Arrest made in Illinois mom’s death after child’s body found

Nov 12, 2021, 7:33 AM | Updated: 7:57 pm

WHEELING, Ill. (AP) — A 26-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder in the strangulation death of a suburban Chicago woman whose 1-year-old daughter was found dead in a northwest Indiana retention pond, police said Friday.

Wheeling Deputy Police Chief Al Steffen identified the suspect as Ahmeel Fowler, of the Illinois community of Pinegree Grove. Steffan said Fowler and Ja’nya Murphy, 21, of Wheeling, had at one point been in a “troubled relationship.”

Murphy’s body was found Tuesday night in her home, and police said that her daughter, Jaclyn “Angel” Dobbs, who was initially reported missing, was found dead in the retention pond on Thursday in Hammond, Indiana.

Fowler is not the girl’s father, authorities have said. He has not been charged in the child’s death but Steffen said that police “anticipate additional charges.”

An autopsy was to be conducted Friday on the child’s remains.

Police said a man later identified as Fowler was last seen with Murphy at a mall on Monday and was arrested the next day in Missouri as a person of interest in her death. He was stopped by police in western Missouri while driving a minivan that was also sought by police, based on video reviewed by officers, authorities said.

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Arrest made in Illinois mom’s death after child’s body found