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Court docs: Woman allegedly drown child in tub

Helen Martin charged with murder, neglect of a dependent resulting in death

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The prosecutor’s office officially charged a Kokomo woman with murder after she allegedly drown a child in the bathtub of her home.

According to newly-released court documents, Helen Martin, 56, allegedly drown a 4-year-old boy in her home over the weekend. When investigators asked her why, court documents indicated she told officers she "believed that she had been so depressed recently that she thought [the boy] would be better off in heaven than to be with her.”

On Saturday shortly after 11 a.m., Kokomo Police Department officers responded to a home at 465 E. 400 S. in Kokomo in regards to the potential drowning of a 4-year-old male. Upon arrival, officers made contact with the homeowner and one of the guardians of the boy. That man simply told officers, “She drowned him,” in reference to Martin, his wife.

First responders found the 4-year-old in the bathroom, unconscious and unresponsive. Lifesaving measures were performed on the child before he was transported to Community Howard Regional Hospital. He was pronounced deceased at 11:50 a.m.

In an interview with police, Martin said she and her husband had guardianship over the 4-year-old boy. At first, Martin allegedly told officers she “often lost her memory due to mental health issues” due to PTSD, depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. However, court documents indicated officers confronted Martin with information that “memory loss was not known to be related to any of these described conditions.”

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Martin eventually told officers that after her husband left the home to go to his storage unit and US Post Office she took the 4-year-old to the bathroom for a bath. She told officers she remembered drawing the bath, and she got into the bath with the boy with her clothes on.

She went on to describe sitting at the back of the tub, facing the faucet, with the boy lying on his stomach with his feet toward her and his head toward the faucet.

“Helen said she reached up and began holding [the 4-year-old’s] head under water, drowning him,” read the probable cause affidavit. “Afterwards, she said she got out of the tub, took her wet clothes off, put them in the laundry hamper in the bathroom, and put on dry clothes. Next, Helen stated that [her husband] had come home and pulled [the 4-year-old] out of the bathtub.”

At first, when asked why she did it, court documents indicated Martin said she didn’t know why, but she eventually told an officer in an interview that “her reason for doing this was she believed that she had been so depressed recently that she thought [the boy] would be better off in heaven than to be with her.”

Martin was charged with murder and neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a level 1 felony. She is being held without bond.