Gabriel Fernandez was born in Palmdale, California, on February 20, 2005, into a dysfunctional household. His mother, Pearl Fernandez, reportedly did not want another kid and even abandoned him at the hospital.

Pearl actually has a history of child neglect and abuse. A year earlier, according to Booth Law, a relative had reported Pearl to Child Protective Services for assaulting another kid. However, nothing was done.

Gabriel spent the majority of his life with his great-uncle and his partner, as he was rejected by his mother. He moved in with his grandparents later on. In 2012, however, despite having been accused of striking her daughter and failing to feed her, Pearl argued that Gabriel was not being properly cared for by his relatives and demanded his return.

Pearl reportedly took Gabriel in order to receive welfare benefits. In October 2012, against the opposition of Gabriel’s grandparents, she took the boy back into her home. Gabriel resided there with his mother, her lover Isauro Aguirre, and two older siblings, Ezequiel, 11, and Virginia, 9 years old.

Gabriel’s first-grade teacher at Summerwind Elementary in Palmdale, California, Jennifer Garcia, began to observe indicators of maltreatment shortly thereafter. Gabriel even informed her about it.

“Is it normal for moms to hit their kids?” he asked Garcia one day in October 2012. “Is it normal for your mom to hit you with the part of the belt that has that metal thing on the end? Is it normal for you to bleed?”

After school, Garcia called a child abuse hotline, which connected her with Stefanie Rodriguez, a caseworker. Although Garcia first felt reassured, Gabriel Fernandez’s abuse appeared to continue.

One day, he showed up to class missing chunks of hair. Gabriel Fernandez returned another day with a cut lip and reported to Garcia that his mother had punched him. And in January of 2013, he appeared with facial bruises and acknowledged to Garcia that his mother had shot him with a BB gun.

Garcia repeatedly reached out to Rodriguez, but the caseworker stated she could not discuss Gabriel’s case. Rodriguez had visited the Fernandez property, but Gabriel frequently changed his story, and Rodriguez observed that the children at the residence appeared “appropriately clothed, obviously healthy, and devoid of marks or bruises.”

Unfortunately, his abuse was considerably more severe than Rodriguez or even Garcia appeared to recognize. And in May of 2013, Gabriel Fernandez’s mother and her boyfriend cruelly mur*dered the eight-year-old.

The Mu*rder Of Gabriel Fernandez

Pearl Fernandez contacted 911 on May 22, 2013 to report that her baby Gabriel was not breathing. The youngster had shattered ribs, a cracked skull, missing teeth, and BB pellet wounds when paramedics arrived.

According to The Atlantic, Pearl Fernandez’s boyfriend Isauro Aguirre said, “I tried to feel his heart” and attributed Gabriel’s injuries to “roughhousing” with his older brother.

Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre were later revealed to have tormented the eight-year-old with a BB gun, pepper spray, coat hangers, and a baseball bat. Gabriel Fernandez died of his injuries two days later, on May 24, 2013. In the months that followed, the startling extent of his maltreatment and the homophobic motivations of his tormentors were revealed.

According to The Atlantic, Gabriel Fernandez regularly endured severe abuse at the hands of his mother and Aguirre. This occurred over a period of eight months. Occasionally, they placed a sock in his mouth, chained his hands and legs, and locked him in a cabinet they referred to as “the cubby.”

They dubbed him gay (perhaps because he was reared by a gay great-uncle), chastised him anytime they saw him playing with dolls, and made him wear dresses. According to Gabriel’s siblings Ezequiel and Virginia, the couple reportedly forced him to consume “a lot” of cat feces, forced him to run from a BB pistol, and hit him so hard that he was unable to breathe.

In addition, Gabriel’s therapist stated before to his d*eath that the youngster had been forced to perform oral sex on a family member and had written suicide notes.

Sadly, despite the numerous warning signs, he was never saved.

The Consequences Of The De*ath Of The Eight-Year-Old

Both Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre were arrested and charged with the boy’s mu*rder . Pearl pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree m*urder.

Pearl Fernandez apologized to her family for her actions in court in 2018, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I hope Gabriel is still alive. Every day I regret not having made better decisions. I apologize to my children and want them to know how much I love them.”

However, the judge did not mince words. According to The Wrap, he stated that Gabriel’s de*ath was so gruesome that it was almost animalistic, except that “animals know how to care for their young.”

Aguirre was also found guilty and sentenced to d*eath for first-degree m*urder. (However, California has currently suspended the de*ath penalty).

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