A mother of three from Arkansas was arrested Tuesday, July 26, nine months after her toddler was found dead in a washing machine.
Brooke Haney is charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor stemming from incidents in 2015.
On October 25, 2015, police were called to Haney’s home in the small town of Hampton, according to records obtained by Arkansas Online. Per the website, the 25-year-old told a responding officer that she had taken a nap with her daughters Alexis, 3, and Brooklyn, 10 months. When she woke up an hour and 15 minutes later, she noticed Alexis was missing.
After searching the home, Haney and a neighbor discovered Alexis unconscious inside the washing machine. The appliance was programmed to switch on when the lid closed, according to Arkansas Matters. Authorities said she died from “scalding and thermal” injuries sustained from the hot water, Arkansas Online reported.
At the time of Alexis’ death, Haney was allegedly under the influence of prescription pills, including benzodiazepines.
During the investigation, Haney’s 7-year-old — whose name has not been released — told police that she and Alexis often helped their mom with laundry. One of them would climb into the washing machine to retrieve clothes while the other would toss the items in the dryer.
"It hurt my heart to know a little child died like that," Bobbie Holmes, a neighbor, told Arkansas Matters. "I couldn't imagine what pain she went through."
Haney reportedly had a history of abusing benzos. On August 21, 2015, Haney was driving with Brooklyn in the backseat when she was pulled over by police and given several sobriety tests, all of which she failed, per Arkansas Online. Officers determined that she was “exhibiting behavior indicating she was under the influence of prescription medication,” according to court documents obtained by The Washington Post. The Post reports that though Haney had prescription medication in her possession, she did not have a valid prescription.
Haney has a court appearance set for August 10.
According to The Washington Post, Haney is expecting her fourth child next month.
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