26-year-old faces murder charge in death of mom whose baby was found in Indiana pond

WHEELING, Ill. (WISH) — An arrest warrant was issued Friday for a 26-year-old man in connection to the murder of a mother whose 1-year-old was found dead in an Indiana pond, police said.

Ahmeel Fowler, 26, from from Pinegree Grove, Illinois, was pulled over in a minivan Wednesday night in Springfield, Missouri, and he’s being held in the Greene County, Missouri, jail.

The Cook County, Illinois, State’s Attorney’s Office on Friday afternoon issued the arrest warrant on a charge of first-degree murder, the Wheeling, Illinois, Police Department said.

Fowler is accused of the fatal strangulation of Ja’nya Murphy, 21. Her body was found Tuesday night in her apartment in Wheeling. Murphy and Fowler once had been in a “troubled relationship,” the Wheeling police chief said.

The body of a 1-year-old girl, Jaclyn “Angel” Dobbs, of Deerfield, Illinois, was pulled Thursday afternoon from a pond at an interstate interchange in northwest Indiana. Dobbs was Murphy’s daughter.

“As this investigation continues to develop we do anticipate additional charges,” said a news release posted on Facebook by the Wheeling police.

A construction worker driving in the area Thursday called 911 to report seeing a body floating on the pond on the southwest loop of the interchange for I-80/I-94 at Kennedy Avenue in Hammond, said Indiana State Police Sgt. Glen Fifield. The pond is about 2 miles east of the Illinois-Indiana state line.

The Lake County, Indiana, Coroner’s Office was set to resume its autopsy Friday of the girl to determine her cause of death, Indiana State Police said Thursday.