NJ Boy, 4, Left Alone With Mother's Corpse for Days: Police

By Pei-Sze Cheng
|  Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013  |  Updated 6:53 AM EDT
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Police say they found the emaciated 4-year-old in an apartment with the body of his mother, who appeared to have been dead about five days. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

NBC 4 New York

Police say they found the emaciated 4-year-old in an apartment with the body of his mother, who appeared to have been dead about five days. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.

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A 4-year-old boy spent nearly a week alone in a New Jersey apartment with his mother's decomposing body before a maintenance worker checking on the stench spied him through a crack in the door and called police, authorities said.

Police say they believe the child was alone with his dead mother for five or six days before they removed him from the second-floor apartment in Union Tuesday morning and took him to the hospital.

The emaciated boy told police he had been hungry but unable to eat because he wasn't strong enough to open the refrigerator.

He was taken to University Hospital in Newark with dehydration and malnutrition, but police told NJ.com he's expected to make a full physical recovery.

Police believe the mother died of natural causes, but the medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death. She was found in her bed.

Authorities say they found lotion on the mother's body and believe the child may have applied it to her skin to cover up the smell as her remains started to decompose.

A neighbor told NBC 4 New York the child's grandmother rents the apartment, but she recently was moved to a nursing home because she broke her hip.

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