When a social worker recently arrived at an apartment at the Silver Lane complex located in Hartford, Connecticut, she quickly knew that something was wrong. There had been no contact for days, and what she saw through the window broke her heart.
The social worker arrived at the home on Monday and, after some investigation, saw a frightened child peering through the window. After she spent some time trying to enter the apartment, she eventually convinced the child to open the door. Upon entry, she discovered the corpse of the toddler’s 37-year-old mother.
Police were called and determined that the mother had been dead for several days. The scared child believed that her mother had been sleeping. The child had been spending the previous days surviving on cereal and, in her own way, trying to find help.
Neighbor Susan Tash knew the mother and girl well, and she was shocked to hear of the untimely death. “I realized that it’s right above me and it’s the girl who had the little baby who’s the same age as my granddaughter,” said Tash, who had always told the mother to reach out for her if she needed help. Tash even recommended that she knock on the ceiling if she ever needed anything.
Apparently, the toddler had been trying to ask for help, though the neighbors only realized it in hindsight. More than one resident saw the child waving through the window and mistakenly thought that her gestures were just to say, “hello.”
Other neighbors are equally as surprised as Susan Tash. “I have four girls you know, I love to death. And it’s like a sad thing you know. I hate to hear that,” said neighbor Jermaine Hawkins.
The cause of death is not known at this time. East Hartford Police are handling the investigation, along with The Department of Children and Families, and medical examiners will determine how the woman died.
Our prayers are with the little girl. Hopefully, she will land in a loving home. Although we will never know if the neighbors would have been able to help the mother in her apparently dire circumstance, her heart-breaking story is a reminder to the rest of us to get to know our neighbors. Life is busy, but we need to slow down enough to care about and check on those near us. We never know when a sense of community could be what saves us or our loved one.