HomeTV and MoviesMurdered boy, 8, asked teacher chilling question about mum hitting him
Murdered boy, 8, asked teacher chilling question about mum hitting him
The chilling story of the brutal murder of eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez is the subject of Netflix's latest docuseries.
The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez has left fans outraged as they learn about his mum Pearl and her boyfriend Isauro Aguirre's shocking actions which left the schoolboy with a fractured skill, broken ribs, severe bones and BB gun pellets lodged into his skin.
The six-part series, which dropped on March 26, looks at the chilling case and also calls into question the judicial system in Los Angeles, particularly the system’s protection of vulnerable children.
Gabriel's teacher Jennifer Garcia could sense that things weren't right at home.
She spoke to Netflix as part of the new series, sharing some of the heartbreaking questions she shared with the sweet little boy.
A few weeks after he joined her class, Gabriel asked: "Is it normal for moms to hit their kids?"
She pushed him to try and learn more, and he asked if it was normal to be hit with a belt buckle.
His final question is even more chilling. He asked his teacher: "Is it normal for you to bleed?"
Jennifer reported the conversation to the Los Angeles County child abuse hotline, but despite being assigned a case worker the abuse continued.
Even though care workers visited the family's home on numerous occasions, they never found enough evidence to remove him from the house.
Gabriel started coming into school with worse injuries, including scabs on his scalp and bruises on his face from BB gun pellets.
On May 22, 2013, Pearl called the police to tell them Gabriel had stopped breathing after hitting his head.
But when officers arrived at their Los Angeles home they discovered that the little boy was covering in severe burns, had a fractured skill, broken ribs and BB gun pellets lodged into his skin.
He died in hospital two days later.
Four of the social workers involved in the case were later charged with falsifying records, however these were dropped.
The case, and in turn the Netflix show, raises questions about the state's procedure for protecting vulnerable children.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Gabriel's brothers and sisters said he was locked in a cabinet in his mum's bedroom and forced to eat cat litter.
In 2018 Aguirre was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.
Pearl plead guilty to the same charge and was handed a life prison sentence.