The Los Angeles Times reports:
Anthony Avalos came out as gay in recent weeks, and authorities are now investigating whether homophobia played a role in the death of the 10-year-old Lancaster boy, a county official said. Anthony was found mortally wounded at his home last week with severe head injuries and cigarette burns covering his body.
Brandon Nichols, deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, revealed in an interview Monday that Anthony “said he liked boys” but declined to provide more details, including whom the boy told and when. Nichols said the criminal investigation of the deadly abuse is ongoing.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call from his mother about 12:15 p.m. Wednesday and found the boy unresponsive inside his family’s apartment. Authorities said they were told the boy had “suffered injuries from a fall.” He died at a hospital Thursday morning. County officials removed seven other children from the home as the investigation continued.
CBS News reports:
Anthony’s father, who lives in Mexico, told CBS Los Angeles he and the boy’s grandmother had suspected the boy was being abused. During their previous investigations, deputies found another seven children, aged 11 months to 12 years, in the home. Some were living in the home and some were associated with Anthony’s family.
While there have been no criminal charges in the case, Cagle says the mother’s story claiming Anthony fell and hurt his head does not pass muster. “He had a severe head injury consistent with a brain bleed, plus bruises and abrasions all about his body,” said Cagle. ” All that indicates to me that that’s non-accidental.”
RELATED: Earlier this month a California man received the death penalty for the gruesome torture death of an eight year old boy that the man and his mother reportedly believed to be gay. The mother was sentenced to life in prison.