Mass for Slain Child Scheduled Tuesday

A funeral Mass will be said Tuesday morning at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church for a 5-year-old boy who was allegedly beaten to death by his father who then buried the child in a shallow roadside grave.

The 10:30 a.m. Mass will be celebrated in Spanish, Mary Immaculate officials said. Burial will follow at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills.

According to authorities, 5-year-old Ernesto Barrera was killed some time last weekend by his father, Marcos Esquivel Barrera, a 34-year-old part-time gardener and street vendor, in a converted garage in the 13800 block of Desmond Street.

Investigators allege that Marcos Barrera then took his common-law wife and three of the 10 children who lived with them to bury the body along Lopez Canyon Road, about two miles north of the Foothill Freeway.

They were found by sheriff's deputies on patrol at about 11 p.m. Sunday, still gathered around the shallow grave.

Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon, with his wife, Corina, enlisted the services of Mary Immaculate Catholic Church, Veiga Robison Mortuary in Los Angeles and the Mission Hills cemetery to help with the religious service and burial arrangements.

A trust fund in the name of Ernesto Barrera has been established at First American Bank, 400 S. San Fernando Mission Blvd., San Fernando 91340, to help pay for the funeral. Any additional money will be donated to Childrens Hospital.

Mary Immaculate Church is at 10390 Remick Ave., at the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard in Pacoima.

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