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Santa Clarita Valley: Homicide detectives investigate Castaic boy’s death

Posted: August 6, 2013 6:48 p.m.
Updated: August 6, 2013 6:48 p.m.

Homicide detectives probing the death of an 8-year-old Castaic boy found face-down and submerged in a water-filled washing machine are “re-interviewing” family members and analyzing the 911 call, said one of three investigators assigned to the case.

Lt. Eddie Hernandez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau said Tuesday his team of investigators is operating as “a second set of eyes” in conjunction with Special Victim’s Bureau detectives who classified the incident as a “tragic home accident.”

“They’re the specialists when it comes to child abuse and neglect,” Hernandez said. “And we’re the experts when it comes to death.”

The boy, whose identity has not been disclosed, was pronounced dead at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Sunday. His body was officially turned over to the Los Angeles County Coroner Tuesday, a coroner’s spokesman said.

A cause of death was pending.

On July 31 about 7:30 p.m., the boy’s father found him in the family’s top-loading washing machine at their home on Pansy Court in Castaic after coming inside from yard work, Sgt. Brian Hudson of the Special Victims Bureau said Wednesday.

“We want to re-interview the family,” Hernandez said Tuesday. “We know there are a couple of other siblings we want to talk to. There’s the 911 tape we want to review forensically.”

“Once they get over the shock and grief we hope to re-interview family members,” he said. “But, that’s not going to be soon.”

Officials with Child and Family Services are conducting a parallel but separate investigation, Hernandez said.

“Their investigation deals with determining whether or not the parents are fit,” Hernandez said.

“Ultimately, between us and the Special Victims Bureau, it will be a joint filing with the District Attorney,” he said. “But we’re not going to make any conclusions at this point.”
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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