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Mother and baby found dead in Hollywood; toddler found alive

Autopsies were pending today on the bodies of a woman and her 1-year-old son, but police said foul play was not believed involved in the deaths of the pair, who were found in her Hollywood apartment with her surviving toddler son.

Officers went to the family's apartment in the 1600 block of North Fuller Avenue about 3 p.m. Monday to investigate a report of a child screaming, LAPD Officer Matt Ludwig said.

The landlord had become concerned and called 911. Police said the woman -- identified by the coroner's office as 43-year-old Arek Tomassian -- was found on the floor and appeared to have died from natural causes.

The year-old boy was strapped into a seat as if he was being fed, and he appeared to have choked on food, police said. The coroner's office identified him as Michael Norton.

The surviving 2-year-old was taken to a hospital for treatment of dehydration and was listed in stable condition. He may have been alone in the apartment for as long as four days.

"The two brothers had just been adopted by the woman," Ludwig said. Autopsies were pending to confirm the cause of the deaths. Police said the mother had recently been hospitalized for breathing difficulties and had
been diagnosed with bronchitis. A friend tried to call her to check up on her, and when the woman didn't answer the phone, the friend asked the landlord to check on her.

The toddler was placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services, which will make arrangements to place him in an adoptive home, Ludwig said.

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