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UPDATE: Child found face-down in water-filled washing machine

Investigator says incident is ‘tragic home accident’

Posted: August 1, 2013 9:26 a.m.
Updated: August 1, 2013 7:32 p.m.

Detectives investigating the discovery of an 8-year-old boy found by his father face down and submerged in a water-filled washing machine are calling the incident a “tragic home accident,” an investigator said Thursday.

“He was essentially drowning and was then revived,” said Sgt. Brian Hudson of the Sheriff’s Department Special Victims Bureau.

“His parents are devastated,” he said. “Right now we’re treating it as a tragic home accident. There is no indication of foul play.”

The boy was found unresponsive Wednesday evening face-down in the family’s top-loading washing machine at their home on Pansy Court in Castaic, detectives said.

When deputies arrived at the scene, the child was on the floor in the living room with his father seated next to him, Hudson said. The boy’s clothes were “soaking wet,” he said.

Deputies immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation and revived the boy by the time Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics arrived, Hudson said. The boy was taken to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

By 5 p.m. Thursday the boy’s condition had stabilized, after which he was transferred to a pediatric facility in Los Angeles. He was said to be in critical but stable condition.

Names of the family members were not released.

“It appears the father was outside doing yard work and the mother left the residence to go to the store and the 8-year-old was in the house,” Hudson said.

“The father went inside to check on the boy, and when he went into the laundry room he found the child’s legs and feet sticking out of the washing machine,” Hudson said.

Detectives do not know how the boy came to be in the washing machine, he said.

“We would like to speak to the 8-year-old but are not able to do that,” he said.

Detectives tested the washing machine and confirmed that it was on when the incident occurred.

“We raised the lid and the agitator was still working,” Hudson said. “It’s quite possible he got sucked in by the agitator.”

Normally, washing machines automatically shut off when the lid is opened, but “that did not appear to have happened,” Hudson said.

The investigation was ongoing.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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