A young mother in Georgia was arrested after leaving her 1-year-old daughter to die in a hot car while she spent six hours getting her hair done, police said.
DiJanelle Etta Fowler, 25, is facing charges of felony murder, cruelty to children and concealing a death in the June 15 death of Skylar Fowler — who was found dead inside a parking deck at Emory University Hospital, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Fowler, according to warrants obtained by the newspaper, had a hair appointment at the Northlake Tower Festival Shopping Center in Tucker. Police say Fowler left her baby in the car before she entered a salon at the shopping center at 10:06 a.m. She didn’t leave until 4 p.m., according to witnesses and security camera footage.
But when she did return to her car, Fowler didn’t show any signs of panic — and even asked a man for help starting her car. Investigators believe the mother covered the child’s body to hide it from the man’s view.
Fowler texted the child’s godfather about an hour later — telling him that she was heading to an urgent care facility for headaches. Records show she searched the internet for signs of having a seizure around the same time.
Fowler arrived at the hospital a short time later and dialed 911. She didn’t mention her daughter, however, and said she was having a “seizure of some kind,” a detective wrote in a warrant.
Police initially believed the child died during Fowler’s visit to the hospital — but her timeline of events didn’t add up, and an autopsy suggested the little girl had been dead for a longer period of time.
“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,” Lewis told WAGA.
“We determined the mother stopped at a business on Lavista Road to have her hair done,” Lewis said. “We had knowledge the child was with her at the time. And during the course of her being in the hair salon it was apparent the child was left in the vehicle.”
Detectives had enough evidence to arrest Fowler earlier this month, but she fled to South Carolina, New Jersey and Florida before surrendering to police on Monday.
She was being held without bond in the DeKalb County Jail, records show.