UNION, N.J. (AP) — An emaciated child found inside an apartment where his mother had been dead for days was released from a hospital Thursday and placed in temporary foster care.
The 4-year-old boy, whose name has not been released, was discovered malnourished and naked in an overheated apartment Tuesday. Maintenance workers had reported a foul odor emanating from the chain-locked apartment in Union Township in northern New Jersey.
Police forced the front door open and found the child weak but alert and alive. They discovered the body of the child's mother in a back bedroom. Police believe she may have been dead for several days, and they discovered the child had been eating from a bag of sugar. The child told police he knew there was food in the refrigerator, but he wasn't strong enough to open the door.
Autopsy results for the mother, identified as 38-year-old Kiana Workman of New York City's Brooklyn borough, hadn't been released as of Thursday evening. Union Township Police Director Daniel Zieser said foul play was not suspected, and the woman had underlying medical conditions, which he declined to specify.
The boy weighed 26 pounds, well below average for his age.
His grandmother is in a nursing facility and police were trying to track down other relatives.
Adoption offers have poured in from around the world, according to Zieser, who said the case is now in the hands of state child welfare authorities.