Authorities name mother’s boyfriend as person of interest in slaying of 3-year-old boy

A 3-year-old boy was found with his throat slit in a bathtub in his Lancaster home on Tuesday night, authorities said.
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Authorities have released the identity of a 3-year-old boy who was killed in his Lancaster home on Tuesday night and described his mother’s boyfriend as a person of interest in the slaying.

The toddler, David Hernandez, was found with his throat cut in the 43400 block of 57th Street West when deputies arrived around 10:55 p.m., officials said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The Los Angeles County medical examiner reported his manner of death as homicide and cause as “an incised wound of the neck.


The Sheriff’s Department said in a news release that Rena Naulls, 39, of Lancaster, was taken to the hospital after allegedly attempting to take his own life at the scene.

Investigators said Naulls is the live-in boyfriend of the victim’s mother and named him “a person of interest” in the case. Naulls was admitted to the hospital and listed in stable condition, police said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the killing of a toddler in a Lancaster home as a homicide.

Feb. 21, 2024

The Times previously reported that a source with knowledge of the investigation who was not authorized to speak publicly said a family friend went to the house at the behest of one of the boy’s relatives, found the child with his throat slit in a bathtub and called 911.

Three of the child’s older siblings, ages 9, 11 and 14, were unharmed and taken into protective custody by the Department of Children and Family Services, according to the source and the Sheriff’s Department. The Times reported that the family had had no previous contact with the Department of Children and Family Services.

No arrests have been made.