Yahoo! Shine has learned that the two adults shown loading a 13-month-old child into a commercial washing machine in a shocking video viewed by millions were not the boy's parents but a babysitter and her male friend. "We talked to the people in the video and they were not the parents of the child," Camden County Prosecutor's Office spokesperson Jason Laughlin tells Shine. "We won't be charging anyone. We were looking for purposeful endangerment and we didn't see that."
The story was picked up by major news outlets after a surveillance video showing a man putting a toddler into a washing machine, which then automatically locked shut and began filling with water, was released and watched by people across the country earlier this week. Reportedly, after the incident, the child was taken to the hospital for scrapes and bruises but was otherwise unharmed.
In the video, after the machine begins to cycle, laundry mat employee Kong Eng rushes to help the man and woman who appear to be panicked. He successfully disables the machine by shutting off the power. "I'm very proud of my worker," Laurie Chou, owner of Federal Laundromat, in Camden, New Jersey, told CBS New York. "He's been with me eight years. I couldn't find anyone better."
The man and woman scoop up the youngster and flee the laundromat. Reportedly, the man returned to the scene later to assure Chou and other employees that the boy was okay. Still, employees and witnesses assumed he was the boy's father when speaking to the media and the police after the incident.
The prosecutor's office is sending the case to be reviewed by the state Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). DYFS spokesperson told Yahoo! Shine, "Due to New Jersey confidentiality laws, we can't comment on any cases." The names of all of those involved in the scary mishap remain unidentified.
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