Migdalia Morales and her son lived with his four other brothers at 976 Tinton Ave., in the Morrisania section of the Bronx.
Morales said her son Juan "J.J." Sanchez was in the hallway of the building, a combination of shelter and rental apartments, on Sunday when she thinks he drank from a malt liquor can someone had left on his steps. She also thinks he may have eaten rat poisoning left behind by exterminators.
Later, he began foaming at the mouth and had trouble breathing. He was rushed to Lincoln hospital and then to Columbia Presbyterian where he died Monday morning.
"He was a happy baby," said Morales. "He loved his brothers. He was just J.J."
According to the office of the medical examiner, the cause of death is pending further study, and a cause of death has not yet been determined.
J.J.'s four brothers are in the care of an uncle. J.J.'s funeral is planned for Thursday.