California mother collapses and dies while feeding baby who then chokes to death: police

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LOS ANGELES – A woman and her 1-year-old son were found dead Monday in a Los Angeles apartment where their bodies likely had been lying for days while a 2-year-old boy was forced to fend for himself, KTLA reports.

The woman – whose name was not released by police but who a neighbor identified as Erika Tomassian – appears to have collapsed and died while feeding her 1-year-old son who was strapped into a chair nearby, LAPD Officer Liliana Preciado told KTLA.

Tomassian was found in a seated position on the floor, the station reports. Her younger son appeared to have “aspirated” on food and died, LAPD Lt. John Jenal told KTLA.

Officers discovered the tragic scene Monday afternoon after a neighbor called 911 because he could not get in touch with Tomassian, who recently had been treated for bronchitis, according to KTLA.

When they arrived at the apartment in the 1600 block of North Fuller Avenue, officers found Tomassian and her younger son dead. Tomassian’s other child – a 2-year-old boy – was alive but suffering from severe dehydration.

No foul play is expected in the pair’s deaths. Tomassian may have died of complications from bronchitis, police said. Her younger son appears to have choked to death.

“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 told KTLA.