"(Kelly) was the greatest mother," Farley said through sobs Monday. "She loved her child, and she'd never leave him."
Police said Kelly's body was found Sunday afternoon by her brother along with her son, 1-year-old Cody, living alone in the woman's apartment on Lotus Drive near Gratiot and Joy. She may have been dead for several days.
"(The victim's brother) hadn't heard from (his sister) since Wednesday and went to check on her," said Capt. Richard Maierle of the Clinton Township Police. "He had a key and let himself in. He found his 1-year-old nephew alone, just walking around the apartment."
The man then called 911, officials said.
Police found no signs of forced entry into the apartment or foul play, Maierle said. The child was taken to a hospital to be examined. Officials with the state's Department of Human Services placed the boy in his uncle's care temporarily. He's doing well, relatives said.
"I can't talk about this," Helen Farley, 52, said. "I lost my father in October, and now I've lost my daughter."
She said she didn't know how long her daughter had been dead, but wonders why neighbors didn't call police if they noticed anything strange.
"Didn't they hear the baby crying?" she asked. "Why didn't they knock on the door? (My grandson) sat there eating his own feces and cat food," Farley said.
She said Kelly, 31, battled diabetes since age 16 and against her doctor's advice, gave birth to Cody about a year ago.
"She always loved kids, and she wanted a child of her own," Farley said.
An autopsy has been conducted.