NJ police find emaciated 4-year-old boy at home with dead mother


A policeman puts tape across Church Street in Enfield on August 8, 2011 in London, England.


Peter Macdiarmid

Police in northern New Jersey found an emaciated 4-year-old boy in an apartment with the body of his mother, who appeared to have died about five days prior.

The police director in the town of Union said the boy had tried to get food from the refrigerator, but couldn't open the door. The 4-year-old also rubbed lotion on his mother in an attempt to help her, leaving behind his hand prints.

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A neighbor smelled an odor from one of the garden apartments in the complex, leading building maintenance crews to check out the problem. They found the woman dead inside the apartment from what police said appeared to be natural causes.

"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 CBS New York. "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."

The boy was taken to the hospital where he is in stable condition. He had been living with his mother and grandmother before the grandmother moved to a nursing home. Neighbors said his mother was in her 20s.