LOS ANGELES, Calif. — An 11-year-old who was found dead in the bedroom closet of his family’s home had been hidden there for years, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Yonatan Daniel Aguilar, who was reportedly autistic, stopped going to school about three years ago. His mother, Veronica Aguilar, told everyone she sent him to an institution in Mexico.
But really, Aguilar was reportedly keeping the little boy locked in a bedroom closet of her family’s small home. She was also sedating him to keep him quiet.
Police said even Yonatan’s own step-father, Jose Pinzon, didn’t know the little boy was in the home. He later told police he hadn’t seen Yonatan in years — until Aug. 22, which is when Aguilar told him Yonatan was dead.
Pinzon, expecting Aguilar to retrieve her son from the institution, was shocked when she instead led him to the bedroom closet and showed him her son’s body. Court documents state that there was foam in the boy’s nose and medicinal cups near his body. He was also going bald and weighed only 34 pounds.
Pinzon ran from the home and called police from a 7-Eleven.
Court documents state that Aguilar’s three other children did know that Yonatan was being kept in the closet, but they were ordered not to tell anyone. Two of the children actually slept in a bed right by the closet where the boy was being held.
Aguilar has pleaded not guilty to murder charges.