Updates on the investigation into the beating death of an 8-year-old Palmdale boy

County Documents Detail Palmdale Boy's Beating Death

The county released new documents in the death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernadez.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Family, friends and strangers gathered in Sylmar Wednesday night for an emotional farewell to 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez. The boy's mother and her boyfriend allegedly admitted to fatally torturing him, authorities say. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on June 12, 2013. (Published Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013)

    As family and friends prepared to attend a memorial service for 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez on Wednesday evening, the Department of Child and Family Services released documents that reveal how the boy's beating death could have been avoided.

    When paramedics responded to the boy's Palmdale home on May 22, they found he had suffered severe trauma, including a fractured skull, three broken ribs, two teeth knocked out, burns to his skin and BB pellets embedded in his lung.

    Boy's Torture Death Detailed in New Documents

    [LA] Boy's Torture Death Detailed in New Documents
    Gabriel Fernandez, 8, was found unresponsive in his Palmdale home three weeks ago. LA County Sheriff's deputies say his mother’s boyfriend admitted to beating him to death. New documents obtained Wednesday reveal more information about a history of reported abuse inflicted on the boy. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Sylmar for the NBC4 News at 4:30 p.m. on June 12, 2013. (Published Wednesday, Jun 12, 2013)

    Fernandez was found unresponsive. He died in the hospital two days later.

    The boy's mother, Pearl Hernandez, and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Isauro Aguirre, admitted to beating him to death, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies. They were both charged with his murder.

    Tortured Boy's Case Well Known to Case Workers

    [LA] Tortured Boy's Case Well Known to Case Workers
    Gabriel Fernandez, 8, died after apparently being tortured at a Palmdale home. His case was well known to county case workers before his mother and her boyfriend were charged in his killing. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 31, 2013. (Published Thursday, Jun 6, 2013)

    After repeated requests to the DCFS, NBC4 obtained files that show just how Fernandez’s death could have been avoided.

    Eight separate investigations into possible abuse were opened for the family starting in 2003. They ranged from alleged physical abuse and neglect to sexual abuse. Some allegations were determined to be "unfounded" after DCFS examined them.

    "She Did It": Relatives Blame Mother for Death of Her 8-Year-Old Son

    [LA] "She Did It": Relatives Blame Mother for Death of Her 8-Year-Old Son
    Pearl Fernandez and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre have been charged with capital murder in the beating death of Fernandez's 8-year-old son, Gabriel. Deputies say they found they boy beaten and burned last week in the couple's Palmdale apartment. Protesters lined up outside the courthouse Tuesday, blaming the Department of Child and Family Services for not stopping the alleged abuse. Ted Chen reports from Lancaster for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on May 28, 2013. (Published Tuesday, May 28, 2013)

    At least one recent report gave an overall risk rating as "very high."

    Since Fernandez's death, his two older siblings, who were the subject of some of the referrals to DCFS, have been placed into foster care.

    The latest report recounts the day Fernandez died. It states that Fernandez was shot in the chest and groin with a BB gun and that Aguirre admitted to punching the boy 10 times that day and scrubbing the boy's face and neck to the point it tore skin.

    DCFS documents provide possible insight into how Fernandez died, saying the boy had a deviated septum -- possibly from being punched in the face -- and that he had lacerations to his liver.

    The boy's family is expected to make a statement before the memorial service, which was set for 6 p.m. at Church of the Foothills in Sylmar.

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