No Charges After Child Death in Signal Hill

Detectives have made no arrests in connection with the death of 2-year-old Josue-Rey Maldonado

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It's been nearly a month since a 2-year-old boy was found dead inside his family's home and officials continue to investigate if there was a crime committed with DCFS actively involved in the matter saying that the family was under supervision prior to the boy's death. John Cádiz Klemack reports for NBC4 News at 4 p.m. from Koreatown Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. (Published Thursday, Sep 4, 2014)

    Nearly a month after 2-year-old Josue-Rey Maldonado was found unresponsive in his mother's Signal Hill apartment, LA County Sheriff homicide detectives have yet to make any arrests.

    It could lie with the status of the boy's autopsy.

    Los Angeles County Coroner's spokesman Ed Winter says the autopsy is on a security hold. Without the results, detectives can't file charges.

    But that doesn't keep the fingers from pointing.

    The boy was under the watch of the LA County Department of Children and Family Services after fulfilling court-required training to reunify the family.

    A report in the LA Times says DCFS knew about allegations of neglect against the boy's parents but Chief Deputy Director Fasia Davenport wouldn't go into specifics.

    "Child protection and child safety is a very difficult task," said Davenport, who admits Maldonado was under the supervision of DCFS, but pointing out that "supervision is not the same as surveillance."

    DCFS has been under criticism since the death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez in 2013.

    In that case, Fernandez had not yet reached the court level of family maintenance - a stark contrast from the Maldonado case.

    "We're taking information today and trying to predict, based on that information we know today, what's going to happen tomorrow," said Davenport. "And so it's different, it's not a business where you deal with widgets, we're dealing with a human element, human actors, human emotion. And so when something like this happens, we're always going back to look at it again to say, 'What could we have done differently? Is there anything else we could have done?'"

    DCFS spokesman Armand Montiel said the death of Maldonado while under the supervision of both DCFS and the court during the "family maintanence" program may be the first in the agency's history.

    Sheriff homicide detectives continue their investigation but still have not ruled the death a homicide and have made no arrests.

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