When your child is sick, you would do whatever it took to make them feel better. That's exactly what Heather Whitten's husband, Thomas, did when he brought their young son into the shower to give him some relief.
Heather, a photographer, took advantage of the sweet moment and snapped the tenderness between father and son. She shared the photo on Facebook, which was then shared over 38,000 times with more than 179,000 reactions.
Thousands of people responded to the touching photograph with well wishes for her sick son (who recovered and is reportedly feeling much better) and recognition for capturing a loving role played by the father in this image.
Even with all the supportive comments, there were some who found the image to be too intimate to be shared publicly. The image was banned from Facebook twice and one individual sent a letter of complaint to the local authorities.
Authorities including Arizona's Department of Child Safety and the Sahuarita Police Department investigated based on the claims in the person's letter.
Police stated that they would not be pressing charges and that their part of the case would be closed. However, according to Heather, the DCS investigator continued to pursue the case against Heather portraying her as an "immodest, neglectful and abusive mother based on a single interview."
A fundraising page had been set up for Heather to cover the cost of her administrative hearing in a civil matter. Since she was not arrested, nor charged with a crime, Gofundme has permitted the campaign.
Now closed, the Whittens raised $5,545 of their $5,500 goal.
The claim being brought against Heather is that she neglected to supervise their children by allowing their images to be posted online and therefore put them at unreasonable risk of harm.
If the claim is substantiated, Heather will be added to Arizona's Central Registry for 25 years and she will no longer be allowed to foster, or adopt children.
An administrative hearing is scheduled for March 7. The judge's recommendation will be made to the head of DCS. The final decision will be made by DCS, one way or another.
How do you feel? Should she really have to go through this? Did Heather actually cross a line?
As of March 8, 2017, a judge has found that all claims against Heather are unsubstantiated. She is not guilty of neglect or any other claim brought against her by the DCS investigator!