4-year-old fine after nearly a week of living with deceased mom

UNION — A 4-year-old boy survived for days on his own in an apartment in Union after his mother died of natural causes.
According to Daniel Zieser, the Police Director for Union, managers for the Mill Run apartment building were called to the apartment on Tuesday morning due to complaints of a foul smell emanating from one of the residences.

Using a master key, the director said, the managers were able to open the door, but a chain obstructed them from entering. However, a young child could be seen and heard in the apartment.

At around 11:25 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the Union Police Department says they received a call from Mill Run Maintenance regarding the foul odor coming at 1880D Manor Drive.

“There was a rather thin child walking around and so they called us,” said Zieser on Tuesday, declining to comment further pending notification of next of kin.

Officers arrived at the apartment to find the door ajar but locked with the chain lock and noticed the foul odor emanated from the apartment and the young, 4-year-old boy.

Police officers forced open the door and tended to a 4-year-old male child who appeared very malnourished, but alert.
According to reports, the child remarked that there was food in the refrigerator, “but I just can’t open it.”

EMS personnel responded and transported the child to Overlook Hospital for treatment, police said. The child was treated for malnutrition and dehydration, and is expected to make a full recovery.

Upon further investigation, police located the deceased mother in the bedroom of the apartment in a state of decomposition.
“They found the mother dead in the bedroom,” Zieser said.

The time and cause of death is pending autopsy by the Union County Medical examiner’s office, but early estimates have put it at nearly a week and foul play is not being considered.