ANTELOPE VALLEY (CBSLA) — The parents of 4-year-old Noah Cuatro, who died under suspicious circumstances in July, were charged Monday with murder.
Jose Maria Cuatro Jr., 27, and Ursala Elaine Juarez, 25, both of Palmdale, each face one count of murder and torture in the boy’s death.
Cuatro and Juarez called 911 to report Noah was drowning in a pole at an apartment complex on July 5. He was rushed to a local hospital, but died the next morning. Hospital staff found signs of trauma on the boy’s body, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Noah’s death prompted an investigation that resulted in the removal of his three siblings from the home and revelation that the Department of Children and Family Services had investigated several reports of abuse in the home. In May – just two months before his death – a court ordered Noah to be removed from his parents’ custody, but never was. His parents were arrested last week.
Cuatro and Juarez are scheduled to be arraigned Monday. Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $3 million.
If convicted as charged, they face a possible maximum sentence of 32 years to life in state prison.