A 4-year-old boy found in an apartment outside New York City eating out of a bag of sugar nearby the body of his deceased and decomposing mother was grossly underweight and possibly neglected, investigators say.
He weighed 26 pounds. Average weight for a boy of that age is 40 pounds, and police spokesman Daniel Zieser says the mother might have "improperly care[d] for" him before she died, The Associated Press reports. He couldn't even open the refrigerator door, AP says.
He had resorted to a bag of sugar for food, New York officials said.
"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," said one officer, to the AP. "I mean, you could see all his bones.
The boy was recovering in a hospital — and meanwhile, scores of requests had come in to authorities from parents around the nation requesting to adopt him, various media reported.
The boy was discovered in an apartment about 15 miles from New York City on Tuesday. His mother, 38-year-old Kiana Workman, was dead on the floor. Police responded to a complaint of an odor.
The boy couldn't open the door for them because it had a chain latch — and because he was too weak to follow directions, ABC reported.
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