Arraignment Delayed for Pair in Boy’s Torture Death
LANCASTER, Calif. (KTLA) — Arraignment was continued on Tuesday for mother and her boyfriend for allegedly torturing and killing the woman’s 8-year-old son.
Pearl Fernandez, 29, and Isauro Aguirre, 32, were charged last month with one count each of capital murder and a special circumstance of torture.
They were both expected in a Lancaster courtroom on Tuesday morning.
Authorities responded to a call about a child needing help at their apartment in the 200 block of East Avenue Q-10 on May 22.
Fernandez’s son, Gabriel, was found unconscious, with markings around his ankles suggesting he may have been tied up, police said.
He was also found to have cigarette burns on his body, a skull fracture and several broken ribs.
Gabriel was transported to an area hospital and then airlifted to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he died two days later.
Two other siblings who were found in the apartment were taken into protective custody.
During an interview, Aguirre admitted causing the injuries to the child, investigators said.
The child’s mother admitted that she was present during the assault and did not intervene on behalf of the boy, police said.
Meantime, the boy’s teacher said there were plenty of warning signs and that more should have been done to protect him.
“One time, he told me that she shot him in the face with a BB gun,” Jennifer Garcia said.
“The mom said, ‘He’s going back with his grandma, I can’t handle him anymore,’ and we all thought that doesn’t sound right,” she said.
“We asked the deputy to go out and do a welfare check. I don’t know where that investigation went,” Garcia said.
Records indicated that there had been more than six visits by social workers to the Fernandez home over the last decade.
There was an investigation with the L.A. County Department of Child and Family Services that had been open for some 60 days.