UNION, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Authorities made a heartbreaking discovery in a Union Township apartment Tuesday morning.
As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, a neighbor smelled a foul odor coming from one of the garden apartments in the Mill Run apartment complex
Building maintenance crews checked it out and inside found a woman dead from what police said appeared to be natural causes. Her 4-year-old son was also inside and had not eaten in five or six days, according to police.
“He made a statement to the officer that ‘there’s plenty of food in the refrigerator but I couldn’t open the door.’ So that’s kind of sad that nobody checked on him, no family members,” Union Township Police Director Dan Zieser told Silverman. “It’s sad, very sad.”
“The child was very emaciated. Apparently, he’s been in the apartment for like five or six days with no food,” Zieser said.
One neighbor told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones that he doesn’t understand why the young boy didn’t make any noise or try to get help when his mother died.
“This is a very quiet family. I dunno because, he’s 4-year-old the boy, I dunno why he didn’t knock the door,” he said.
Township Police said if the little boy cried for help, no one heard him. There were also indications he tried to tend to his mother after her death.
Zieser said that the little boy rubbed some type of lotion on his mother. His little handprints were visible on her body, police said.
The little boy was taken to the hospital, where he is in stable condition, Silverman reported. A Union Township police office is watching over the boy while he’s being treated at Newark University Hospital, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported.
Foul play is not expected and police said the door was chained from the inside.
Neighbors said the mother was in her 20s. She and the little boy had been living with her mother, who had recently moved to a nursing home.
“Very sorry for this boy and this lady — very, very sorry. For this boy, that’s a tragedy,” Maria Dochinsaa told Aiello.
The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the official cause of death.
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