WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A Detroit woman has been charged in the death of her 3-year-old son after police found the boy's decomposing body in a basement freezer.
The 31-year-old woman is charged with first-degree murder, child abuse and torture and concealing the death of an individual, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Sunday. She was scheduled to appear in court in Detroit on Sunday.
Detroit police officers and members of Child Protective Services discovered the body while conducting a welfare check at the house where five other children lived, Police Chief James White told reporters.
It was not immediately clear how or when the boy died or how long his body had been in the freezer. White did not describe the state of decomposition.
“This case has shocked me, shocked our investigators,” he said. “But the discovery would not have been possible without the officers' intuition. When they talked to the occupant of the home they recognized there was something not right about the conversation and the way this occupant was communicating with them. Initially, the conversation was just to push the officers away as if there was nothing going on."
The officers contacted a supervisor and later found the body in the freezer, White added.
“We’re getting support for the officers,” he said. "That’s something that no one should have to see. The other kids that were in the home, just imagine what they must have gone through and what they must have endured being inside of that home.”
“There is no indication, at this time, what they knew,” White added.
An autopsy will attempt to determine the manner and cause of the boy's death.
The other children have been turned over to Child Protective Services. White described living conditions inside the home as “poor.”
Authorities have not released the mother’s name. White said investigators would look into whether she had previous contacts with police or Child Protective Services.
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