Father wants answers in death of baby girl

August 16, 2012 3:00:43 PM PDT
A Liberty County father has a lot of questions and suspicions following the death of his 18-month-old daughter Harlee. The sheriff's department says so far it's been a difficult investigation.

We spoke with the father of 18-month-old Harlee Dowdy. He said he has a lot of unanswered questions as to what exactly happened on Tuesday to his little girl.

"I'm devastated," said Chris Dowdy. "I don't want to believe she is gone, but I still feel her, I know she's still here."

It's heartbreak for a young father when his daughter died after being left in the care of 18-year-old Jack Hollis. Hollis, who is said by his parents to be mentally disabled, is the stepbrother of Harlee's father, Chris Dowdy.

"I would never expect him to hurt the girls," Dowdy said. "I mean, he loved playing with them."

On Tuesday, Harlee was rushed to a hospital after having hard time breathing. The baby died short time later.

Dowdy says he wants the truth from his father and his stepmother as to what exactly happened after they left Hollis to care for Harlee and her sister, two and a half year old Haven, who was not injured.

Dowdy said, "I think they're more upset everyone is blaming them, but I do feel they are hiding something, that they just need to tell the truth."

Dowdy and his fiancee Amber Jeane say all they know so far about what took place Tuesday is that Chris' father Darrly Dowdy and his stepmother Rebecca, who are both volunteer firefighters, had left the house to go on a fire call. Dowdy's stepbrother, who is also a volunteer firefighter, was left at the house to watch the two girls.

Dowdy said, "They did leave Jack by himself with them and they knew he was mad, because he didn't get to go on the fire call."

Jeane said, "My thoughts are who did it, who's lying, did she choke? Was she murdered?"

As for the investigation, Rex Evans with the Liberty County Sheriff's Office said it's just beginning.

"We're just trying to wade through it all," he said. "The other part with the family ... there is just so much to deal with. It's really slowing everything down."

I also spoke with the Harlee's biological mother and she also wants answers as to how her little girl died.

No official cause of death has been released. According to the Jefferson County Medical Examiner it may take days or even weeks for that official report to come back.

Jack Hollis remains in the Liberty County Jail, charged with injury to a child.


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