The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has called for a review of the county’s child protection system after a 10-year-old boy died under suspicious circumstances — and after numerous reports of suspected child abuse.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Anthony Avalos died last Thursday after he was taken to the hospital from his Lancaster home with an apparent head injury on Wednesday night. His mother reportedly said the boy hit his head in a fall, but authorities appear to be skeptical of her claims. Anthony’s body was reportedly covered in cigarette burns.
No arrests have yet been made in connection with Anthony’s death.
A representative from the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) told CBS Los Angeles that the agency had received 13 calls about Anthony’s home between 2013 and 2016, and that case workers made weekly visits during a portion of 2014.
Further, family members and school officials reportedly called the county child abuse hotline at least 16 times regarding Anthony and his six siblings. The Los Angeles Times reports that callers claimed the children had been denied food, sexually abused, forced to eat from the trash, and dangled from a staircase upside down – among other allegations.
At the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors weekly board meeting on Tuesday, Supervisor Kathryn Barger read from a motion asking for law enforcement and social services agency to review Anthony’s case, characterizing his death as a “murder.”
“This was an innocent child who suffered unspeakable abuse,” Barger said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“You had teachers. You had family members. You had law enforcement come in contact …And yet Anthony is at the morgue.”
Anthony’s six siblings have been removed from the home.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates on this developing story when more information is available.