LANCASTER – A 10-year-old Lancaster boy taken to the hospital in critical condition has died, prompting a homicide investigation, authorities said.
The incident unfolded around 12 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, when Lancaster Sheriff’s Station deputies responded to an apartment complex in the 1100 block of East Avenue K regarding a “medical rescue call of a 10-year-old boy not breathing,” according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Information Bureau.
“Upon arrival, the victim was discovered in his family’s apartment unresponsive. The victim was reported to have suffered injuries from a fall. He was transported to a nearby hospital,” the news release states.
“Although the victim survived through the night, tragically, he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m. [Thursday, June 21]… The death is considered suspicious and the cause will be investigated by the Coroner’s office,” the news release states.
Seven children, ranging in age from 11 months to 12 years old, who either lived at the home or were associated with the victim’s family, were removed from the home “pending further investigation,” according to the sheriff’s news release.
“This is an active investigation and no arrests have been made,” the news release states.
The Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau and Special Victims Bureau are handling the investigation. No further information was immediately available.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).
UPDATE: The victim was identified by the Department of Children and Family Services as 10-year-old Anthony Avalos. An autopsy to determine his cause of death is pending. Authorities had contact with the family “prior to this incident,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida told the Los Angeles Times.