PALMDALE (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 4-year-old boy.
On Friday afternoon, Noah Cuatro’s parents called 911 to report the boy’s near-drowning in a community pool at the family’s home in Palmdale.
“It’s just really sad knowing that a little kid passed away,” Itsy Rodriguez, a neighbor, said. “It’s a community pool, so you would expect for a kid to be safe there.”
Noah was pronounced dead Saturday morning.
“The original call was the parents said they had observed their child had drowned in the pool,” Lt. Joe Mendoza of the LASD said. “However, once the child was transported to a local hospital, there was some trauma found on the body that was inconsistent with a drowning.”
Sheriff’s officials wouldn’t go into detail about the nature of Noah’s injuries because of the ongoing investigation. They did say the boy’s parents were questioned, but not arrested.
Investigators said there were previous reports about Noah to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. His three siblings have been taken into protective custody.
“At this point, we’re retrieving the case file as we speak, we’re going to be reviewing that case file and we’ll have more information in the next coming days,” Mendoza said.
Investigators will be looking into whether Noah had at one point been placed in foster care.
Noah’s death follows the high-profile deaths of two other Antelope Valley boys: 10-year-old Anthony Avalos of Lancaster and 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez of Palmdale. Anthony and Gabriel suffered abuse and torture and their cases prompted a state audit of DCFS.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger promised a thorough and transparent investigation into Noah’s death.
“It’s important to get the facts,” she said. “When you talk about it not happening quickly enough, this is a deep dive… as we do on all our cases, as we did on Gabriel, as we’ve done on Anthony.”