A toddler is believed to have survived for days on his own after his mother died while feeding her other one-year-old son, who then choked to death.
The bodies of a woman, reported by KTLA to be Erika Tomassian, and the one-year old were found in a Los Angeles apartment by fire-fighters and police; a two-year-old boy was also found alive but severely dehydrated.
According to the LA Times, the mother appears to have died from breathing difficulties. Her son died from choking on some food, reportedly while in his high chair.
Police were alerted to the situation by a concerned friend, firefighters then accessed the second-floor flat where they found the two-year-old.
Police estimate he survived on his own for approximately two days and had been rummaging in cupboards for food.
Lieutenant John Jenal, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson said Ms Tomassian had recently been taken to hospital and had been diagnosed with bronchitis.
According to Lt. Jenal, Ms Tomassian had recently adopted the brothers. He said in a statement: “She was loving them and trying to take care of them… and suffered this medical emergency.”
The toddler was taken to hospital in a critical condition but is now stable.
The LA Times reports he will be taken into custody by the LA County Department of Children and Family Services.