Funeral to be Held Thursday for 4-Year-Old Boy Who Died Under Suspicious Circumstances

A private funeral will be held Thursday for 4-year-old Noah Cuatro whose death is being investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Noah's parents say he drowned in a community pool on July 6, but injuries to his body led deputies to launch an investigation.

Noah and his family have ties to the LA County Department of Children and Family Services, now under review following his death, the third from Antelope Valley of a child since 2013 with ties the beleaguered agency.

In May, a judge granted a county social worker an order to remove Noah from his parent's home, according to sources. That order was not enforced.

DCFS officials said Wednesday the policy has now changed. A social worker and supervisors will have to go through senior leadership, including the head of the agency himself, before deciding if a removal order will not be carried out.

Under 5,100 removal orders were filed and only two were not served from January to July 8, 2019, according to data from DCFS analyzed by the NBC4 I-Team. In 2018, there were 8,917 removal orders and only seven issued not served.

DCFS said that among the reasons that this would not happen is circumstances in the home may have changed or parents may have moved.

Noah's autopsy remains under seal as the investigation into the case continues. No one has been charged or arrested in connection to his death.

Attempts to reach his parents were unsuccessful.

DCFS Director Bobby Cagle says many of the cases that come to the attention of the department have a complicated history.

"It is rarely, if ever, clear when we should remove a child from his or her home," he said in a statement. "It is imperative for social workers and staff to have access to information and resources to support their work. The Department recently updated its policy with regards to removal warrants to ensure that social workers and their supervisors engage with senior leadership to help guide their case practice and strengthen child safety in instances where there is a removal warrant and circumstances lead to consideration of not serving the warrant."

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