LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- The parents of a 4-year-old Palmdale boy who died under suspicious circumstances in July have been arrested, authorities said Thursday.
Noah Cuatro's parents initially told law enforcement the boy drowned at a Palmdale community pool on July 5, but authorities later said signs of trauma inconsistent with drowning were found on his body. Some of the injuries were consistent with possible abuse.
He was pronounced dead the following morning at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Jose Cuatro and Ursula Juarez were arrested around 8 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of killing their son, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. A search warrant was also served at their home to recover any possible evidence.
Noah's death was ruled a homicide by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner on Tuesday. Homicide detectives first responded to the case in the days after he died.
The boy's great-grandmother, Eva Hernandez, broke down as she spoke before reporters during a news conference Thursday afternoon.
"I wish he was here," she said through tears, struggling to speak. "He was so loving. He was so sweet. He was such a smart little boy."
According to Hernandez, Noah was taken from his mother at birth and placed in and out of foster care until Hernandez took custody of him when he was 3 months old.
When Noah was 9 months old, his birth parents again regained custody but he was removed from their care again about a year later. He went back into foster care until Hernandez took custody of him for more than two years, she said.
Days after Noah's death, Hernandez told KTLA the boy was removed from his parents' custody the last time due to neglect and malnutrition. She recalled how the boy begged not be sent back.
"I told the social workers, ‘Please, he doesn’t want to leave. He wants to stay here. He begged me,’" Hernandez said at the time. "He would hold on to me and say, ‘Don’t send me back, grandma.’"