Two small children have died after being put in the shower by their mother, who then "passed out" for 10 hours. A coroner is currently investigating the deaths of 10-month-old Malachi Isaac Stevens and his older brother, Lochlan James Stevens, who was two years-old.
According to the boys' mother, Miranda Hebble, she put the boys in the shower after Lochlan smeared feces on the floors, walls, and brother Malachi's bed. She thought they would be safe there, but wound up either falling asleep or passing out for the next 10 hours.
Once she awoke, she discovered that water was overflowing from the shower and her two boys were dead. The court heard the 911 call from Hebble, which explained in part, what happened.
"I passed out and the plug in the shower got plugged up … and the shower filled up … and they're not breathing," Hebble said. They're dead."
Malachi was found floating in the shower with bruises on his cheek; the coroner ruled that drowning was the cause of death for the 10-month-old. Lochlan, meanwhile, was found on the floor with blood coming from his mouth. He also had a couple of scratches, and the coroner posited that he suffered from exhaustion, hunger and hypothermia.
So far, Hebble has not been charged with any crime, but investigators are looking to see whether or not she should be charged with negligence. She has no history of mental illness or drug or alcohol abuse, her defense attorney told the court.
Yet months earlier, Malachi was left in the car while Hebble returned a DVD to a store. Police responded to calls from others and freed the infant, who was "hot, crying, sweaty and red in the face," Constable Daniel William Herbert O'Rourke testified.
Since the boys' 2008 deaths, Hebble and the boys' father, Christopher Stevens, have separated. He has since remarried and has a daughter. He told reporters he was hoping to "get an end to the story" of his sons' deaths, including how and why they died.
"Give me an answer that I can actually use," Stevens said.