Women Who Filed Baby Hoax Competent to Stand Trial

Haverhill District Court

Haverhill District Court.

A mother and daughter, charged with making false claims about a baby being thrown into the Merrimack River Christmas eve, have been deemed competent to stand trial.

The cost of search and rescue operation on the Merrimack River Thursday was estimated by “two experienced law enforcement professionals” at $50,000 during the arraignment Monday of Holly Fowler, 42, and Kristine Fowler, 23, both of 170 Washington St., Haverhill, in Haverhill District Court.

“It was extensive, with about 50 personnel involved,” Steve F. O’Connell, spokesperson for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett., told WHAV. “Those included members of the Salem, N.H. Police and Fire Departments, the Haverhill Fire Department boat, the State Police dive team, the State Police helicopter, and Haverhill police officers and detectives.”

The women were charged with misleading a police investigation and filing a false report. After an examination by court clinicians, they were found to be competent, O’Connell said. Holly Fowler was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail while Kristine Fowler was released on a bail warning.

“If she gets into further legal trouble while this case is pending she could be held for up to 90 days without bail,” O’Connell said.

Both are due to return to court Jan. 20 for a pre-trial hearing.