A Jewish New Year celebration ended in tragedy Monday night after a toddler from upstate New York drowned to death in a toilet while visiting family in Brooklyn.
The 14-month-old boy identified as Mendi Altman was found lying face down in the toilet bowl by his 13-year-old cousin at around 11pm inside his aunt’s home in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn.
Altman, who lived in the town of Monsey in Rockland County with his parents and six siblings, was visiting the family of his mother’s sister for the holiday of Rosh Hashanah celebrating the new 5773rd year.
Little Mendi was unconscious and unresponsive when he rushed to Maimonides Medical Center at around 12:40am, according to Lohud.com. He was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Police said the boy’s body showed no signs of trauma, and no criminality is suspected in what authorities believe was a tragic accident.
A man who identified himself as Mendi’s uncle told the New York Post that the family was shattered by their loss.
‘They’re mourning,’ he said.
The Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the boy’s death an accidental drowning following an examination of the body. No autopsy was performed on the child because cutting into the body is prohibited under Jewish religious laws.
The child’s remains have been returned to the grieving family for burial, according to official. In Orthodox Judaism, interment usually takes place within 24 hours of a person’s death.