SYLMAR (CBSLA.com) — New documents obtained by KCAL9 detail previous allegations of abuse in the case of a now-deceased 8-year-old Palmdale boy who investigators say was tortured and beaten to death.
Gabriel Fernandez suffered a skull fracture, several broken ribs and severe burn marks over various spots of his body before he was hospitalized last month, according to the LA County Sheriff’s Department. He died from his injuries May 24.
The boy’s 29-year-old mother, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Isauro Aguirre, have been charged in his murder.
KCAL9’s Christy Fajardo reports a 121-page file of prior referrals and autopsy reports released by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services reveals what social workers knew before Gabriel’s death and what his siblings reported went on in the home.
In a report dated May 28, 2013, one of the boy’s siblings appears to recount the events that occurred just before Los Angeles County Fire Department was called to the family’s Palmdale residence after receiving a call about a boy who was not breathing.
“Siblings reported that he and his 12-year-old sibling were wrestling and chasing each other when (redacted) tripped, fell, and hit his left temple on a table in the bedroom,” reads part of the document.
“Mother and boyfriend were reportedly informed of what happened and placed (redacted) in the shower to wake him up,” the passage continues.
There is also a previously unknown allegation of abuse.
“Child (redacted) disclosed that his mother hits him with the buckle end of the belt when he can’t finish his homework, (redacted). Sometimes bleeds from being hit with the belt buckle,” reads a report dated October 30, 2013.
“(Child) informed the caller that he has bruises on his back where his mother hit him… (redacted) was worried that his mother was going to hit him later today because he didn’t understand his homework,” it continues.
The documents also show Gabriel’s mother appeared to have confessed to hitting him with a belt buckle.
The mother reportedly stated she did not know how else to discipline her son.
A public memorial service for Gabriel is scheduled for this evening at the Church of the Foothills in Sylmar.
Fernandez and Aguirre remain in custody.