Watch CBS News

Mom's Boyfriend Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder In Death Of Lancaster Boy

LANCASTER (CBSLA) - The boyfriend of the mother of a 10-year-old Lancaster boy who died last week after years of abuse has been arrested on suspicion of murder, authorities confirmed Wednesday.

RELATED LINK: Officials Were Told Now-Deceased Lancaster Boy Was Abused For Years

Anthony Avalos was rushed from his Lancaster apartment to a hospital June 20 with critical injuries.

The boy survived the night but was pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies responded to the boy's apartment in the 1100 block of East Avenue K about noon on a report that the boy had been injured in a fall and was not breathing.

On Wednesday evening, detectives discussed the circumstances of the case and why the boyfriend was arrested.

The boy's mother has been identified as Heather Barron. The boyfriend has been identified as Kareem Leiva.

Authorities said Leiva, arrested Wednesday afternoon, is being held on a $2 million bail.

They also said Leiva and Barron had "several children" together but did not specify a number. There were eight children in the home ranging in age from 11 months to 12 years..

It's been reported that the young victim told his mother recently that he liked "boys and girls." The investigation is on-going and will determine if a hate crime played a role in the boy's death.

During their interview of the suspect, investigators noticed that Leiva has suffered an injury that required medial attention. Officials said the wound on Leiva's chest appeared to be self-inflicted.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.