Parents possibly left toddler in hot car for 16 HOURS before finding him dead, cops say

An Alabama couple who’s facing manslaughter charges for last week’s death of their 3-year-old son may have left him in a hot car for 16 hours before finding him.

Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver told WHNT that Bentley Fowler was possibly in the vehicle from 11:30 p.m. Saturday to 4 p.m. the following day. Oliver attributed Fowler’s death to high temperatures which rose as he sat in a car for an extended period of time.

Oliver’s account apparently contradicts what Dakota Fowler, 20, and Brandi Burks, 21, reportedly told authorities on Sunday. Frankin County police said the parents claimed they put their son to bed at around midnight and found him in the car upon waking up at 3 p.m.

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According to WHNT, investigators believe the mother and father forgot their son in the car after returning home from a friend’s house.

Franklin County police arrived at the Hodges residence at around 4 p.m. Sunday. The toddler was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dakota Fowler and Burks were arrested at the scene, as officers found their negligence caused their son’s death. They remain jailed on $500,000 bond each.

According to No Heat Stroke, Bentley Fowler is the 15th child to die in a hot car this year. In 2019, 52 children died of vehicular heatstroke.

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[Featured image: Brandi Burks, Dakota Fowler/Franklin County Sheriff’s Office]