2-year-old boy survived 10 days alone in apartment after mom was killed

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OTTAWA —  Detectives said a 2-year-old boy managed to survive 10 days alone in an apartment after his mother was killed.

The Ottawa Citizen reports that the child was discovered during a routine fire alarm inspection at the apartment building on March 22. The door was unlocked and when someone checked to make sure everyone was out of the unit during the drill, they found the boy alongside his dead mother.

The death of the 35-year-old mother, was considered suspicious where police later charged Mohamad S. Barkhadle, 31, with first-degree murder. Police believe the woman was killed on March 12.

The night before, Marcy Chabot, who lived next door, told the Ottawa Citizen that she heard banging then footsteps running down the hallway around 11 p.m. She also said it sounded like someone was being slapped.

“There was about two minutes of banging in the apartment, then nothing,” said Chabot.

The banging was on the mother’s living room wall, which adjoined the bedroom wall in Chabot’s apartment. The walls in the apartments in the building on Burnside Avenue are thin and sound travels easily, Chabot said.

Chabot said the woman often banged on the wall of her apartment so she didn’t take any notice of the banging that night.

“It was unusual only because it lasted two minutes. I didn’t know she was in danger or I would have helped her,” said Chabot.

Over the next few days, her neighbor’s apartment was quiet, said Chabot. She said she doesn’t remember hearing a child crying.

On March 22 around 11 a.m., a maintenance man arrived to check smoke detectors. A few minutes later, the maintenance man emerged from the apartment.

“The guy came running out, and he was freaking. He seemed to be in shock,” said Chabot.

He began making calls, said Chabot. Paramedics quickly arrived and the boy was led into the hallway, where several neighbors had gathered. They were soon running to get supplies from their apartments.

“One woman ran down the hallway to get a diaper, I got some wipes. (Paramedics) asked me if I had any crackers.” Chabot found a pair of her own socks to give the boy.

The boy, who was always a quiet child, appeared calm, she said. He was dressed in pajamas. “It was surreal. He wasn’t upset or anything.”

From the open door of the apartment, Chabot could see several sippy cups on the coffee table in the living room. The child was an independent little boy who knew how to get food from the fridge and turn on the TV, said Chabot.

“It’s a good thing the mother never put him in a playpen or crib. He would have died, because he wouldn’t have had access to food or drink,” said Chabot.