Eight children aged 11 months to 12 years were removed from the home of Barron and Leiva "until further investigation," said the County Department of Child and Family Services this week. They are now in custody in the department.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Derrick Alfred said Friday at a news conference that the department is waiting for a definitive autopsy report, but investigators believe that Anthony suffered a traumatic brain injury that led to a bleeding that led to organ failure.
Barron called 911 at her home in Lancaster on June 20 to report that the boy had been injured in a fall, according to the Sheriff Department.
Alfred did not want any concrete action from Leiva or Barron. In a conviction, Barron threatened up to 22 years in prison and Leiva gets according to the prosecutor up to 32 years old.
Anthony recently came out as gay, according to reports that a department for children and family led service officials, and the boy's uncle told NBC News that Leiva had a history of homophobia. These reports have led some to speculate that homophobia played a role in his abuse and death.
The Sheriff of Los Angeles, Jim McDonnell, said this week that homophobia in our investigation at this time has not come up as motivation, "and it was too early to discuss a motive Public prosecutor said on Friday that the office did not acknowledge homophobia as a motive.
The head of the Department of Child and Family Services has said that Anthony was hospitalized on June 20 when the boy showed signs that they are both severe and malnourished.
The Los Angeles Times reported that years ago caseworkers visiting the home had documented that Leiva was a member of the criminal gang MS-1
Alfred told investigators on Friday check in these reports and if he was in the United States without a permit or in an expired visa, but even if they were confirmed, no D etails on the criminal case, said Alfred.
Since February 2013, the Child Welfare Department had 12 complaints that Anthony had abused and neglected. Some complaints were substantiated and others were declared unfounded or inconclusive.
This week, Brian Cagle, director of the department, said: "In private interviews, Anthony revealed details that matched media reports that he was beaten, jailed, and not fed." But the agency had not received any phone calls regarding Anthony in the past two years.
Also on Friday, a lawyer representing the boy's family requested replies from the Child Welfare Department, including whether abuse reports were duly prosecuted by agents. Lawyer Brian Claypool said that if casualties break the law, they should be prosecuted. He said he could file a civil rights suit.
"This boy should have been rescued from this household," Claypool said.
The department did not respond immediately to a request for comment on Friday. Cagle said in a statement on Tuesday that a team "is conducting a thorough internal review of the case and trying to answer the critical questions surrounding the pointless death of Anthony Avalos."
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has called for a full review of why Anthony was not removed from the house despite repeated reports of abuse, NBC told Los Angeles.