A woman was charged Monday with strangling her 4-year-old son after he disobeyed her instruction to stay home while she left to do laundry, police said.

Nicole Harris, 23, was charged with murder in the Saturday death of Jaquari Dancy. She remained in custody in lieu of $1 million bond.

Prosecutors said Harris left the boy and his 5-year-old brother home alone as she did the laundry. She discovered the boy outside when she returned about 45 minutes later, beat him with a belt and sent him to his room, prosecutors said.

When he would not stop crying, she wrapped a sheet from the top bunk of a bunk bed around his neck and strangled him until he stopped moving, then returned to the coin-operated laundry, according to prosecutors.

"She became angry at the child for being outside and ended up killing him," police Officer Patrice Harper said.

The boy's parents reported finding Jaquari on the floor next to a bunk bed, police said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital about two hours later.

Investigators originally thought the death was a hanging because part of the sheet was still on the top bunk, but Harris told them she strangled the boy, said Tandra Simonton, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state's attorney.