Mom indicted on murder charge in DeKalb hot car death of baby girl

A DeKalb County grand jury has indicted Dijanelle Fowler, the 25-year-old mother accused of killing her baby daughter in a sweltering car.

The grand jury made official her charges of second-degree murder, child cruelty and concealing a death, the district attorney’s office announced Tuesday. 

Skylar Fowler died at age 1 this past June while her mother was getting her hair braided for more than five hours at a salon on Lavista Road, police have said. Testing showed the temperature in the car rose to 129 degrees, the heat index more than 150, prosecutor Dalia Racine said in a previous hearing for the mother.

“No rush,” she told the hairdresser, according to Racine. “Take your time.”

Fowler, a South Carolina resident, was in town staying with family and hoped to start a new job in Atlanta. She told several false versions of what happened and finally broke down, telling the child’s father she left Skylar in the car during the hair appointment on purpose.

The father, 26-year-old Air Force reservist Louis Williams II, in turn told police about the confession.

Fowler has said she left the air conditioning running in the car, which police have also said is also their understanding. But the prosecutor has said the state actually has no evidence of that.

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Defense attorney Charles Brant said in a previous hearing it’s clear the air conditioning is why the car’s battery died, leading Fowler to need help getting it jump started. She got it started with the help of a man at the salon.

She’s accused of concealing Skylar, who is believed to have been dead when the appointment was over, from the man before driving to Emory University Hospital.

Fowler remains in the county jail, bond denied.

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