Ten-Day-Old Bartlesville Baby Found Dead In Washing Machine, Mother Arrested

Friday, November 5th 2010, 11:07 am
By: News On 6

Lori Fullbright, News On 6 and NewsOn6.com

BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma -- Bartlesville Police are investigating the death of a 10-day-old baby. The infant's mother, Lyndsey Fiddler, has been arrested for second-degree manslaughter.

Police officers were called to a downtown apartment at 7:42 p.m. Thursday after receiving a 911 call. When they arrived, they found the infant dead inside a washing machine, having been put in there with clothes and gone through an entire wash cycle.

Bartlesville Police Chief Tom Holland says in his 40 years of police work he has never seen or heard of anything like this.

"I started in Fort Worth and have walked into apartments with seven dead bodies, seen terrible crimes, mass murder, even," Holland said.

Police say an aunt of the mother went over Thursday night to check on Fiddler and her three kids and found a terrible scene.

"The mother was asleep and she had trouble waking her and heard the washer out of balance, clanging, so went to lift the lid so it would stop and in the washing machine, saw the baby," Holland said.

Records show Fiddler has had many run-ins with Bartlesville police. She's been found guilty of larceny, assault and battery and many times for failing to show up for court.

She's also been stopped several times for speeding, driving without a license and not having her kids in car seats.

She was arrested in April for possession of a controlled drug, when she was four months pregnant. She got a one year suspended sentence and 10 days in jail, but didn't show up for court.

Fiddler's family tried back in June when she was pregnant, because they were so concerned about her drug abuse, to get her parental rights revoked, but it didn't happen.

Now, a terrible tragedy has occurred that has devastated not only her family, but also the emergency responders.

"I know the detective, he's a veteran detective who was taking photos at the hospital and he had to step out for awhile. He's got three girls," Holland said.

John Houser, A Bartisville paramedic, tried to save the baby on the way to the hospital, but it was too late.

"Terrible. I don't even know how to describe it," Houser said. He said she was so tiny when he lifted her into the ambulance, that it just broke his heart.

The infant's body has been turned over to the state Medical Examiner's Office.

Fiddler is currently being held without bond, and authorities say a bond hearing will be scheduled for this weekend.