Naked, starving, bound.
A woman in Hsinchu, Taiwan was horrified to find her son tied up on the balcony of her ex-husband's rental apartment on Sept 22.
Cable ties were used to restrain the three-year-old.
Without any clothes on, it was clear that the boy was in bad shape. Bruises covered his body and his ribs were showing.
He was so hungry, he tried to eat his own excrement, Taiwanese media reported.
The toddler was later taken to a hospital for treatment and returned to his mother's care.
The woman said she had decided to check in on her sons who were living with their father and his partner, after her daughter told her that she often dreamt of her younger brother dying.
She was also concerned over her children's living conditions at her ex-husband's after noticing bruises on her younger son during previous visits.
The boy's father, 29, admitted that he had disciplined the disobedient child by hitting his buttocks and thighs using his bare hands and slippers.
The toddler's parents are divorced because his father had an extramarital affair. They have three children together - boys aged three and four and a nine-year-old girl.
According to Taiwan News, authorities have begun to investigate the case of child abuse.
His four-year-old brother did not show signs of mistreatment, according to preliminary investigations.
The plight of the toddler prompted locals to ask the city government to help the children and remove them from their father's custody.
Meanwhile, non-profit organization Taiwan Children's Rights is rendering assistance to the boys' mother.