Sweet Child, Grisly Scene

Investigation: Police are looking into what killed the woman at this apartment in Union, New Jersey. Her body was found alongside her 4-year-old son who was still alive despite not eating for five days

Mill Run at Union Apartments (courtesy of usaukonline)

This past Tuesday, authorities in Union, New Jersey made a gruesome and disturbing discovery, but one with a rather sweet, sad twist.

They were called to the Mill Run at Union Apartments after tenants complained of a funky smell coming from one of the units. Police found the apartment and noticed that the door was open, but the chain lock was connected. After forcing the door open, they entered the unit and found that it wasn’t vacant.

There was a malnourished 4-year-old boy locked inside. And he had been there for almost a week.

Although there was plenty of food in the apartment, the poor little guy couldn’t reach it and was unable to open the refrigerator door. He was basically starving to death, but somehow managed to stay alert. Not only that, but he also found time to care for someone else.

Police found her in the bedroom. She was the boy’s mother and one thing was for certain: she had been dead for some time and was “in a state of decomposition,” according to the official statement.

And here’s what really tears me up about this story, even more than the horror of a child trapped in an apartment with a corpse.

“He was putting some type of lotion on her, but she was deceased,” Police Director Dan Zieser said later. “It’s very sad.”

And very sweet.

Catherine Martin with lotion (courtesy of Orion Pictures)

Although this story brought to mind Silence of the Lambs when I first heard it—“It puts the lotion on its skin”—I was also touched by how precious and caring this child was towards his mother.

Being so young, the boy obviously didn’t know she was dead and was doing what he thought would help… and while he was starving, no less. It really tugs at the heart-strings, don’t you think?

The good news is that this sweet young man was taken to a local hospital for treatment and should be fine, at least in terms of his physical condition. There could be some as-yet-unseen psychological effects in the years to come, but I’m optimistic. He’s so young that it’s likely he will forget about this in time.

As they say, time heals all wounds. And let’s hope that’s the case for this amazing child.

Posted on March 28, 2013, in Family, Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This sucks, doesn’t it? That poor child…

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