Police arrested a Los Angeles mother after the dead body of her allegedly malnourished and abused 11-year-old son was found wrapped in a blanket in a closet in her home, PEOPLE confirms.
It’s not clear how the boy died, but according to a statement from Los Angeles police obtained by PEOPLE, “The investigation revealed that the victim suffered from signs of malnutrition and physical abuse and had been deceased for a few hours.”
The child’s mother, 39-year-old Veronica Aguilar, was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment resulting in death, the statement said.
Officers discovered the body at the home in the Echo Park neighborhood Monday afternoon when Jose Pinzon, Aguilar’s husband, called authorities and said his wife allegedly told him that her son (from another father) was dead.
Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics declared the boy dead at the scene.
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The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services received reports of possible abuse regarding the boy at least three times between 2009 and 2012, Capt. Julian Melendez, commanding officer of the LAPD’s Juvenile Division, said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“In my 25-year career as a law-enforcement officer, this ranks as one of the worst cases I’ve seen,” LAPD Detective Moses Castillo told ABC 7.
“It’s really disheartening. No child, no matter the age, should ever have to experience this type of life and this type of end to his life,” Castillo added.
Aguilar is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail, police say.
Aguilar is expected to be arraigned Thursday and has not yet entered a plea, police say. An attorney for Aguilar could not be immediately reached for comment.