A 4-year-old boy was found severely malnourished and dehydrated in his New Jersey home along with his mother who had died nearly a week before.
According to police who found him in the house in Union on Tuesday, the boy was living off sugar and a box of cereal because he wasn't able to open the refrigerator door. And he apparently had been rubbing lotion on his mother’s skin in an attempt to care for her as her body decayed, police said.
His mother, Kiana Workman, 38, appeared to have died of natural causes four to six days earlier. Her body was discovered on a bedroom floor.
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Neighbors and maintenance workers at the northern New Jersey apartment complex alerted authorities about a foul odor coming from the apartment.
The boy reportedly weighed approximately 26 pounds when authorities found him, compared to the regular 40 pounds a child his age should weigh, according to The Epoch Times
"He made a statement to the officer that 'There’s plenty of food in the refrigerator, but I couldn’t open the door,' " Union Police Director Daniel Zieser told New York radio station WCBS. "So that’s kind of sad that nobody checked on him, no family members. It’s sad, very sad."
Workman was originally from the New York City borough of Brooklyn.
Neighbors told PIX 11 News that she had appeared sick for months after the grandmother had been hospitalized with a broken hip earlier this year.
"I know she was sick. I haven’t seen the lady since January," one neighbor told PIX 11. "So sad, very sad."
The boy was taken to University Hospital in Newark where he was reportedly in stable condition. He is expected to make a full physical recovery, PIX 11 reported.
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Union police are awaiting autopsy results on Workman from the Union County Medical Examiner’s office to determine the exact time and cause of death.
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