California parents are arrested following the death of their son after he was brutally tortured, abused and then killed by his stepmom police said. The father is also charged because he knew about everything and did nothing to stop his wife.
Authorities identified the father of the 16-year-old boy as George Luis Almaraz and the stepmom Jessica Grajeda. Police found the dead body in their home in California last week.
Emergency services were initially called to the residence, about a boy who needed CPR. However, on arrival, the first responders found the teen was not breathing. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The victim was identified as George Almaraz. While the reason for the teen’s death has not been disclosed, police said there were signs that the boy was tortured at home by Grajeda for at least four months. The boy’s father was well aware of the repeated abuse but did not prevent it or seek medical help for the teen, officers added.
Five other children were found inside the home between the ages of 1 and 13, police said. None of them appear to have been physically abused. However, they have all been taken into protective custody and turned over to the Department of Children and Family Services.
While Grajeda has been charged with torture, child abuse resulting in death, and three counts of child abuse by the Los Angeles County District Attorney, the father faces one count of felony child abuse.
The bail for Grajeda was set at $2 million and her arraignment was set for June 8. Almaraz was released on his recognizance with electronic monitoring. His arraignment is also scheduled for June 8.
Meanwhile, the murder of the boy has shocked the neighbors at the apartment complex.
“She’s a monster. She’s not a stepmother. You don’t treat kids like this,” neighbor Phillip Sayegh told ABC7. “He was 16 years old. He had a future ahead of him,” Sayegh added.