Two North Texas boys, ages 5 and 7, had to fend for themselves for nearly a week, after their adoptive mother collapsed and died at home.
According to the local CBS-affiliate KTVT, teachers in the Forney Independent School District asked police to check on the two boys, who hadn’t been in class since Sept. 21, and whose mother couldn’t be reached.
“They knew something was not right,” Kristen Zastoupil, a spokesperson for the district said about the teachers, according to FOX 4. “They are used to communicating with this parent. And so when they didn’t get a response, they knew something was off,” Zastoupil added.
On Sunday, when officers arrived at their home in Talty, a small town 28 miles west of Dallas, they found the two brothers. They also found their mother, 71-year-old Connie Taylor, dead inside the house.
Police said that the boys told them that “their mom had passed out” and that she was laying on the floor.
They tried to call for help, but didn’t have the password to use their cell phone.
The two boys — who had been in foster care, but whose adoption by Taylor had recently been finalized — didn’t know their neighbors, and were scared to go outside the house.
So, they just stayed in, fending for themselves and surviving by eating food from the pantry and the refrigerator.
According to police, the children appeared to be healthy.
An autopsy is still pending, but Taylor is believed to have died from natural causes.
According to KTVT, the boys are now back in the care of Children Protection Services. One of Taylor’s adult children is working with the agency on getting custody of the two.