When a social worker visited an East Hartford apartment Wednesday, she was only concerned that the child had missed day care. As reported by Cleveland 19, when she arrived at the apartment, she could see the child was alone and persuaded her to open the door and let her in. While she had only been worried about the child missing day care, what she found was far worse. The little girl was found to be living alone, subsisting only on cereal that had spilled all over the floor, while her 37-year-old mother lay dead in the bedroom.

According to East Hartford police, it wasn’t at that stage clear how long the child had been living with her dead mother, but they suspect is was definitely more than just a couple of days.

They said it was “remarkable” that the child had managed to survive all that time.

East Hartford police are investigating, but no crime is suspected

NBC New York quotes East Hartford Deputy Chief Beau Thurnauer as saying they are still investigating the incident, even though there is no evidence of any crime. Thurnauer said there was no forced entry to the apartment and nothing obvious that would point to criminal activity.

Three-year-old girl taken for medical evaluation

Soon after the child was found, police took her to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center for a checkup, and while the toddler was dehydrated, her health was otherwise fine.

Police called in the Department of Children and Families and it is unknown who will take custody of the three-year-old.

NBC interviewed neighbors of the victim and her daughter and they were shocked by the news. Jermain Hawkins said he only had an idea something was wrong when he saw the police arrive on Monday. According to another neighbor, Susan Tash, she knew the mother and daughter and said the victim was a single mother.

Unusual sounds from the apartment upstairs

Tash noticed some unusual sounds coming from the home upstairs in the days prior to the mother being found dead, but hadn’t thought anything of it then. She had reportedly heard the three-year-old child cry and said the television was playing very loud. Now Tash wishes she had realized something was wrong, so that she could have been of assistance to the little girl.

The cause of the mother’s death is still unknown, as East Hartford police are awaiting the medical examiner’s report.

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