Mom Arrested After Allegedly Finding Son Trapped Inside Washing Machine

Heather Oliver
Madison County Sheriff's Department

A woman in Elwood, Indiana, was arrested recently after her five-year-old son was found trapped inside a washing machine filled with water in August.

Thirty-year-old Heather Oliver was charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury, which is a level five felony, according to the Indy Star.

The report continued:

Court documents show Oliver told police she got out of bed around 9 a.m. that day, thought she saw the boy in bed, and went to the kitchen for a glass of milk. Oliver said she heard the washing machine filling up with water and went to the laundry room, and saw the boy in the machine.

Oliver said she stopped the machine and “yanked” the boy out as he vomited. Instead of calling 911, the mother called the boy’s father and told him to come home.

When he arrived, he said Oliver had the boy near the washer and dryer. He also noted that the child was in and out of consciousness, his eyes were rolling back, and he was “soaking wet.”

Court documents said the father then drove the boy to the hospital around 10 a.m. and staff said the child had “numerous bruises and scratches on his upper body. He was somewhat dry, but he had wet underwear and dirt on his knees,” according to Fox 59.

The boy was flown to Riley Hospital for further evaluation.

Oliver later told police she did not know how the washing machine worked and that her boyfriend always did their laundry.

Oliver claimed that was because she had a medical condition that prevented her from lifting heavy items, according to KIRO 7.

When police went to the home with a search warrant they did not find any sign of a struggle, nor did they find milk in the refrigerator as the mother had initially claimed.

Fox 59 reported:

Police spoke with a representative for Lucky Goldstar, the manufacturer of the washer. The representative told police the washer will not fill up with water and function while the lid is open. Police tested the washer at the house and an error message appeared on the screen when they tried to operate the washing machine with the lid open.

Following the incident, the boy told interviewers that his mother was “not nice.” However, Oliver and her boyfriend both said she had never raised her voice or yelled at the child.

Doctors at Riley Hospital told authorities the boy’s injuries were “highly suspicious for non-accidental trauma.”


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