- (Photo: Reuters/Supri)
A 4-year-old has been found living on sugar after his mother tragically died in their apartment, leaving him alone. He was found malnourished and weighing just 26 pounds, after surviving on a bag of sugar he had found.
Police announced the tragic news about the boy on Wednesday, which led to adoption offers being made for the boy from across the world.
After being found the boy was given a thorough examination, police confirmed, but made his first request soon after - a grilled cheese sandwich and a juice.
The boy was found on Tuesday in New York City; his mother - Kiana Workman, 38 - was also discovered dead at the northern New Jersey apartment in the bedroom, after maintenance workers at the apartment complex had reported a foul smell coming from the residence.
Maintenance workers have said that because the chain lock was engaged on the apartment door, the young four year old was unable to get out.
The apartment reportedly belongs to Kiana Workman's mother, who recently went into hospital for surgery. She is the only relative of the family that has been found so far, authorities have reported.
The boy is not recovering in a local hospital where he is being treated for malnourishment and dehydration. He is now officially in state custody.
Police Director Daniel Zieser has said, "Physically, he's fine. Whether there are any mental problems later on ... I'm not a child expert."
Reporting on how the boy survived, police have said that the boy was not strong enough to open the refrigerator, and that he was too young to open cans of soup in the apartment. The boy told authorities that he had only been eating from a bag do sugar he had found.
The boy was unable to estimate how many days his mother had been dead, but police initially believed it was about five days. Later reports indicated that those estimates had been measured down and that authorities now believe the boy was alone for about two to three days.
An autopsy is currently being conducted and that should allow investigators understand more accurately what the mother died of and how long she had been dead.
Police said they did not suspect foul play.
Since announcing the news of the little boy, police have confirmed that they have received offers from across the globe to adopt the boy. Zieser has said, "It's overwhelming. I just hope everything works out for the child. We're just going to take it one step at a time and do the best that we can for the child."