Police are investigating after finding a woman dead and her 3-year-old daughter living alone in an apartment on Silver Lane in East Hartford, where the toddler survived by eating cereal she found on the floor, police said.
Police have identified the woman as 37-year-old Twanna Toler.
Deputy Chief Beau Thurnauer said police are investigating the case, though there was no immediate evidence that any crime took place. There were no obvious signs of criminal activity or forced entry, according to police.
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A social worker went to check on the child Monday because she had missed day care and found Toler dead in bed.
Police said that the child's survival was "remarkable" and that the girl had been alone in the home for several days with nothing to eat but cereal on the floor.
The child was taken to Connecticut Children's Medical Center for evaluation. She was dehydrated but otherwise in good condition, police said.
The Department of Children and Families was called in and has custody of the child. The state is working with family members to determine who the child will live with.
Neighbors told NBC Connecticut they were shocked by what happened.
Jermain Hawkins said he knew something was wrong when he saw police Monday.
"I heard about the daughter that was in there ya know so I just thank God everything went well on that part at least," he said.
Susan Tash, who lives in the same building, knew the mother and daughter and said that the victim was a single mother. Tash said she heard some unusual noise from the apartment recently but didn't think much of it at the time.
"I started hearing that about a week ago and it was really loud and the baby would scream and cry while the TV was on and then she would stop, but the TV still would be blasting," Tash said.
Tash said she had no idea something was wrong or she would have done something.
"I was horrified - I wish I went up there when that TV was blasting," Tash told NBC Connecticut.
Police are awaiting a report from the medical examiner on the cause of Toler's death.