When family members called the house after three days, their call was picked up by the 5-year old girl who said her parents had been asleep for a long time.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on October 25, 2020. It has since been updated.
Trigger warning: This article contains details that may be distressing to some readers.
A five-year-old girl was left all alone to look after her 1-year-old baby brother after their parents died from eating poisoned pickles. Three days had passed since the parents, described as the perfect couple by those who knew them, had died in bed, tragically leaving the two children to fend for themselves.
For three days, the two young children slept beside the blackened corpses of their parents—Alexander Yakunin 30, and Viktoria, 25. Their deaths came to light only when family members started growing increasingly worried about not having heard from the couple. Alexander and Viktoria had also missed a family gathering, after which family members made a phone call to the couple's house in Bolshoye Kuzomkino. It was the couple's 5-year-old daughter who picked up, as reported by The Sun.
On the phone, the little girl said that the parents had been asleep for a long time, and she even said that her father's body had "turned all black." She also mentioned that she was the one looking after her 1-year-old brother. The call with the five-year-old girl was followed by Alexander's sister, Natalia Bakulina, immediately rushing to the couple's apartment. Thankfully, the little girl was able to let her aunt inside the house. Upon entering the house, 36-year-old Natalia was exposed to the devastating scene that took place in the house. "I ran in… and saw everything," said Natalia who found the bodies of her brother and her sister-in-law lying lifeless in their bed. "I fell down and screamed," she recalled.
Shocked by what she saw in the apartment, Natalia immediately informed the police before dressing up the children and finally getting them out of the apartment, according to the Daily Mail.
Two children slept next to blackened corpses of their parents for 3 DAYS after they ‘died from poisoned pickles’ https://t.co/Y8xkbiNI9C— Newsdaily (@Newsdailyng1) October 24, 2020
The exact cause of death for the gas plant worker and his wife was not confirmed. However, a jar of homemade pickles was found open in the kitchen, and it is suspected that the pickles may have caused severe food poisoning. The day before their deaths, Alexander's grandmother had given the jar of homemade pickles to him, and it is now suspected that the botulinum toxin from the pickles might have had something to do with what happened to the couple. Not only can botulinum toxin cause paralysis, but in extreme cases, it can even cause respiratory failure and lead to death.
The possibility of alcohol poisoning having killed the parents is less likely as one of the couple's neighbors, Mikhail Khomchenko revealed that Alexander and Viktoria don't drink alcohol. The neighbor also called them the "perfect couple" and said, "I have only positive feelings about them." As the family mourns the couple's death, Viktoria's mum Galina Yasturbenko told 78.ru, as quoted by The Sun, "They said we must bury them in sealed coffins. We are shocked. Nobody knows what happened."
Two young children found in flat with lifeless bodies of their parents who 'died from eating poisoned pickles' https://t.co/qT6y62pHvj— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) October 23, 2020
Meanwhile, the 5-year-old girl and 1-year-old toddler, bereaved of their parents, are being looked after by Alexander's father. A similar incident took place in Houston, where an 8-year-old boy fell asleep right next to his mother without realizing that she had died. The mother-of-three named Ashley M. Garcia, who was pregnant with her fourth child, was beaten to death by her boyfriend, Alexis Armando Rojas-Mendez. Alexis managed to convince the little boy that his mother was just sleeping and he shouldn't disturb him, leading to the boy lying next to his mother's body without realizing she had passed away. Investigators found Ashley's dead body the next day, after which a search for the boyfriend ensued.
Representational Image (Source: Getty Images | Photo by Westend61)