DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A judge decides there is enough evidence to prosecute a DeKalb mom for murder in the Hot car death of her daughter.
DiJanelle Fowler, 25, faces charges of murder, cruelty to children and concealing a death. An attorney for Fowler told a Magistrate judge his client felt like she was watching 13-month-old Skylar Fowler through the Hair Salon window and even left the car running with the air on. What Fowler didn't know is the car stopped running and Little Skylar suffered.
DeKalb Police say Fowler gave them 3 different statements about what happened the day she stayed in the LaVista Road hair salon for 5 and a half hours.
" She is seen arriving at 10:06 in the morning and she returned to the car at 3:34 in the afternoon," Detective K. McQuilkin testified.
Police say surveillance video revealed Ms. Fowler did not panic when she returned to the car, but rather calmly asked someone inside the salon to help her jumpstart the vehicle.
"When she does return to the car does she, on the video, demonstrate any signs of upset or panic? No, Prosecutor Lance Cross asked.
Police say while Ms. Fowler's car was getting a boost she started googling, "signs of a seizure" then started calling and texting her Godfather saying she was not feeling well.
She drove to this Emory physician Parking Deck where she was found unconscious and the baby was dead. Police say Fowler's calls for help went out in between calls to her boyfriend.
The Defense says this was a horrible tragedy and points out his Ms. Fowler says she was watching the child from the salon window.
"While it may be naive, she had sight of the car, the air conditioning was on and she tried to get to the hospital and she was rendered unconscious herself, defense attorney Charles Brant explained.
The judge decided there was enough evidence to continue the charges of second-degree murder, second-degree child cruelty and concealing a death.
Fowler turned herself into DeKalb County Police after local and federal authorities had searched for her for days.
DeKalb County Homicide Commander Jerry A. Lewis Jr. says on June 15th they get a call from Emory Police about an unresponsive mother and child in a car in the parking lot. Detectives arrived and found the mother, who appeared to have had a seizure and a child dead in the backseat.
"We're thinking mom had an episode and the child, unfortunately, died while being in the vehicle with mom because the vehicle was extremely hot," said Captain Lewis.
But during the course of the investigation detectives started noticing holes in the story, timelines weren't adding up and later discovered another fact that was left out.
"We determined the mother stopped at a business on Lavista Road to have her hair done. We had knowledge the child was with her at the time. And during the course of her being in hair salon it was apparent the child was left in the vehicle," said Captain Lewis.
Police do not believe the mother, Dijanelle Fowler, left her daughter intentionally in the car, which is why she is charged with murder in the second degree.
Police say Fowler had left the car on, but while she was in the salon the car cut off. Police say when Fowler discovered the child, she didn't call 911 but instead jumped her vehicle before driving to Emory.
In early July detectives felt they had enough to arrest Fowler and took out warrants. However, it would be weeks before she was found. Police say she went to South Carolina, New Jersey, and Florida before turning herself into authorities.
Police said Fowler left DeKalb County and traveled to multiple locations, including South Carolina and Miami, before turning herself in. She’s now being held in the DeKalb County Jail.