Helen Martin, 56, had been the guardian of an unidentified 4-year-old boy, her grandson. On Saturday, March 28, as Indianapolis’ WTHR reported, police were called to a residence in the Northern Indiana city following a report of an unconscious and unresponsive subject.
When police arrived at the scene, paramedics were treating the 4-year-old boy. He was taken to an area hospital where he later died.
At the time, police didn’t release the boy’s cause of death, nor did they name a suspect, saying only that someone had been arrested in the case.
This week, according to court documents made available via the Tribune, Martin has been identified as the suspect. Further, it’s been revealed that the boy died of drowning.
Specifically, police say that when they interviewed Martin, she allegedly told them that the boy was her grandson and that she’d been his legal guardian since he was born. His mother, Martin’s daughter, was allegedly addicted to heroin, according to a companion WTHR report.
Martin at first allegedly tried to claim that she had no memory of how the boy died, telling police that she had memory loss due to mental health issues, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. When police told her that memory loss is not a symptom of those illnesses, she allegedly confessed to what actually happened.
Specifically, she allegedly told police that, after her husband, Brian, had left home, she filled a bathtub up with water and, fully dressed, sat in the tub with the young boy. She then allegedly held his head under the water until he drowned.
She then allegedly changed out of her wet clothes and called her husband to tell him that she’d drowned the young lad. She told police that she didn’t remember making that phone call.
When asked why she drowned the boy, according to court documents Martin said that “she believed that she had been so depressed recently that she thought he would be better off in heaven than to be with her.”
Martin has been charged with murder and neglect of a dependent resulting in death, both Level 1 felonies, and is currently being held without bond at the Howard County jail. Her next court appearance is scheduled for April 2.