An Okaloosa County couple were slapped with child neglect charges after law enforcement found the duo nearly unresponsive in the Navarre Walmart parking lot while their 3-week-old child sat in a vehicle with a heavily soiled diaper.
Nineteen-year-old Allie Fowler and 27-year-old Christopher Fowler, were arrested by Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s deputies after officers determined the couple was “under the influence of narcotics” and later learned the two had driven in that state from Okaloosa County with their child in the back seat.
SRSO deputies responded to the Navarre Walmart parking lot at around 10:30 p.m. last night (Thursday) after a concerned individual called in a suspicious person report to 9-1-1 dispatch.
Dispatch notified deputies while they were en route to Walmart that two individuals were leaning against a vehicle with their heads facing towards the sky, and that they appeared to be unresponsive.
When deputies arrived on scene, they made contact with Christopher, who was leaning against the car. According to the arrest report, the man appeared to be “under the influence of something” and had slurred speech, glossy eyes, and was unable to stand up without leaning up against the vehicle.
While deputies spoke with Christopher, they noticed a Pitt Bull located in the front passenger’s seat and a child in the back seat. That child was only 3 weeks old.
The arrest report indicated that none of the suspects mentioned their was a child in the vehicle while they were speaking to deputies.
Christopher told law enforcement that he and his wife had been kicked out of their residence that day and that he was at Walmart trying to return some items.
SRSO deputies were notified while on scene that nearly an hour and a half earlier, the same couple had been spotted at a parking lot in Okaloosa County and that Christopher was spotted slumped over the steering wheel. Allie was also noted as being unresponsive inside of the vehicle in Okaloosa County. Several individuals tried to wake up the couple without success, and called the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office when they became concerned that they were unresponsive.
Eventually, Christopher woke up and fled from the parking lot and headed west down U.S. Highway 98 before law enforcement officials could arrive. They later stopped at the Walmart in Navarre.
When Lifeguard EMS arrived, they checked on the health of the 3-week-old. According to the arrest report, the child appeared dirty and looked as though he had not been bathed in quite some time. The amount of feces in the child’s diaper was so overwhelming that EMS workers had to put the child in a new diaper. EMS workers found dried fecal matter all over the child’s lower body, the report indicated.
Based on their investigation, Santa Rosa deputies arrested the couple and transported them to Santa Rosa County Jail. They were given $5,000 bond each.