The stepmother of a 16-year-old Pomona boy has been charged with murder in the teenager’s death earlier this week, and the boy’s father is facing a charge of felony child abuse, police said Thursday.
Jessica Grajeda, 35, is suspected of assaulting the teen just before officers were called to a home in the 600 block of Del Rosa Place about a person needing CPR just after 12 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Pomona Police Department. The victim was not breathing when officers and first responders arrived, police said. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
George Almaraz was identified as the victim by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
A cause of death has not been released.
Catalina Alvarez, the boy’s biological mother, said she hadn’t seen her son in 7 years since ending her relationship with the boy’s father.
“They wouldn’t let him call me, they told me he didn’t want to talk to me,” Alvarez said.
She thought her son was fine until she received the call from her mother about his death.
The boy’s 32-year-old father, George Luis Almaraz, is accused of not putting a stop to abuse by Grajeda or seeking medical attention for the teen — even though he was aware of the repeated abuse, police said. The teen had received significant injuries from physical abuse at the hands of Grajeda in the past, according to police.
Both parents have been taken into custody, police said.
Authorities found five other children inside the home, who range from ages 1 to 13, police said. They were all taken into protective custody and turned over to the Department of Children and Family Services. Police said it does not appear any other children were being physically abused.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney filed murder and child abuse charges against Grajeda and one count of felony child abuse against the victim’s father Thursday, according to police.
KTLA is awaiting a written statement from the Department of Children and Family Services.
No other details have been released as the investigation continues.