Woman charged with neglecting son found in washing machine

A central Indiana woman who told police in August that she found her 5-year-old son injured inside a running washing machine faces a child neglect charge.

Madison County prosecutors recently charged Heather Oliver, 30, of Elwood with one felony count of neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury.

Police were dispatched on Aug. 16 to an Elwood hospital, where they met the boy’s father. Nurses told officers the child had been in and out of consciousness and had multiple bruises on his upper body and scratches on his arms, according to court documents.

Oliver, 30, later told officers she had thought she saw her son, who has a form of autism, in bed when she went to get a glass of milk in the kitchen, but then heard the washing machine filling with water and went to investigate.

Oliver said she saw her son inside the machine, pushed the stop button and “yanked” him out before he vomited. She told officers the boy was in the washer for about five minutes before she got him out, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Oliver was released on bond after her initial hearing on the charge.

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