Sheriff shares new information in hot car death investigation

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. – A 3-year-old child that died in a hot car over the weekend may have been left inside the vehicle the night before, according to Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver.

Investigators determined that Bentley Fowler was possibly left in the vehicle at around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 8. Authorities were called to the scene around 4 p.m. on Sunday.

“Given the high temperatures of the day and being shut up in a hot vehicle it is believed that the 3-year-old boy, Bentley Fowler succumbed to the high temperatures that would have elevated the temperature inside the vehicle,” said Sheriff Oliver.

The father and mother of the child, Brandi Burks, 22, and Dakota Fowler, 20 gave statements that led investigators to determine that they may have forgotten about Bentley being in the vehicle when they arrived home from a friend’s house around the hour of 11:30pm the night before. 

The mother and the father were arrested at the scene and charged with manslaughter for the neglect that was found to be the leading reason behind the child found dead within the vehicle.  

The results of the investigation will be submitted to and reviewed by a Franklin County Grand Jury. 

The parents are being held in the Franklin County Jail , with bond set at $500,000 each.

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