Sacramento police have found a 2-year-old boy alive nearly a week after his mother died leaving him alone at home.

Officers said Thursday that the toddler survived by eating food he found within his reach.

A Sacramento County Child Protective Services worker went to the house to check on the family because the mother suffered from a chronic illness. The worker called 911 when no one answered the door and she could hear the boy crying inside.

Police and firefighters forced their way into the house and found the body of the 36-year-old woman. Officers say she may have been dead for six days.

The cause of death won't be known until an autopsy is performed.

Police said the boy was being tested and will be placed in protective custody.