Two men responding to a Craigslist ad to rent a room in Bellevue, Wash., showed up at the house only to discover the homeowner, a 35-year-old man, had died.
His 4-year-old son answered the door, telling them he couldn’t wake up his father.
“Hopefully he didn’t see too much and doesn’t realize what happened,” Bellevue police spokeswoman Marcia Harnden told ABC news affiliate KOMO on Saturday. “It’s never an easy thing to see a dead body, especially when it has maybe been there for a day or two.”
Police estimated the man had been dead for at least 24 hours. The boy was hungry and scared, but did not appear to be physically harmed. He is now with his grandparents.
The renters, Matei Craciun and Daniel Anca, told KCPQ they had initially hoped the father was alive.
“When [the boy] said there’s blood coming out of his [father's] nostrils, we thought maybe he’s having a heart attack or something,” said Craciun.
But when they saw the body, they knew it was too late.
“He checked the pulse,” said Anca, referring to his friend, Craciun. “I couldn’t even check the pulse. The way the body looked, I knew he was deceased.”
The King County Medical Examiner is conducting an autopsy on the man’s body today.
No foul play is suspected.
“I think it was like a random series of event that’s, you know, everything happens for a reason,” Craciun told KCPQ. ”Who knows what might have happened to the kid if we didn’t find out about this place.”