Franklin County couple arrested for manslaughter after child left in hot car


FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. – Two Franklin County parents are facing charges after their 3-year-old child was found dead in a hot car on Sunday, August 9th. The death would mark the first hot car related death in Alabama this year.

According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were called to Church Street in Hodges around 4:00 p.m. When they arrived, deputies say they found a 3-year-old, unresponsive, in the car.

The report says they started to provide medical attention but the child was dead.

“I just couldn’t believe it he was such a good little boy,” said neighbor Becky Palmer.

“It’s really hard to imagine a child that had to go through that type of pain,” added Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver.

The parents say the child was last seen around midnight when the child was put to bed. The parents say they were unable to find the child when they woke up around 3:00 p.m but during a search found him in the car.

“My belief that’s not all that happened. There’s more to that story and I feel that they’re going to be very forthcoming,” said Oliver, citing discrepancies in the parents stories.

With temperatures in the 90’s on Monday the National Weather Service tweeted a reminder about the dangers of forgetting a child in a hot car. The tweet’s urgent reminder: “Don’t forget to check the back seat.”

“You know it’s precious cargo, and it’s something that you really need to be aware of. You really need to think about that child or animal or anything in the vehicle that’s helpless and can’t get out,” added Oliver.

Brandi Burks, 22, and Dakota Fowler, 20, were booked into the Franklin County Jail Sunday night on charges of manslaughter.

Their bonds had not been set as of midday Monday, according to online jail records.

The body was sent to Forensics for autopsy. The case is still under investigation.

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