Child homicides by caretakers have declined 73 percent over the past three decades in Los Angeles County.
The 30-year retrospective by the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect (ICAN) found that nearly 1,000 children in Los Angeles County have been killed by a parent, a parent’s adult partner, babysitter or other family member providing child care since 1989.
Child homicides in the county peaked in 1991 when 61 children were killed by caretakers, with a low of eight deaths in 2017, according to the report, which noted that preliminary data show 10 child homicides in the county last year.
“You know there is no greater tragedy than the death of a child, especially when that death comes at the hands of a caregiver,’’ District Attorney George Gascon said at an online news conference announcing the results of the report.
The county’s top prosecutor said he especially wanted to remember three children—aged 6 months, 2 years and 3 years –who were allegedly killed by their 30-year-old mother, Liliana Carrillo, who was charged last week with three counts of murder.
Gascon said his goal “will always be to prevent a crime before it happens,’’ but he vowed to hold “the perpetrator accountable for their actions’’ when a child is harmed.
Deanne Tilton Durfee, ICAN’s executive director, noted that each of the numbers in the report “represents a child’s life lost.’’
“This motivates us to continue the heartbreaking task of probing into the nature and extent of child abuse fatalities to save other children from such tragic outcomes,’’ she said.
More than half of the children—524—died died from head trauma, multiple trauma and blows to the torso, Durfee said, noting that many of those fatalities resulted from “excessive discipline of very young children related to crying, toilet-training, bed-wetting, feeding and typical challenging childhood behavior.’’