Woman charged with drowning grandmother in Eaton is in mental health treatment center

A woman charged with murder last month for allegedly drowning her 93-year-old grandmother in Eaton has not been back in court since her arraignment because she is in a mental health facility, according to court documents.

Heidi Matheny, 35, of West Spring Street, was taken into custody Nov. 15 fewer than two hours after she told Eaton Police detectives that she drowned Alice Matheny, then went out the bathroom window of the Somers Street duplex where the elderly woman lived, according to the report.

Credit: Preble County Jail

Credit: Preble County Jail

Matheny was arraigned on Nov. 17, when Eaton Municipal Court Judge Ed Kalil set bond at $500,000 and scheduled a preliminary hearing for Nov. 22. That hearing was continued until Wednesday, but again it did not happen because she is at Summit Behavioral Health, according to court documents.

The hearing has been rescheduled for Dec. 7. Matheny’s court appointed attorney Gracita Hubler and Preble County Prosecutor Martin Votel did not return phone calls seeking comment. County Sheriff Michael Simpson said he could not comment on inmate medical information.

In the request for a continuance, Hubler said she learned from the court staff that Matheny had been taken to the Cincinnati treatment facility.

According to the Eaton Police report, Matheny was placed on suicide watch at the time of her arrest. At arraignment she said she did not “wish to have an attorney.”

Matheny walked into the Preble County Sheriff’s Office about 5:55 p.m. Nov. 15 and said she wanted to be committed. An Eaton Police detective was called to talk with her after she said she killed her grandmother, according to the report.

Eaton police officers went to an apartment in the 300 block of East Somers Street, where they found Alice Matheny deceased, lying in a bathtub.

An autopsy revealed Alice had a fractured sternum and rib as well as multiple bruises on her neck and arms, according to court documents.

During an interview with police, Heidi Matheny said her grandmother was doing dishes at the kitchen sink when she came up behind her and put her head in the sink, according to an Eaton police report. She told police she held her grandmother there until the bubbles stopped and then moved her to the couch.

“She thought that [Alice] may not be dead so she went into the bathroom and filled the bathtub,” the report read. “She drug [Alice] into the bathroom and placed her into the tub.”

Matheny said she held her grandmother underwater for 15 minutes in the bathtub, according to the police report. She demonstrated how she overpowered her grandmother and held her by the hair.

When police asked her what led to the incident, she said “it was a day like any other day,” according to the report. Matheny said she visited her grandmother and had taken her out that day. They spent time together before the older woman went to the sink to wash dishes.

“I just lost my (expletive). It’s nothing that she did. She’s a perfect freaking grandma,” Matheny said to the detective, according to the report.

Matheny said the previous day they went to the doctor, who reportedly said her grandmother needed to be in a nursing home, but they couldn’t afford it.

She said the situation was a “nightmare.”

An officer asked, “So you decided to take her life?” according to the report. “She said ‘That’s what I did.’”

A detective later asked whether she was aggravated with her grandmother and Matheny said she was “aggravated with the situation.”

“[Detective Brian] Carpenter asked her what was her realization after she walked out of the bathroom,” the report said. “She said she is at peace.”

Staff Writer Kristen Spicker contributed to this report.

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