KAMLOOPS — The step-father of a teenaged girl who was slain in 2012 said he was surprised to find out she broke up with her boyfriend the night she was killed since the two were ‘inseparable’ when they lived with him in Terrace.
Glen Wilson, CJ Fowler’s step-father, took the stand in Kamloops Supreme Court today, Sept. 29, and said he kept in constant contact with his daughter about the trip she and her boyfriend Damien Lawrence Taylor took to Kamloops in late November 2012.
Fowler’s body was discovered in a ravine near Guerin Creek, Dec. 5 — the day she was supposed to return to Terrace. Wilson said after Fowler’s death, Taylor returned to Terrace and lived with him for a bit.
Taylor, 24, is charged with second-degree murder in Fowler’s death.
"I don’t understand why and how they split up… because they were always together,” Wilson said.
The step-father said he took Taylor in and treated him as one of his own after Fowler started dating him. Because neither of them went to school or worked a job, they were often at Wilson’s place where they both lived together. Although Wilson was not Fowler’s biological father, he said she referred to him as Dad and Taylor, who saw him as a paternal figure as well, called him ‘Papa’.
“Both (Fowler) and (Taylor) were actually really good as in they listened. They did their chores. They never went out and drank or anything,” Wilson said.
But Wilson said the couple’s behaviour changed when a friend of theirs came to visit them in Terrace.
“As soon as (she) came to Terrace, it’s like both of them were a total different person. Rebellious, as teenagers are,” Wilson said. The father asked friends of Fowler’s to leave after he discovered drugs in his house and suspected Fowler was high.
“I actually asked all of (Fowler’s) friends to leave. They left and (Fowler) said if they have to leave I’m leaving too. She did leave,” Wilson said. "I don’t know where (Taylor) was in all of this because he wasn’t actually in the house."
Despite Fowler’s behaviour, Wilson said she came home in tears the next day to apologize but it wasn’t too much later when she asked if she could take a trip to visit the same friend in Kamloops.
“I said I don’t really want them actually going because of what she did prior to that,” Wilson said. "I guess they had the ticket already to go. They left at around 10:30 p.m. on November 30th."
Wilson said the friend gave both Taylor and Fowler tickets to come visit.
“I texted her and told her if anything went wrong in Kamloops or if they got in trouble to not be afraid to phone and I’ll buy you guys a ticket,” Wilson said.
That phone call came four days later.
Wilson said Fowler phoned him upset about an argument with her friend, that she was being threatened by her and told not to use her phone.
“She was telling me that (the friend) was threatening her; I don’t know what kind of threats they were and they were arguing over something,” he said. “I really started worrying. Something wasn’t right about this."
At one point, Wilson said the friend phoned him to say Fowler fell asleep.
Judging from her voice, Wilson said he suspected the friend was intoxicated.
Wilson said he worked to get the couple tickets to go back home and Fowler could pick them up at the Greyhound station which she did. While at the Notre Dame depot, she was confronted by Const. Chris Boulton, an officer who asked why she called 9-1-1 earlier and then hung up.
“She told me that she called 9-1-1 because she was having an argument with her friend,” Boulton testified earlier today. "The argument was surrounding the fact that (Fowler) was going back to Terrace and (she) didn’t want her to go. Fowler left a number of belongings and wanted to retrieve them. (The friend) wasn’t cooperating."
Despite the argument, Boulton said Fowler told him she was fine and that the disagreement resolved itself.
THE HOSPITAL VISIT
After collecting the tickets, Wilson said Fowler and Taylor travelled to Royal Inland Hospital after she complained of chest pains.
"She told me ‘(her friend) made me smoke some speed, but I don’t know if it was actually speed,'” Wilson said. “They mixed something in (Fowler’s) thing. I don’t know what it was. She was complaining about breathing that very same night."
It was also at the hospital where Wilson said Fowler discovered she was pregnant.
“Just after the testing, she texted me back and said 'Dad I have something to tell you. I’m pregnant, Dad,’” he said through tears. “I was happy. She was really happy."
The step-father and daughter spent the rest of the night texting each other until 3:25 a.m., Wilson said. He said the Ministry of Children and Families contacted him as well after discovering Fowler had no place to spend the night. They offered to put her in a hotel room, but not accompanied by Taylor as he wasn’t a youth.
“I wasn’t sure if she actually did go through to the hotel because she didn’t text me and tell me that she was going to be in a hotel,” Wilson said.
Wilson's testimony is expected to continue this afternoon.
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