The death of 10-year-old boy has been deemed "suspicious" and seven other children living in his home have been removed by child welfare officials, according to authorities.
Anthony Avalos had critical injuries when deputies responded to an emergency call of a child not breathing on Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. The child was unresponsive and his mother said said he had been injured during a fall, authorities said.
Both the sheriff's office and the county's Department of Children and Family Services has had previous contact with the family, according to sheriff officials, but no other details were given.
The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday authorities had authorities had been to the home over abuse allegations involving another child, citing a source familiar with the investigation.
The case is ongoing and no arrests have yet been made, Deputy Dangelo Robinson told InsideEdition.com Friday. Autopsy results are pending.
“As a department, our first and foremost priority is the safety of our county’s children, and we grieve whenever we hear of a child’s death," DCFS Director Bobby Cagle said in a statement. "We also try to understand how such tragedies occur, and we work hard to figure out how they might have been prevented in the first place. But, unfortunately, we are reminded at times that people are capable of the unspeakable.”
The other children ranged in age from 11 months to 12 years.
The dead boy's aunt told KCBS-TV the kids were Anthony's siblings. She also said she reported Anthony's mother and her boyfriend to county authorities three years ago after the boy told her he was being abused. "He told us that he would get locked up and he wasn't allowed to use the bathroom," said Maria Barron.