Echo Park mother charged in death of 11-year-old boy found in closet

The charges against 39-year-old Veronica Aguilar involve one count of murder and another of count child abuse leading to the death of her 11-year-old son Yonatan Daniel Aguilar. 

The boy was found wrapped in a blanket in a closet at this home. The criminal complaint alleges that the Daniel, as he was referred to, died due to neglect.

Police said he showed signs of severe malnutrition.

"In my 25 years of investigating crime scenes, this ranks as one of the worst I’ve seen," Detective Moses Castillo said. "The young child like this and the amount of trauma he endured."

The LAPD said between 2009 and 2012, there were at least three reports to the LA County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) with regard to the boy, which has raised questions about the agency and its involvement in the family’s situation.

"At this time, the law doesn't allow us to confirm or deny whether we provided any services to this child or family," the DCFS said.

What’s happened to Daniel Aguilar is just the latest of several cases of kids dying after DCFS received reports of concern.

Three years ago, Gabriel Fernandez was beaten to death. Arguing that four social workers falsified records to minimize the injuries to the boy and subsequently keep him in the home, they were charged with felony child abuse.

Because of DCFS’s refusal to provide information - for whatever reason - it remains unclear if this is another instance.

If convicted, Aguilar could face a possible maximum prison sentence of 15 years to life in state prison.

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