Parents Kill 10 Year Old Because He Said "He Liked Boys"

A man was arrested Wednesday for the death of 10-year-old Southern California boy who reportedly came out as gay before he died. 

Brandon Nichols, deputy director of the Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services, told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that the youngster, Anthony Avalos, "liked boys," prompting speculation that his sexuality played a role in his death. But Sheriff’s Capt. Chris Bergner said homophobia has not come up as a motive in the investigation.

Police arrested Kareem Leiva, the boyfriend of Anthony's mother, on suspicion of the boy's murder. Child and Family Services told NBC4 they had previous reports of Anthony not being fed, being locked up and suffering physical and sexual abuse.

Last week, Anthony's mother, Heather Barron, called 911 to report her son had "fallen." Deputies found Anthony unresponsive, and the boy died at a hospital the next morning. 

Department of Children and Family Services director Bobby Cagle said the boy appeared malnourished and severely beaten, the Times reports. 

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors ordered officials in charge of child protection to investigate why the child was still living in the household. 

“Systems have been put in place to ensure that things don’t happen again wherever we find deficiencies, and so when we look at this we will dig into it to see, could we have done a better job, as will the other agencies that are involved in this,” Sheriff Jim McDonnell said, the Times reported.