Dijanelle Fowler, 25, in court with attorney Charles Brant on a second-degree murder charge in the hot car death of her 1-year-old daughter, Skylar, on Aug. 3, 2017.
Photo: Bob Andres/AJC
Photo: Bob Andres/AJC

Prosecutor: Mom told hairdresser ‘no rush’ as baby died in hot car

The 25-year-old mother accused of leaving her baby daughter in a car to die during a summer hair appointment was denied bond Friday in DeKalb County.

Dijanelle Fowler is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 1-year-old Skylar Fowler. Prosecutor Dalia Racine told the court there was no question the child died while the mother got her hair braided at a Lavista Road salon on June 15.

Testing shows the temperature in the car rose to 129 degrees, the heat index more than 150, Racine said.

Fowler was reportedly inside the salon for five and a half hours.

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

Fowler, who was in town from South Carolina for a job interview, told employees at the salon the child was at day care. At one point, a relative who she’d been staying with stopped by the salon. Fowler told her the child was with a friend, Racine said.

Dijanelle and Skylar Fowler in an April 28, 2017 Facebook photo
Photo: (HANDOUT/Facebook)

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

Defense attorney Charles Brant said it’s clear the air conditioning is why the car’s battery died, leading Fowler to need help getting it jump started.

In the process of the jump, Racine said, the mother seemed calm and collected and told no one of Skylar’s condition. She later drove to Emory University Hospital.

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The child’s father, Louis Williams II, joined with the prosecution in asking that bond be denied. Williams, an Air Force reservist who left court quickly, previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he had chosen to forgive Fowler but didn’t want to comment on the charges. 

Louis Williams II with daughter Skylar Fowler before the Air Force reservist deployed to the Middle East in March.
Photo: (Family photo)

It was Williams, who had been deployed in the Middle East when his daughter died, who told investigators Fowler had confessed to him. She had previously given several false accounts of what happened, a detective testified in a previous hearing.

Judge Kiesha R. Storey said she chose to deny bond because Fowler has almost no ties to DeKalb County and presents a “flight risk.”

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