Two children are dead and another is lucky to be alive in what Kent police are calling one of the worst cases of child abuse they have ever seen.
Police went to the apartment Sunday after they were told by the children's paternal grandmother that she was not able to get in touch with anyone there, and inside they discovered the emaciated bodies of two baby boys.
One was 7-week-old Raiden Robinson, who was found in a bassinet, and the other was his 16-month-old brother, Justice Robinson, who was in a crib, police said.
Both boys died of dehydration and malnutrition, and the King County medical examiner's office has classified the two deaths as homicides. Police arrested the children's mother, Marie Robinson, 36.
Robinson didn't feed or take care of the children, essentially neglecting them to death, police said.
"A 7-week-old child is totally helpless, they depend totally on parenting. He had no chance," Officer Paul Petersen said.
Police also found a 2-year-old boy in the apartment. A neighbor who saw authorities carrying out the child told ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV in Seattle the toddler was so skinny that it looked as if his chest had "caved in."
"He was so thin his chest and stomach were caved in. He was the most emaciated," said Adrienne Graham, who lived above the Robinsons.
Child Welfare Agency Had Been Called
From the smell in the apartment, it seemed likely that Robinson and the toddler had been living with the bodies for as long as a week, Petersen said.
"I've heard comments from both officers and detectives that this was a scene that was extremely difficult to deal with," the officer said. "It was very difficult to be there and see what had happened to these children."
Child Protective Services has an open investigation on the family for neglect allegations, but had not visited since last February, KOMO reported.
According to CPS records, the investigation in February found the complaint against Robinson was unfounded, and two earlier complaints were not considered serious enough to be carried further, though they were referred to public health nurses.
The mother appeared totally calm and still after the police arrived, said Graham, who witnessed the arrest.
Robinson, who was arrested for investigation of homicide and criminal mistreatment, has been held in jail under a suicide watch and was scheduled to be in court today, police said. Child Protective Services has placed the toddler with his paternal grandmother, KOMO-TV reported.
Neighbors Never Saw the Children
People who live in the same apartment complex said they barely knew the family.
"There was never any lights on in there, I never heard any music, the television or anything," Graham said.
Graham never saw anyone go in or out of the apartment and she couldn't tell there were three young children inside.
"I never heard a baby cry, never. I only knew that they had the 3-year-old toddler," she added.
Another neighbor, Charmaine Dyson, told The Associated Press that she had seen Robinson around the apartment complex with a man.
"They never looked happy together," she said. "She always had her head down, and the other day when I saw her -- even though we always said hello to each other -- she didn't want to talk to me."
According to The Associated Press, court records state that Robinson was divorced in 2001 and her former husband won custody of the four children they had together.
Since the divorce, the records obtained by the AP showed, she moved from Texas to California and then to Washington, where she moved twice before settling in Kent.