LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — New details are emerging in the case of an Antelope Valley woman accused along with her boyfriend of torturing and beating her 8-year-old son to death.
The Los Angeles Times obtained internal documents that show at least six complaints of child abuse and brutality were made to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. According to these confidential documents, county authorities failed to intervene, even despite calls from the young boy’s teacher.
Gabriel Fernandez, 8, was transported to a local hospital after the Los Angeles County Fire Department was called out to the 200 block of East Avenue Q-10 on a report of a boy who was not breathing. He died on May 24.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the boy was tortured by Aguirre, suffering a broken skull and ribs as well as cigarette burns, abrasions on his ankles and bruises all over his body.
L.A. Times Reporter Garrett Therolf said that despite many complaints and hotline calls, the case got little attention from the department.
“His teacher in particular said day after day he was coming in with marks and bruises,” said Therolf. “She just couldn’t get the attention of the social worker.”
In his article, Therolf reports that the 8-year-old had previously written a letter contemplating suicide.
“According to the documents we obtained, social workers did not make first contact with the family for 20 days after that urgent call came in.” Therolf told KCAL9’s Dave Bryan.
Therolf said that the files show that as of Thursday, an open complaint had been pending for over 60 days.
“The documents portray a general lack of urgency and a lack of care for this boy’s welfare,” he said.
Therolf said it’s not out of the question that criminal negligence charges against DCFS could be filed, though he said no such charges have been brought in recent in history in Los Angeles.
Pearl Fernandez, 29, and 32-year-old Isauro Aguirre appeared in court Tuesday afternoon after their arrests Thursday in the death of Gabriel Fernandez.
The two are charged with capital murder and are being held without bail.