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N.J. boy, 4, found with dead mom is released from hospital

By Samantha Henry

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 09:42 a.m. HST, Mar 28, 2013

UNION, N.J. » An emaciated child found inside a New Jersey apartment where his mother had been dead for days has been released from the hospital.

Police in Union said today that the 4-year-old boy, whose name has not been released, was out of the hospital and in temporary foster care.

Autospy results are still not available in the death of his mother, 38-year-old Kiana Workman of New York City's Brooklyn borough. Foul play isn't suspected.

Police found the malnourished boy and the body of his mother on Tuesday after a foul odor was reported coming from the chain-locked apartment.

The boy weighed 26 pounds, well below average for his age.

His grandmother is in a nursing facility and police are looking for other relatives.

Adoption offers have come in from around the world.

The malnourished 4-year-old boy had resorted to eating from a bag of sugar to survive The boy's first request after being examined, police said, was a grilled cheese sandwich and a juice.

Officer Joseph Sauer said the boy was naked but coherent and not crying when he kicked in the door and his partner lifted the youngster up by the arms and pulled him out of the overheated apartment.

"The only way to describe the little boy was it was like a scene from World War II, from a concentration camp, he was that skinny. I mean, you could see all his bones," Sauer told The Associated Press.

The apartment in this city 15 miles west of New York belongs to Workman's mother, who is recuperating from surgery at a nursing center, said police, who could not track down any other relatives.

"Physically, he's fine. Whether there are any mental problems later on ... I'm not a child expert," Police Director Daniel Zieser said.

The boy was not strong enough to open the refrigerator and was unable to open a can of soup. Police said he told them he had been eating from a bag of sugar.

The boy could not say how long his mother had been dead.

Police said he put lotion on his mother, leaving behind handprints, in an attempt to help her.

Officer Sylvia Dimenna, who traveled in the ambulance with the boy and stayed with him at the hospital, said he was very bright and articulate but tired.

"He said he missed his mommy," she said.

Police initially estimated she had been dead five days before the discovery was made, but Zieser said Wednesday it may have been two to three. Nobody had talked to her for about a week.

Autopsy results that would help them better determine the time of death were pending. Police said they did not suspect foul play.

Zieser described the apartment complex as a well-maintained property with few problems.

But he said everyone there "basically stays to themselves."

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Aquarius1 wrote:
So tragic and sad.
on March 27,2013 | 09:57PM
cojef wrote:
Single parent's worst nightmare and a child's dilemma for the future. Yes, a tragic episode in this young child's life.
on March 28,2013 | 08:06AM
onevoice82 wrote:
Funny.....my response to the authorities would have been, "yes, I will take the boy and do everything in my power to get custody" not: "But he said it would be up to the state's child welfare agency to determine where the child is placed. With that lack of commitment, the boy is probably better off in Child welfare.
on March 28,2013 | 07:15AM
romei wrote:
thank goodness they found him in the nick of time and that he is recovering....
on March 28,2013 | 11:50AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
What a tragic story. Thankfully the boy survived. It really is heart rending to know that the boy tried to help his unconscious mother by applying lotion on her much like the way he probably recalls being cared for by her.
on March 28,2013 | 01:16PM
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