Elwood Mother Arrested After Son Found Inside Running Washing Machine

(ELWOOD) – In Elwood woman was arrested after her son was found inside a running washing machine.

Heather Oliver

Heather Oliver, 30, is charged with Level 5 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury “for knowingly and intentionally placing a dependent in a situation that endangers her son’s life and health which resulted in bodily injury.”

According to court documents, on August 6, 2019, a 5-year-old boy arrived at the hospital with his father around 10 a.m. Hospital staff said the boy was slipping in and out of consciousness. He had numerous bruises and scratches on his upper body. He was somewhat dry, but he had wet underwear and dirt on his knees.

Medical staff flew the boy to Riley Hospital for further evaluation.

The child’s father told police Heather Oliver, his girlfriend, called him at work around 9:15 a.m. and told him their son was stuck in the washing machine while it was turned on.

The child’s father said he drove home immediately and found the boy in Oliver’s arms upon his return home.

The man told police he was patting his son on his back and the boy puked up water. He then rushed his son to the hospital because he thought it would be quicker considering how close they lived to the hospital.

Police then spoke with Oliver who told police she checked on the boy in his room at 9 a.m. She thought he was under the blankets, so she went to the kitchen to pour herself a glass of milk. While in the kitchen, she heard the washing machine running and thought it was odd.

That’s when she said she saw the washing machine filling with water, and her son was trapped inside. She said she unlocked the latch and pulled him out.

Oliver told police she did not know how to work the washing machine because her boyfriend does the laundry because she has a medical condition that prevents her from lifting heavy items.

Police returned to their house to execute a search warrant. They said they found no water or blood on the floor, and there was no sign of a struggle. There was no milk in the refrigerator and no glass with milk in it. In the child’s room, they found the blankets in a pile and nothing to make them believe the child had been laying under them.

Police spoke with a representative for Lucky Goldstar, the manufacturer of the washer. They informed police the washer would not fill with water with the lid 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.

Three days after the incident, police spoke to the boy who told them his “Mom is not nice.”

Doctors at Riley told officers the child’s injuries were “highly suspicious for non-accidental trauma.”

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