Indiana woman arrested after son, 5, found inside running washing machine

An Indiana woman was charged with felony neglect after her 5-year-old son was found inside a running washing machine, according to court documents.

Heather Oliver, 30, of Elwood, was arrested after the Aug. 16 incident and charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury, a level 5 felony, The Indianapolis Star reported. She had an initial hearing Dec. 19 and was released on bail the next day, according to Madison County court records.

According to court documents, the boy arrived at an area hospital with his father around 10 a.m. Aug. 16, WXIN reported. Hospital staff members reported the boy was drifting in and out of consciousness and had numerous bruises and scratches on his body, the television station reported. The appeared to be dry but had wet underwear and dirt on his knees.

The boy's father told police Oliver, his girlfriend, called him at 9:15 a.m. and told him their son was stuck in the washing machine while it was running, according to WXIN.

According to court documents, Oliver said she woke up at 9 a.m., believed she saw her son in bed and went to the kitchen for a glass of milk, the Star reported. Oliver told police she heard the washing machine filling up with water, and upon going to the laundry room saw the boy in the machine, the newspaper reported.

Oliver said she unlocked the latch to the washing machine and pulled the boy out, WXIN reported. The boy vomited twice, according to court documents. Oliver said she did not know how the washing machine worked, telling police her boyfriend does the laundry because she has a medical condition that prevents her from lifting heavy items, WTHR reported.

The Elwood Police Department executed a search warrant and did not find water or blood on the floor of the laundry room, WXIN reported. Police also said there was no milk in the refrigerator and no glass containing milk, according to court documents.

The boy, in a forensic interview, told an interviewer her mother was "not nice," according to court documents. Doctors at the hospital told police the boy's injuries were "highly suspicious for non-accidental trauma," WXIN reported.

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