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Child alone with mother's corpse for days in New Jersey apartment

By David Jones

NEWARK, New Jersey (Reuters) - A 4-year-old boy who spent four days in a New Jersey apartment with his mother's corpse was released on Wednesday from a New Jersey hospital where he was treated for malnutrition after being too weak to open the home's refrigerator, police said.

After Kiana Workman, 38, died apparently of natural causes in the Union, New Jersey, apartment, her son spent four days alone with her body, rubbing lotion on her skin in an attempt to revive her, police said.

He was found on Tuesday at the Mill Run apartment complex, police said. Maintenance workers who detected a foul odor coming from the unit found the boy inside, local media reported.

The apartment belongs to the boy's 64-year-old grandmother, who was temporarily in a nursing home recovering from hip replacement surgery, local media reported. The mother and son, who police said live in Brooklyn, New York, had been staying with the grandmother for several months.

The child, whose name was not released, was treated at Overlook Medical Center for malnutrition and dehydration and released to relatives on Wednesday, a hospital spokesperson said. The child said he had been too weak to open the refrigerator, according to police.

Union Township authorities confirmed the death and the rescue of the boy by building staff. Mill Run officials declined to comment.

Authorities said an autopsy on the mother was not expected until Thursday, noting she had pre-existing health issues and foul play was not suspected in the case.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Tim Dobbyn)

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