Toddler found inside Ottawa apartment with dead body

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Ottawa police are investigating how long a child was inside a Mechanicsville apartment with a dead body, which a neighbour says was his mother's.

Police said they were called to the six-storey apartment building on Burnside Avenue, east of Tunney's Pasture, just before 11 a.m. Wednesday after people checking fire alarms found a woman's body inside one of the units.

A child was found alive in that same unit, police said, and was turned over to the Children's Aid Society.

Police said Thursday afternoon they won't know when or how the woman died until they hear back from the coroner, but foul play is not suspected.

A lone officer was posted outside the sealed-off unit when CBC News visited the floor Thursday afternoon.

A woman living beside the unit where this happened said the child is the woman's two-year-old son.

"He was in a loaded diaper, the apartment was trashed — [the mother] kept her home immaculate," she said about what she saw Wednesday morning.

"… That little boy was calling for his mom. The paramedics and police came, they cleaned him up and took care of him."

She said she hadn't heard anything from the unit since Saturday and the mother and son had lived there about a year and a half.

Ottawa Community Housing, which manages the building, said in a statement they can't comment on the circumstances of what happened because of the police investigation, but they're "deeply saddened" by it.

"[We] will continue to work closely with our partners to provide support for tenants that may require assistance dealing with the event," said CEO Stéphane Giguère in the statement.

"We continue to make the wellbeing of our tenants a top priority."

Giguère said the child is now safe.

The Children's Aid Society of Ottawa said they can't talk about how the child is doing nor the state he was in when he was found for confidentiality reasons.