Court documents released in California Tuesday include horrific details in the alleged beating death of an 8-year-old boy.
The L.A. Times reports the boy’s mother and her boyfriend forced him to eat his own vomit, doused him with pepper spray and locked him in a cabinet with a “a sock stuffed in his mouth to muffle his screams.”
Authorities arrived to the home on May 22, 2013 after the mother called 911 to say the boy was not breathing. She told police the boy had fallen and hit his head.
“When paramedics arrived, they found Gabriel naked in a bedroom, not breathing, with a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin.,” the Times reports.
The boy died two days later.
Testimony from the boy’s siblings said he was forced to “eat cat feces, rotten spinach and his own vomit.” They also detailed abuse that included being hit with a metal hanger, a bat, a club and a belt buckle.
The case made headlines in California in 2013 and prompted calls for reforms to the foster care system in Los Angeles County because, according to the Times, child welfare workers failed to remove the boy from the home.