A mute and autistic four year old clung to his mother’s rotting corpse for two weeks before starving to death in their London flat.
Chadrack Mbala Mulo was too disabled to call for help when his mother Esther died after an epileptic fit at their Hackney home in October.
The windows were open but neighbours thought the stench of Mrs Mulo’s rotting corpse was her Congolese cooking.
One said: ‘It has haunted me for a long time, that I could have helped, and I didn’t know.
‘Chadrack needed feeding and watering. He passed away because he was hungry, not because something happened to him.’
The 35-year-old mother told the Hackney Gazette: ‘I keep thinking to myself: “Did I hear him? Did I hear him next door?” But he never spoke. Never.
He just hid behind his mum and held onto her clothes. He couldn’t even call out or speak through the letterbox.’
Chadrack was found two days after he died of malnutrition and dehydration.
Coroner Mary Hassel said: ‘Chadrack had learning difficulties and, when his mother died unexpectedly at home on 1 or 2 October 2016, he did not know how to call for help or feed himself properly.’
Staff at his Morningside Primary had tried to call his mother and visited the family home twice but could not make contact.
The coroner added: ‘They could not gain access to the block of flats where Chadrack and his mother lived.
‘The likelihood is that Chadrack lived alone in the family home for over a fortnight after his mother’s death.
‘He was found a couple of days after his own death, with his arms around her body. She was by then very decomposed.’
Janet Taylor, the headteacher at Morningside, said the school had at the time followed its procedure for checking on children missing from school, reports Schools Week.
“Chadrack’s tragic death has devastated all those who knew him at our school. We will remember him as a happy little boy and the circumstances of his death are heartbreaking.”She added.