Heartbreaking Calls Made to DCFS in Lancaster Child Abuse Case Released

Grand jury documents including hundreds of pages of crime scene pictures, coroner's records and grand jury testimony were unsealed by a judge presiding over the child-abuse case of 10-year-old Anthony Avalos. 

Anthony died in June at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend who are accused of torturing and murdering him. 

Numerous heartbreaking calls made to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services that reported injuries and abuse to Anthony and his siblings were also revealed.

One of the calls released came from a Lancaster day care worker who said in the call, "The kids came, there were bruises on their face and so we asked and the mom just said that they were fighting each other...they said that mom wasn't home, that he made them fight each other."

Anthony's assistant principal at his elementary school and his uncle both filed complaints to DCFS, describing how Anthony dug through trash at school to find food and how his mother's boyfriend dangled him out of a second-story window by his ankles and beat him.

"He came to our house and his ears had scabs and bruises on it and he said it was from Kareem dragging him around by his ear. And I go, 'What else does he do?' and he said, 'He picks me up and slams me to the floor and against the wall,'" Anthony's uncle David Barron said in one of the phone calls. 

Despite the numerous filings over a 2 and half year period, DCFS workers deemed the reports of physical abuse to be "unfounded or inconclusive."

One of the worst calls to listen to is one that came from a hotline worker:

Hotline worker: "What's our allegation, would you say?" 

DCFS worker: "Ahaha." 

Hotline worker: "I know - you have to - we have to put something..." 

DCFS worker: "To cover our butt?"

Hotline worker: "I know. To cover..." (laughter).

Anthony's mother, Heather Barron and her boyfriend Kareem Leiva, are being charged with murder. Prosecutors have not decided whether they'll seek the death penalty.

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