An Indiana mother was arrested after her son was found inside a running washing machine.
Heather Oliver, 30, was charged with Level 5 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury, stemming from the incident that occurred on August 16, 2019.
According to court documents, a 5-year-old boy arrived at the hospital with his father around 10:00 a.m., slipping in and out of consciousness with numerous bruises and scratches on his body.
The child’s father told police that around 9:15 a.m. he received a phone call from Oliver, who told him their son was stuck in the washing machine while it was turned on.
It was then that the father drove home to find the boy in Oliver’s arms before rushing him to the hospital.
According to police, Oliver claims she checked on the boy in his room at 9:00 a.m., thinking that he was underneath his blankets, hidden from her sight.
Oliver told police she then went to the kitchen to pour herself a glass of milk when she suddenly heard the washing machine and thought it was odd.
That’s when Oliver said she looked to the washer, where she saw it filling with water and found her son inside. She said she unlocked the latch and pulled him out.
According to Oliver, she doesn’t know how the washing machine works, as she doesn’t do any of the laundry due to a medical condition that prevents her from lifting heavy items.
After police returned to the home to execute a search warrant, they said they found no water or blood on the floor and saw no sign of a struggle occurring.
However, investigators found that there was no milk in the refrigerator and no glass with milk in it.
They interviewed the boy three days after he was initially hospitalized, but they didn’t talk much about the incident. However, according to court documents, when they asked him if his mom was nice, he said, “Mom is not nice.”
Doctors at Riley told officers the child’s injuries were “highly suspicious for non-accidental trauma.”
Ultimately, Oliver was charged with neglect of a dependent “for knowingly and intentionally placing a dependent in a situation that endangered her son’s life and health which resulted in bodily injury.”
Oliver made her first court appearance on Dec. 19 and was released on bond the next day.