AP NEWS

California parents indicted in death of 4-year-old son

January 29, 2020 GMT

PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) — A father and mother who told authorities they found their 4-year-old son motionless in a Southern California community pool have been indicted on murder and torture charges in the boy’s death, prosecutors said.

The indictment was returned by a grand jury against Jose Maria Cuatro Jr. and Ursula Elaine Juarez and unsealed on Tuesday, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said.

The father also faces one count each of assault on a child causing death and sexual penetration with a child under 10 years old, prosecutors said.

The mother also faces one count of child abuse under circumstances likely to cause death.

Both defendants are accused in the death of Noah Cuatro on July 5, 2019, at their Palmdale apartment. Jose Cuatro sexually assaulted his son on the same day, according to prosecutors.

It was unclear if the parents have attorneys who could speak on their behalf.

Sheriff’s officials said deputies were summoned to a community pool after the parents said they found Noah unresponsive in the water. He died at a hospital.

Noah’s parents came under investigation after hospital staff told authorities they found suspicious injuries indicating abuse.

Cuatro, 28, was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $4 million bail. Juarez, 25, is being held on $3 million bail.