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Parents say 4-year-old drowned, but detectives have launched an investigation

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The parents of a boy who died this week said he drowned in the community pool of their apartment complex.
(KTLA)

Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a 4-year-old Palmdale boy after his parents reported he had drowned.

Authorities were called Friday afternoon to a pool at an apartment complex in the 1200 block of East Avenue S in Palmdale.

The child, who has been identified only as Noah, was taken a local hospital and later to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he died the following morning, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a news conference Tuesday.

While at the children’s hospital Saturday, officials determined the boy had signs of trauma that were not consistent with drowning, Villanueva said.

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“We’re beginning a very exhaustive, lengthy investigation to find out what happened with the tragic, untimely passing of baby Noah,” the sheriff said.

The boy’s parents, who have not been identified, were interviewed by detectives, but they have not been arrested, sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza said. Detectives are reviewing whether any 911 calls have been made to the home.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said Noah had previously been in foster care but had been reunited with his family. Barger said she was monitoring the case, and officials are working to retrieve the boy’s records from the Department of Children and Family Services.

“Although reunification of a child with his parents is our ultimate goal when we have foster children,” she said, there are times when reunification is not the best course “for a variety of reasons.”

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Mendoza said the boy’s parents made the initial 911 call, and there were other family members present at the time. Noah’s parents have three other young children, all under the age of 18, who are now in protective custody, he said.

There was no lifeguard present at the community pool where Noah’s parents said he drowned, and detectives are looking for witnesses and surveillance footage that captured the incident, Mendoza said.

Anyone with information about the case can call homicide detectives at (323) 890-5500 or the anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line at (800) 222-8477.

alejandra.reyesvelarde@latimes.com

Twitter: @r_valejandra


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