PALMDALE (CBSLA.com) — A Palmdale mother and her boyfriend have been arrested in connection with an ongoing child abuse investigation while her 8-year-old son fights for his life in the hospital.
The boy’s mother, 29-year-old Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, 33-year-old Isauro Aguirre, were arrested Thursday after police say the child was beaten so badly inside their Palmdale apartment that he is now in critical condition.
“He sustained a skull fracture. He’s got several broken ribs and several severe burns on his body in various spots,” LA County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Brian Hudson told KCAL9′s Kristine Lazar.
Investigators say the boy’s mother called 911 Wednesday night. When the fire department arrived to the residence, in the area of 300 East Avenue Q-10, he wasn’t breathing.
Sheriff’s Deputy John Cereoli told City News Service deputies were notified because of the nature of the boy’s injuries, which were “consistent with being restrained and tortured”.
The boy was taken to Children’s Hospital, where doctors are treating him for his bodily injuries. The Sheriff’s Department described the injuries as so severe there is concern he won’t survive.
Sheriff’s deputies spent Thursday removing evidence from the family’s apartment.
Neighbors told Lazar they have seen social workers at the residence in the past few months. Palmdale resident Claudia Sergoviano said whenever she saw the boy he was covered in bruises.
“He would wear glasses and a hat. His face was swollen, purple and green, and scratches,” she said. “Ever since they moved in he would always either be limping and have bruises on his feet, on his legs.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Children’s Services could not confirm or deny if there was an open investigation into the home due to state laws.
However, Sgt. Hudson did confirm the Sheriff’s Department and DCS had been to the residence in the past and that his department is investigating the nature of those referrals.
Hudson also said the boy’s two older siblings are now in protective custody. They did not show any signs of abuse, according to authorities.
Fernandez, who deputies say was present for the abuse but failed to intervene, is being held on felony child abuse charges. Her bail has been set at $100,000.
The woman’s boyfriend, Aguirre, is being held on attempted murder. His bail has been set at $1 million.
The investigation is ongoing.