Police: More charges expected against suspect in Wheeling murder, kidnapping

  • Ahmeel Fowler, 26, of Pingree Grove, right, has been charged with murder in the death of 21-year-old Ja'nya Murphy of Wheeling -- whose daughter, Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs, separately was found dead in Indiana.

    Ahmeel Fowler, 26, of Pingree Grove, right, has been charged with murder in the death of 21-year-old Ja'nya Murphy of Wheeling -- whose daughter, Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs, separately was found dead in Indiana.

  • Ahmeel Fowler

    Ahmeel Fowler

  • Ja'nya Murphy, left, and her daughter Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs

    Ja'nya Murphy, left, and her daughter Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs Courtesy of Wheeling Police Department

  • Ja'nya Murphy

    Ja'nya Murphy Courtesy of Wheeling Police Department

  • Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs

    Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs Courtesy of Wheeling Police Department

 
 
Updated 11/13/2021 12:41 PM

As police in two states continued investigating the murder of a Wheeling woman and the death of her 17-month-old daughter, authorities on Saturday said additional charges stemming from the toddler's kidnapping and death are expected.

"We still have a lot of work to do," Wheeling Police Chief Jamie Dunne said Saturday.

 

The suspect in the case, Ahmeel Fowler of Pingree Grove, already has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Ja'nya Murphy.

Murphy's body was found Tuesday in her apartment. She had been strangled.

No weapon was used to kill Murphy, Dunne said Saturday. It wasn't yet clear when Murphy was killed.

The murder triggered a multistate search for Murphy's daughter, Jaclyn "Angel" Dobbs.

Jaclyn's body was found Thursday in a pond beside a highway exit ramp near Hammond, Indiana.

Results from an autopsy conducted Friday are pending, according to the coroner's office in Lake County, Indiana.

Fowler and Murphy had dated, Dunne said. Police don't yet have a motive.

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Fowler was taken into custody Friday after being tracked to Missouri, where his relatives live, Dunne said. The 2020 Dodge Grand Caravan he'd been driving was a rented vehicle, Dunne said.

Police believe Jaclyn was in the car before her death.

Wheeling police and Indiana State Police are investigating. Fowler is jailed in Missouri pending extradition.

Anyone with information can call Wheeling police at (847) 459-2632 or call 911.

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