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Echo Park Mom Arrested After 11-Year-Old Son Found Dead In A Closet

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A woman has been arrested after officers found her young son dead with signs of malnutrition and abuse in her Echo Park home. Veronica Aguilar, 39, has been arrested on suspicion of child endangerment resulting in death, according to a release from the LAPD. On Monday at about 2:15 p.m., officers responded to the 2200 block of West Sunset Avenue where Aguilar's husband, Jose Pinzon, was waiting to meet them. He had rushed to a nearby convenience store to call 9-1-1 after Aguilar told him that her son was dead, KTLA reports. Pinzon led officers to a home in the 2100 block of Santa Ynez Street, where the 11-year-old boy's body was found in a closet, wrapped in a blanket.

The boy showed signs of malnutrition and physical abuse. LAFD paramedics pronounced the boy dead at the scene, and investigators believe he had been dead for a few hours prior to the discovery. The exact cause of death is still under investigation.

"In my 25 years in law enforcement, this ranks as one of the worst cases I've seen," LAPD Det. Moses Castillo told KTLA.

Pinzon is not the boy's biological father, whom investigators are working on locating. Neighbors say that the family had only lived in the area for about two or three months, and no one knew them particularly well.

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Investigators found that the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services has received at least three reports concerning the boy between 2009 and 2012, but that no case was ever filed, according to CBS Los Angeles. This comes only a few months after four social workers who had worked for the L.A. County DCFS were charged in the 2013 death of an 8-year-old boy, who was found beaten to death after DCFS closed the family's case.

Anyone with information should call the LAPD's Abused Child Section at 213-486-0586.