LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Gruesome details have emerged in the death of an 11-year-old Echo Park boy.
Veronica Aguilar, 39, was charged Thursday with murdering her son, whose body was found in a closet at their home. She appeared in a downtown Los Angeles courthouse on one count each of murder and child abuse resulting in death.
Police responded Monday afternoon to the home on Santa Ynez Street after the boy’s stepfather reported his son had died.
Authorities located the boy in the fetal position wrapped in a blanket in the closet so small he couldn’t extend his feet. It appeared he had been dead for several hours, detectives said.
Detectives said the boy was emaciated, had little hair and open sores on his body, all signs of years of abuse. The condition of the boy was so disturbing that counseling was offered to those who were at the crime scene. Officials hope to release results of an autopsy Friday.
According to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, the boy has been identified as Yonaton Daniel Aguilar.
His mother was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of child endangerment that resulted in death.
CBS2’s Kara Finnstrom reported there were earlier reports of possible abuse and neglect, which raises questions as to why the child wasn’t removed from the home prior to his death.
The boy had not attended classes in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Detectives are investigating whether he spent time in Mexico, where they believe his biological father may be.
The Los Angeles Times reports Aguilar has two other children, who have since been placed in protective care.
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