The bodies of a woman and her 1-year-old son, who were likely dead for days, were found inside a Hollywood apartment Monday along with a second boy who was suffering from severe dehydration after a worried neighbor called 911.
Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department were called to an apartment in the 1600 block of North Fuller Avenue around 3 p.m., according to Officer Liliana Preciado.
When first responders arrived they had to break into the second-story apartment.
Inside, they found a woman in her mid-40s and a young boy who were both deceased, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
The names of the victims were not officially released, but the woman was identified by a friend as Erika Tomassian.
Neighbor Estela Avendano said she used to babysit Tomassian's two adopted sons, brothers Michael and Nathan.
Tomassian was found in a seated position on the floor, according to LAPD Lt. John Jenal.
She apparently collapsed and died while feeding her 1-year-old son Michael, who was strapped into a chair nearby, Jenal said.
The 1-year-old appeared to have "aspirated" on some food and died, according to Jenal.
The mother and son had been dead about two days.
The other boy, 2-year-old Nathan, was alive but was suffering from severe dehydration.
Tomassian had recently been treated for bronchitis and may have died from complications from the illness, according to police.
A neighbor who knew Tomassian had been sick became worried when he couldn't get in touch with her.
"Over the last couple of days he called and tried to check on her and got no response," Jenal said.
When the neighbor went to Tomassian apartment, he could hear the toddler crying and called 911.
"What adds tragedy to this is ... that this woman had just opened up her heart and her home to these two boys and adopted them," Jenal said.
No foul play was suspected.