The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday ordered officials in charge of child protection to examine shortcomings in the system in the wake of a 10-year-old boy’s death last week.
Anthony Avalos was found unresponsive at his family’s home in Lancaster on June 20 with severe head injuries and cigarette burns covering his body. He died Thursday.
The Times reported Sunday that at least 16 calls had been made to the county’s child abuse hotline and to police before Anthony died. Callers alleged that he or his six siblings had been denied food and water, beaten, sexually abused, dangled upside-down from a staircase, forced to crouch for hours, locked in small spaces with no access to the bathroom, and forced to eat from the trash.
“This was an innocent child who suffered unspeakable abuse,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger said at the board’s weekly meeting, describing the death as “murder.”
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