DECATUR, GA. - A DeKalb County magistrate court judge has ruled there is probable cause to prosecute Dijanelle Fowler in the hot-car death of her 1-year-old daughter.
Fowler's preliminary court hearing was held on Thursday.
Fowler, 25, is facing charges of second-degree murder, second-degree cruelty to children and concealing a death.
On June 15, Fowler called 911 from the Emory Physicians parking deck at about 5:45 p.m. When police arrived, 1-year-old Skylar Fowler was dead in the back seat. Dijanelle was taken to the hospital for treatment.
She was released later that night and left the state, according to DeKalb County Police. Investigators obtained warrants for her arrest, and their fugitive unit was actively looking for her. She eventually turned herself in.
At the hearing, Fulton County Deputy D.A. Lance Cross said Dijanelle tried, at first, to cover up what happened, instead of calling 911 right away.
Det. Keith McQuilkin testified that by the time Dijanelle did call for help, some two hours after leaving the salon, she lied repeatedly to police before finally admitting she’d been in the salon the whole time her daughter was in the car.
“This is tragic,” said Charles Brant, Dijanelle's attorney. “She loved her child.”
Brant said when Fowler left Skylar in the car, the car was running and the air conditioning fwas on, and she was watching the car the whole time she was inside the salon, and never realized the car had shut off and the air conditioning had shut down.
The temperature outside the car that afternoon in the low to mid 90s.
Then when Dijanelle came back to the car, she began experiencing debilitating seizures, Brant said.
Brant was not ready to explain why Fowler did not call 911 right away, and why Dijanelle said nothing about Skylar to the man who helped jump-start her car in the parking lot.
“She tried to get to the hospital,” Brant said. “She was barely conscious, herself.”
Dijanelle drove to Emory Hospital and called 911 from the parking lot, and then she lost consciousness.
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