Girardi | Keese

Suit moves forward in 8-year-old's death

The maternal grandparents of an 8-year-old boy tortured and killed allegedly by his mother and her boyfriend have moved forward in a wrongful death lawsuit, citing negligence toward the agencies involved in the investigation of her grandson's condition. Several Los Angeles County agencies, including the one tasked with investigating reports of abuse in the household, have been named in the suit.

According to court documents, the lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and claims that hold accountable child welfare workers who removed the boy from his grandparent's home to his mother's custody, despite their failing to fully investigate more than 60 reports of abuse. The agencies were served with the stipulation that they have six months to respond to the suit before the family's attorney officially files the case.

The young victim was found barely breathing on May 22 at the Palmdale apartment he shared with his siblings, mother and her boyfriend. Among his injuries were a fractured skull, three broken ribs, burns to his skin, as well as two missing teeth. Responding paramedics also found BB pellets embedded in Gabriel's lung and groin.

Sheriff's deputies arrested the boy's mother and her boyfriend on May 23 and the 8-year-old died the following day.

Reports state that when the boy was a month old, his mother, who was also the boy's sole living biological parent, turned his custody over to her parents, stating that she did not want her son nor did she have any love for him. But then, as of October 2012, with the help of the DCFS, the mother attempted to regain custody of her then 7-year-old son.

The lawsuit alleges investigations only involved meetings with the mother and did not include private interviews with or physical examines of Gabriel. The grandparents contend hat if investigators had done so, they "would have immediately removed" him from his mother's home.

Domestic abuse often results in painful injury or in some cases, death. If you or a loved one are the victim of such a heinous crime, seek the proper legal representation to stop the abuse and rebuild life as it should be.

NBC 4 Los Angeles, "Wrongful Death Lawsuit in 8-Year-Old Boy's Slaying Moves Forward" Samantha Tata and Lolita Lopez, Aug. 27, 2013

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