Warning: The following story contains graphic descriptions of torture and abuse.
LOS ANGELES – Public records released Aug 18. indicated the traumatic torture and death of a young 8-year-old boy who was allegedly beaten to death by his own mother.
Grand jury testimony of 800 pages provided graphic examination of the abuse of Antelope Valley boy Gabriel Fernandez who died in May of 2013. The incident prompted discourse over the LA County foster-care system because child welfare workers failed to remove the child after the child’s schoolteachers submitted many reports. Steps have been taken to fire two social works and two supervisors. Others involved received letters of warning or reprimand.
The child’s mother phoned police on May 22, 2013 to report that her son has ceased breathing. Pearl Fernandez told sheriff’s deputies that Gabriel had fallen and hit his head on a dresser. However, when paramedics arrived they found Gabriel to have a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets imbedded into his lung and groin. Gabriel died two days later.
Pearl had two other children, both minors, who report that Gabriel was forced to eat cat feces, rotten spinach, his own vomit, forced to sleep in a locked cabinet and wasn’t let out to use the bathroom. Pearl and her boyfriend Izauro Aguirre would call the child “gay” and punish him whenever he played with dolls. They also forced him to wear girls’ clothes to school, the other siblings said.
Pearl and Aguirre heavily abused the boy for eight months, reports say, using every inch of his body as target practice. They are both in jail awaiting charges on special circumstance of torture. They have both pleaded not guilty.