Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Woman Died While Feeding Infant Son, Who Died Choking On Food, Police Say

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

A woman and her 1-year-old son were found dead in a Hollywood apartment yesterday, along with a 2-year-old boy who had survived on his own for two days. Officers responded to the apartment in the 1600 block of North Fuller Avenue in Hollywood at about 3 p.m. after a man called police saying that he couldn't get a hold of his neighbor, who had been sick recently, and that he heard her son crying from inside her apartment. Police forced their way into the second-floor unit to find a woman in her 40s and a 1-year-old boy dead, as well as a 2-year-old boy who was alive, but suffering from dehydration, KTLA reports.

A friend of the woman's identified her as Erika Tomassian, an Australian woman who had moved to Los Angeles five years ago. Investigators believe Tomassian, who had recently come down with and been treated for bronchitis, may have collapsed due to complications from the illness while feeding the younger boy, who was found strapped into a high chair. The boy then choked on the food and died after Tomassian collapsed. Police say the pair had been deceased for two days before being found, leaving the 2-year-old on his own.

Estela Avendano, Tomassian's neighbor, told KTLA that Tomassian had adopted the two boys and that they were brothers named Michael, 1, and Nathan, 2.