Mother’s Boyfriend Arrested In Death of 10-Year-Old Boy Who May Have Come Out as Gay

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Anthony Avalos / Maria Barron

LANCASTER, CALIF. — On Wednesday, June 20, around 12:00pm, Lancaster Station deputies responded to an apartment complex in the 1100 block of East Avenue K in the city of Lancaster regarding a medical rescue call of a ten year old boy not breathing

Upon arrival, the victim was discovered in his family’s apartment unresponsive. The victim was reported by family members to have suffered injuries from a fall. He was transported to a nearby hospital.

Investigators from our Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau and Homicide Bureau immediately responded and began their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Detectives worked with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to remove eight children, ranging from 11 months to twelve years old, who either lived at the home, or were associated with the victim’s family. They were placed in the custody of DCFS.

Detectives also conducted multiple interviews with all persons associated with this case. They examined all the Sheriff’s and DCFS documents, both historical and current, as it related to 10-year-old Anthony Avalos and his family.

Although Anthony survived through the night, tragically, he succumbed to his injuries at 6:30 AM the following day. As the investigation continued, Detectives interviewed Anthony’s Mother’s boyfriend, 32-year-old Kareem Leiva at Lancaster Station on Wednesday, June 27, 2018.

During the course of their interview, Suspect Leiva made statements that led investigators to arrest him for the murder of Anthony Avalos.

During the interview investigators realized that Suspect Leiva had suffered prior medical injuries that required medical attention.

According to KCBS, ‘Brandon Nichols, deputy director of DCFS said that Avalos told his mother “he liked boys and girls.” DCFS said it will examine whether homophobia is a factor.’

Suspect Leiva was booked at Lancaster Station with a 2 million dollar bail.

The investigation is ongoing.

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