Woman accused of kidnapping niece from Spring Valley home pleads not guilty

Deborah A. Fowler accused of kidnapping 3-week-old

EL CAJON, Calif. - A woman accused of kidnapping her 3-week-old niece from the Spring Valley home of the child's grandmother before being found in Lakeside nine hours later pleaded not guilty Wednesday to child abduction and other charges.

Deborah Ann Fowler, 46, was ordered held on $100,000 bail.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, 3-week-old Anissa Von Goerlitz was reported missing about 11:15 a.m. Friday by her grandmother, her legal guardian.

The older woman told deputies that Fowler had taken the baby without permission.

Sheriff's personnel began looking through stretches of riverbed and other brush-choked terrain off the 10600 block of Vine Street in Lakeside in the late afternoon, after an SUV that Fowler was driving was found in the area.

The baby was found safe with Fowler about 8 p.m., according to authorities.

Besides child abduction, Fowler is charged with vehicle theft and misdemeanor child abuse.

She faces five years in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Carlos Campbell.

Fowler will be back in court April 19 for a readiness conference and April 23 for a preliminary hearing.

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