the hot car death of his son, more than 11,000 people signed an online petition asking Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds to drop the murder charge.

That petition has now closed, deemed by its sponsor as "no longer relevant." A fundraiser that brought in more than $22,000 for Harris' defense has also disappeared.

RELATED | Judge denies bond for father charged in son's hot car death

Even in Harris' hometown, a friend speaking by phone told 11Alive's Rebecca Lindstrom that support is fading.

"Either (like I said) the Ross Harris we knew doesn't exist and never has, or there's been some kind of mental issue that's happened and obviously it's caused all this heartbreak and turmoil," said Chris Wilkerson.

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

RELATED | DETECTIVE: Ross Harris was living a double life

The fervor to learn everything about his life has driven so many people to web sites police say he visited. A discussion group for those who don't want children is now private after it was revealed that Harris had viewed it.

Chris Wilkinson says there's nothing on those sites that would explain how a loving father could become a killer.

"I'm totally confused and baffled by all that we've heard to be perfectly honest," Wilkerson said.

Harris' family hasn't said anything publicly about the charges.

RELATED | Justin Harris' wife visits Cobb County Jail

MORE | Attention shifts to mother in hot car death of Cobb County boy

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
3 7 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.11alive.com/story/news/crime/2014/07/08/ross-harris-cooper-harris-hot-car-death/12386309/