An 11-year-old boy whose mother faces charges of murder and child abuse weighed only 34 pounds when he was found dead in a closet at his home in Echo Park late last month.
Details about the condition of the body of Yonatan Daniel Aguilar when it was found were disclosed in more than 100 pages of heavily redacted case records and police reports released to the Los Angeles Times by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services this week.
The records reported Thursday show that Yonatan’s risk of abuse at home had been marked as “high” four times from 2009 to 2012 by a county program intended to guide social workers’ level of intervention, The Times reported. But he was never removed from the home.
When police officers removed the mirrored doors behind which the boy had died hours earlier, they found a crumpled blanket on the ground, obscuring his emaciated body — pale and stiff, curled in a fetal position, with cuts on his face, according to The Times.
One officer lifted a corner of the blanket and two cockroaches crawled out. The child was so tiny that officers thought he was 6 years old or so — not 11, the newspaper reported.
His mother, Veronica Aguilar, 39, pleaded not guilty last week to charges of murder and child abuse resulting in Yonatan’s death. She’s being held in lieu of $2 million bail, with her next court appearance set for Oct. 20.
Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Juvenile Division told The Times last month that although allegations of physical abuse regarding Yonatan were reported to both the Department of Children and Family Services and police, no police investigation was launched. They declined to provide details.
Yonatan’s autopsy report has been put on a security hold by law enforcement, and the cause of death could not be released, Ed Winter of the L.A. county coroner’s office told The Times.
—City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: