A South Carolina woman is being charged with second-degree murder after she left her 1-year-old child in the car while she sat in a hair appointment for more than five hours.
Dijanelle Fowler, 25, left her 1-year-old daughter, Skylar, in her vehicle for several hours as she attended a hair appointment in DeKalb County, Georgia, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Fowler was denied bail Sept. 1.
Prosecutor Dalia Racine said there was "no question" that Skylar died inside the car while her mother sat inside the hair salon June 15. Testing determined the inside temperature of the vehicle rose to 129 degrees with the heat index soaring to 150.
Racine also stated that Fowler told the hairdresser to "take her time" and said "no rush." Fowler was in town from South Carolina for a job interview and reportedly told several people in the salon that her daughter was in day care. When a relative stopped by the salon, Fowler allegedly told her Skylar was with a friend.
It was not immediately clear why Fowler did not bring Skylar into the hair salon, where children are reportedly welcome and often present. Instead, Fowler left allegedly the air conditioning on in the car, draining the battery and ultimately shutting off.
Police were alerted of the incident after a distressed 911 call from Fowler and rushed to the scene. They found Fowler passed out over the steering wheel, and immediately noticed Skylar had died.
Fowler gave several conflicting versions of the day's events when asked, and police say she changed her story nearly every time they visited.
Skylar's father, Louis Williams II, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Fowler had confessed the true nature of what happened, something Williams said he struggles to understand. Williams, an Air Force reservist, was deployed in the Middle East at the time his daughter died.
Even the version Fowler told Williams reportedly wasn't entirely true. Fowler said she checked on Skylar every 30 minutes but security video showed Fowler did not leave the salon until she was finished, reports The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Fowler, who played basketball and earned a biology degree at Charleston Southern University, was described by Williams and others as a loving, caring mother. Family members, with whom Fowler was staying while in DeKalb, could not be reached for comment.
DeKalb County major crimes Capt. Jerry A. Lewis said Fowler was a "good kid" with no criminal record, saying she made a "horrible, horrible mistake." Prosecutors are seeking answers about Fowler's decisions in the hours leading up to Skylar's death.
If convicted, Fowler faces 12 to 50 years in prison.