Murder of Gabriel Fernandez by Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre
The biological mother of Gabriel Fernandez
In 2012, Pearl Fernandez, the biological mother of Gabriel Fernandez, was given child custody of Gabriel, reportedly to gain welfare benefits. She was given custody in spite of concerns from her family, who had been taking care of Gabriel, that she was neglectful towards other children. Fernandez then was moved in with his mother and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre. While in the household of Pearl Fernandez and Isauro Aguirre for eight months, Gabriel Fernandez was systematically abused and tortured. The abuse included being forced to eat cat litter and feces, forced to eat his own vomit, regularly beaten which caused broken bones, burned in various parts of the body, shot in various areas of the body including the face and groin with a BB gun, forced to wear female clothing, forced to sleep bound and gagged in a small cupboard, pepper sprayed, burned with cigarettes, given cold baths, and forced to eat spoiled or expired food. According to Fernandez's siblings, while Fernandez was being abused his parents would laugh. Aguirre reportedly abused Fernandez because he believed he was homosexual; there is no evidence that Fernandez was in fact homosexual. The abuse did not extend to Fernandez's siblings.