Mother was strangled to death days before her baby girl was found floating dead in a pond

Mother was strangled to death days before her baby girl was found floating dead in a pond

The suspect fled the scene and was later found in

Trigger warning: The story contains details of murder that might be distressing to some readers.

A young mother was found dead in her apartment after police officers arrived at her residence to conduct a welfare check. The woman named Ja'nya Murphy, 21, was reported missing after she didn't show up to work. And this led to officers arriving at her Wheeling apartment in Illinois.

The police entered the apartment through the balcony and found Ja'nya's dead body, after which a frantic search began to find her toddler daughter, Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs. The police later found Angel after construction works alerted authorities about a body floating in a retention pond off I-80 near Kennedy Avenue.

The pond was easily accessible and was fairly full of water after recent rain. Authorities managed to retrieve Angel's body from the four-to-five-feet-deep pond, according to PEOPLE.

Source: GoFundMe

Following the incident, the police arrested Ahmeel Fowler, 26, and charged him with first-degree murder in connection with the young mother's death. Ahmeel had reportedly strangled the mother and took her life just days before her daughter was found dead in the pond.

Although Ahmeel was not the father of the child, he previously had a relationship with Ja'nya in the past. The very last time Ahmeel was spotted in public was at a mall with Ja'nya and Angel the day before the mother's body was found. This was also around the time when Ja'nya's family was last able to speak to her.


Ahmeel fled the scene after strangling the mother. "We know for a fact he was in the far northern suburbs yesterday morning and then by yesterday evening, he was in western Missouri," Wheeling Deputy Police Chief Al Steffen said, as quoted by ABC7. "We are looking to recreate the track from where he was in the northwest suburbs to Missouri."

The suspect was later found in Missouri and brought back to Illinois.

It is unclear what led to the death of little Angel, but it is anticipated that Ahmeel might face charges for the toddler's death as well.


Following the incident, a co-worker who knew Ja'nya set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the bereaved family that has to cope with two tragedies at the same time.

"This donation was created to help the family for funeral expenses. Anything will help the Murphy family during this horrific time," the fundraiser said.

The co-worker, who set up the fundraiser, described Ja'nya as a "genuine young lady."

Source: GoFundMe

"Ja’Nya was a co-worker of mine and our families are very close. Ja’Nya was a very hardworking, kind, genuine young lady," the page said.

The fundraiser also described the young toddler, Angel, whose life was tragically cut short before her family could watch her grow up. "Angel was very special," the page said. "She was full of energy and had an amazing personality. She would brighten up a room. This horrible incident should’ve never happened, and everyone that knows them is still in disbelief. Please help this family. Thank you for your support!"

Source: GoFundMe

Cover image source: GoFundMe

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