LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The parents of 4-year-old Noah Cuatro say he drowned in a community pool at the family’s home in Palmdale – but his great-grandmother says he was abused and there is evidence to prove it.

Noah died at a hospital Saturday after nearly drowning. Sheriff’s officials are investigating the death as suspicious after his body displayed signs of trauma that was inconsistent with drowning.

“It was reported that he died of a drowning. We’ve already confirmed that is categorically false,” attorney Brian Claypool said, against a backdrop of protestors at the Department of Children and Family Services. “His body was badly bruised. His body was bruised That tells us that it’s likely that somebody beat him up and that might have been the cause of his death.”

Claypool represents Noah’s great-grandmother, Eva Hernandez, who says the boy begged her to not send him back to his parents.

Noah’s parents have been questioned by sheriff’s investigators but not arrested. Hernandez said she cared for him when he was taken from his mother as an infant. Noah was returned to his parents last November. Two months before his death, he was ordered by a court to be removed from his parents’ home.

The boy’s death puts a harsh spotlight back on the Department of Children and Family Services, which has come under fire in recent years after the deaths of Anthony Avalos and Gabriel Fernandez.

“Noah Cuatro should have never gone back to his parents’ house at two years old. A doctor calls it in and says, ‘This little boy is starving to death’, and this spineless, heartless agency sends that little boy back into the dungeon? And now we’re planning a funeral,” Claypool said.

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