A Maryland woman was found pushing her dead 3-year-old son in a park swing Friday, and authorities say she may have been there for hours.
Diane Richardson, a spokeswoman with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, said there were no obvious signs of foul play, but it has not been ruled out.
Richardson said authorities are trying to trace the movements of the 24-year-old woman over the last several days “to find out what was going on in her life, what led to this moment.”
Sheriff’s deputies went to the park in La Plata, Maryland at about 7 a.m. after getting a call to check on the welfare of the woman and the child, Richardson said. The officers went to remove the boy from the swing and to give him first aid, but “it was instantaneously clear the child was dead,” she said. There were no signs of trauma to his body.
Deputies cut the chain on the swing’s seat and removed the body and took it to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.
The woman, whom police did not identify, was able to answer some of the deputies’ questions before being taken to a local hospital for a medical evaluation, Richardson said.
She listed several addresses, including one in Washington and another in Charles County, where La Plata is located, Richardson said. She said the woman also had stayed with a relative in the county.
La Plata is about 30 miles southeast of Washington, with a population of about 8,700, according to the town's website.
"It's a very sad and tragic situation for the mother, her family, the officers," Richardson said. "All of us want answers. We're working very hard on that."
The Associated Press contributed to this report