Family of Abused Echo Park Boy Found Dead in Closet Reported 6 Times Prior to Killing

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Veronica Aguilar at a hearing in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom in Aug. 2016. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Days apart in 2012, two teachers contacted the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services about a young boy named Yonatan Daniel Aguilar.

One reported that the boy was suffering from general neglect. Another said he had a black eye.

County social workers interviewed school employees, including a soccer coach and a special education teacher. And, because it involved an allegation of possible physical abuse, the black eye was cross-reported to Los Angeles police, who also looked into it.

County officials and police determined the boy to be living in a safe environment. Four years later, the child was found dead in a closet, appearing to suffer from physical abuse and malnutrition. Several law enforcement sources told The Times that Yonatan, 11, was severely underweight with festering wounds and healed injuries that showed signs of long-term abuse.

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