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News Release

Monday, July 8, 2002

Media Relations

Detectives Pitch-In to Help Victim of Child Abuse and Neglect

Los Angeles: On June 20, 2002, Pacific Area Patrol Officers responded to a radio call to "Meet the Department of Children and Family Services social worker at 3525 Vinton Avenue." DCFS had responded to the address due to an anonymous call to their hotline regarding possible child neglect.

Upon arrival the officers observed a 3-year-old child with bruises over his entire body. The child had severe burns to the palms of both hands. The child appeared to be extremely thin and malnourished. The investigation revealed that the child was kept locked in a bedroom without bathroom facilities or adequate food or water. The child was transported to UCLA hospital by LAFD Rescue Ambulance due to his injuries and malnutrition.

Juvenile Division’s Abused Child Unit took over the investigation. The assigned investigator, Detective Kevin Korne, was very moved and touched by the horror of this case. The child did not have any clothes or shoes. Detective Korne and the other detectives assigned to the Valley Abused Child Unit contributed funds out of their own pockets to purchase the child several outfits and gym shoes that had fire trucks on the sides that light up. The child has been released from the hospital and remains in foster care.

The child’s parents were arrested and charged by the District Attorney’s Office. The father and mother, Miguel Cruz, age 23, and Francisca Palacios, age 21, were each charged with one count of 205 PC (Aggravated Mayhem), One count 273A (A) PC (Child Abuse), and one count of 273 (D) PC (Corporal Punishment upon a Child). Each defendant remains in custody in lieu of $530,000.00 dollars bail.

Anyone with information that may assist in this investigation is urged to contact Detective Korne at 213-485-4220. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at Detective Information Desk, 1-877-LAWFULL.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Eduardo Funes, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.