EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Authorities in Connecticut say a 3-year-old girl was found living alone with her dead mother and with nothing to eat but cereal for several days in an apartment.
Police said Wednesday the 37-year-old woman's body was discovered Monday in the bedroom of an East Hartford apartment when a social worker went to check in on the child, who had missed day care. The social worker who went to the apartment knocked on the door and got the child to unlock it, police said. The girl had believed her mother was sleeping, the officer said.
Lt. Joshua Litwin says the girl survived by eating cereal spilled on the floor. Police don't know how long the child had been living alone but it was "definitely more than a couple of days."
Litwin says the girl was dehydrated but healthy. She was hospitalized.
Police said they found no evidence of a crime or break-in. Investigators are awaiting results of an autopsy by the medical examiner's office to see how the woman died.
A neighbor, Susan Tash, said the television in the mother and child's apartment was very loud over the past week, and she heard the girl scream and cry. She said she just thought the child was being fussy. She said she had no idea anything was wrong.
"I was mortified," Tash said after the woman's body was found. "It hit me hard because the noise upstairs and I felt kind of responsible."
It wasn't immediately clear who has custody of the child. The state Department of Children and Families was called in.
The cause of the mother's death is pending the results of an autopsy.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
for more features.