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Boy, 8, spent 10 days with dead mom

Posted by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 8:48 AM
  • 15 Replies

 

ROMULUS, Mich. - An 8-year-old boy lived for more than a week with the body of his dead mother before telling a concerned shopkeeper his mom was "in a better place," police said. Gaynell Tipado, 41, apparently died Jan. 9 in their apartment in the Detroit suburb of Romulus, and the boy survived in part by eating dried rice, butter and flour, authorities said.

The family moved to Michigan from Louisiana after surviving Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Foul play was not suspected in Tipado's death, and an autopsy was pending.

Lee Saco told The Associated Press that the boy and his mother came into Romulus Liquor regularly for about a year and a half. But four times during the past week the boy uncharacteristically walked about a block to the store by himself - sometimes through Arctic cold and other times wearing pajama bottoms.

"I questioned him, 'Where is your mom?'" Saco said when the boy first came into the store by himself to buy milk, chips, candy and bread with cash. During the next two visits, he said the boy bought a number of items, including bread.

Saco, who co-owns the store with his brother Sam, said he was curious from the beginning but his concern heightened on Monday when the boy tried to buy $34.80 worth of grocery items - including nacho cheese dip, a package each of processed ham and turkey, hamburger buns, milk, doughnuts and candy - with his mother's credit card.

Saco then asked the boy if he could speak to his mother. "Is she alive?" Saco asked the boy.

"She's in a better place," the boy replied, who later told Saco he'd tried to revive his mother by pushing on her chest in an apparent attempt at CPR.

"I sat him down, gave him chocolate milk. Then I called Romulus PD," Saco said.

Police arrived and took the boy home. They called Saco about 10 minutes later to tell him the boy's mother was dead.

The boy was home-schooled, has no siblings and his father died several years ago, authorities said. The child is in foster care while police try to locate his other relatives, Romulus police Lt. John Leacher said.

"It's sad. It's very hard. It's very unfortunate for him," said Lee Saco, 36, a father of three young children. "I just feel bad. What he had to see for 11 days.

"He came from a good home," Saco said.

Valentines Day 2009
Happily married for 11 yrs...

by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 8:48 AM
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Replies (1-10):
vallhk
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 8:51 AM

aww how sad,  can you imagine what was going through that little boys mind.  my heart goes out to him.  God bless his little soul.

brettsmomma
by Bronze Member on Jan. 21, 2009 at 8:58 AM

I am feeling so sad for him right now.. Poor little boy...


AmaliaD
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 8:58 AM

omg!!!  that is so sad!!  poor kid! 

xboxlulu
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:03 AM

crying

dhhaj
by Silver Member on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Very few stories on here make me cry but this one did.

adrianna1043
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Poor sweet baby.  I hope he finds a loving home.

Journey81
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:26 AM

Poor little guy.  What a sad thing he had to go through.

aapye
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:27 AM

poor kid :(.. how terribly sad..

Elyce225
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:29 AM

This kind of stuff always amazes me, I have an 8 year old and I think if I died in the house he wouldnt have a clue. He would play xbox and eat junk for a week. My heart goes out to this little boy, I wish I could take him.

emily351982
by on Jan. 21, 2009 at 9:31 AM

It's a shame he didn't know to go to someone or call someone for help.  Poor baby, taking care of himself for that long.  He had to be scared.

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