HENDERSONVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) - A Henderson County couple says God put them in the right place at the right time to find the missing Asheville baby who deputies said had been thrown into a deep ravine Thursday evening.
Cheryl Fowler said she was heading down her long driveway to greet her husband with dinner as he passed by on Slick Rock Road.
“My husband was working late in his dump truck. I was coming to bring him his supper and I heard a baby crying,” Cheryl said.
She said she was at the edge of her property, near a deep ravine that goes down to a stream, about 700 feet or more from their house up a steep hill.
She continued to listen and then called her daughter to come down from the house.
“I just knew somebody somewhere hurt a baby in the woods,” Cheryl said.
That’s when Scott Fowler said he pulled up in his truck.
“My wife said ‘we hear a baby crying,’ so I cut my truck off. We first didn’t know if it was a crow or what, but then my daughter saw it.”
He said they could see the baby near the bottom of the ravine, which Henderson County deputies later said was 75-feet-deep.
“I thought my God, that is a baby!” Scott exclaimed.
Scott said he climbed down the steep hill and saw the baby’s car seat near where the baby had landed.
“She had fell out of her baby chair and bumped her head on a rock,” Scott remembered.
He quickly grabbed baby Shaylie and her car seat.
“She quit crying immediately after he picked her up,” Cheryl said.
Cheryl said they called 911 and quickly realized Shaylie was not seriously hurt.
“She was wet, hungry, and cold. And banged up a little bit.”
Cheryl said they didn’t know the baby they had found was the same one deputies were searching for connected to a kidnapping case from Asheville until the sheriff arrived.
Scott said Sheriff Lowell Griffin himself was the first man on the scene.
He said the sheriff explained to them that deputies had been searching for the baby after they found her mother, who had told them she and the baby had been kidnapped by two masked people and that she didn’t know where the kidnappers had fled with the child.
On Friday, deputies charged the mother, Krista Noelle Madden, with attempted murder and said she had thrown the baby down the ravine.
Both Cheryl and Scott agree, God wanted them to find the baby girl. Cheryl said things happening the way they did can’t be a coincidence.
“Everything was the good Lord’s work,” Cheryl said. “We heard her. We found the baby. My phone worked each time I made a call, and we never get reception out here.”
Scott said they might not have ever known the baby girl was there if they hadn’t heard those cries from the woods.
“The good Lord put it in our ears and put us in place to find her,” he added.
Cheryl, a mother of three herself, said she was shocked to learn the mother had been accused in the case.
“I love my children more than life itself, so I can’t imagine any human being throwing a baby away like a piece of garbage,” Cheryl said.
“She needs to be held accountable,” Scott added.