Social Worker

3-Year-Old Girl Lived Alone With Dead Mother for Days, Police Say

The little girl ate nothing but cereal off the floor for days police said, calling her survival "remarkable"

What to Know

  • It wasn't clear how long the child was living with the body, but police said it was "definitely" more than a few days
  • Other than some dehydration, authorities say the little girl was in OK condition; they called her survival "remarkable"
  • The cause of the mother's death is pending the results of an autopsy, but police say there was no evidence of a crime

A 3-year-old girl was found living alone with her dead mother in their Connecticut apartment Wednesday, and police say she had nothing to eat for days except cereal that had spilled on the floor.

East Hartford Deputy Chief Beau Thurnauer said police are investigating, though there was no immediate evidence that any crime took place. There were no obvious signs of criminal activity or forced entry, according to police. 

A social worker went to check on the child Monday because she had missed day care and found the 37-year-old woman dead in bed.

It wasn't clear how long the toddler had been living with her dead mother, but police say it was "definitely more than a couple of days." They called her survival "remarkable."

The child was taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center for evaluation. She was dehydrated but otherwise in good condition, police said.

The Department of Children and Families was called in. It was not immediately clear who had custody of the child.

Neighbors told NBC Connecticut they were shocked by what happened.

Jermain Hawkins said he knew something was wrong when he saw police Monday.

"I heard about the daughter that was in there ya know so I just thank God everything went well on that part at least," he said.

Susan Tash, who lives in the same building, knew the mother and daughter and said that the victim was a single mother. Tash said she heard some unusual noise from the apartment recently but didn't think much of it at the time.

"I started hearing that about a week ago and it was really loud and the baby would scream and cry while the TV was on and then she would stop, but the TV still would be blasting," Tash said.

Tash said she had no idea something was wrong or she would have done something.

"I was horrified - I wish I went up there when that TV was blasting," Tash told NBC Connecticut.

Police are awaiting a report from the medical examiner on the woman’s cause of death.

More details were not immediately available.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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