Boy pepper sprayed, forced to eat vomit before allegedly beaten to death by mother, her boyfriend

Posted at 11:37 AM, Aug 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-19 13:37:41-04
8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez - KTLA

8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez – KTLA

ANTELOPE VALLEY, Cali. – An 8-year-old boy from a Los Angeles suburb was allegedly doused with pepper spray, forced to eat his own vomit and locked in a closet with a sock in his mouth before his mother and her boyfriend beat him to death, according to court records.

The graphic details were revealed in grand jury testimony.

This alleged 2013 incident is prompting calls for reform in the troubled Los Angeles County foster care system because welfare workers failed to remove the boy from the home.

Pearl Fernandez - KTLA

Pearl Fernandez – KTLA

KTLA reported officials have taken steps to fire two social workers and two supervisors, while others involved in the case received letters of warning or reprimand.

The Los Angeles Times reviewed more than 800 pages of testimony that showed how, despite numerous abuse allegations, 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez continuously slipped through the cracks.

According to documents, Gabriel’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, called 911 in May 2013 and said her son was not breathing.

The documents state she told authorities he fell and hit his head on a dresser.

KTLA reported paramedics arrived to find Gabriel naked in a bedroom, not breathing, with a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin.

He died two days later.

Click here for the latest on this case from the LA Times