Gabriel was tortured and beaten to death allegedly by his mother and her boyfriend. The county employees ignored multiple complaints of abuse, including reports by Gabriel’s elementary teacher who repeatedly called Child Protective Services to tell them about bruises, black eyes, cuts, and other signs of torture.
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly has been instrumental in bringing the problems within the DCFS to the forefront. Asked to comment, Donnelly said this is “one positive step” in holding negligent caseworkers responsible when children like Gabriel Fernandez fall through the cracks.
Gabriel ultimately died of a fractured skull, broken ribs and burns. His autopsy showed there were BB pellets lodged in his chest and groin. His mother and her boyfriend are charged with murder.